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World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on April 26th. Intellectual property is any original work resulting from an individual’s creative expression. Various expressions are ranked as intellectual property, these include:
– Artistic works, such as designs, photographs, paintings, sketches, musical compositions, and choreography.
– Inventions – usually tangible items, such as devices, as well as methods or processes for carrying out a task.
– Literary works, including novels, poetry, plays, speeches, and essays.

Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property is protected under Jamaica’s Intellectual Property Act. The type of protection depends on the nature of the work under consideration. The three major types of intellectual property protection are:

Copyrights – these protect literary and artistic works and give the owner of the work exclusive rights to their use, distribution, and sale. A copyright usually lasts for the duration of the life of the owner plus 70 years.

Patents – these protect inventions and give the inventor the right to bar anyone from recreating, using, or selling his or her invention. A patent usually lasts for a period of up to 20 years.

Trademarks – trademarks protect original designs, signs, and expressions that distinguish a product, service, or brand. A trademark lasts ten years and is renewable.

How to use Intellectual Property Correctly
It is important that persons who wish to use the intellectual property of others seek the permission of the owner before proceeding. In addition, there are other required steps that, if ignored, can result in prosecution of the user. Below are the steps to be taken when using someone’s intellectual property:
1. Identify the owner
2. Contact the owner
3. Get permission to use the piece and negotiate payment, if required
4. Once an agreement is reached, get legal documentation stating the terms of the agreement
5. Make payments, as necessary
6. Use the piece precisely according to the agreed terms

For more information, please contact:

Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO)
Ground Floor
JAMPRO Building
18 Trafalgar Road
Kingston 10

Tel: 876-946-1300, 876-946-0789, 876-946-9216
Fax: 876-927-6744
Website: http://www.jipo.gov.jm
Email: patent@jipo.gov.jm, trademarks@jipo.gov.jm, copyright@jipo.gov.jm