JIPO Fulfils Mandate

Photo: Mark Bell Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy (centre), addresses JIS ‘Think Tank’ on February 1. Others (from left) are: Manager, Trademarks, Designs and Geographical Indications at JIPO, Adrienne Thompson, and Examination Officer in the Patent Directorate at JIPO, Tracey Herdsman.

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy, says over the past 15 years the office has lived up to its mandate of establishing and administering a modern and effective intellectual property system.
  • “Since JIPO came into existence, we have passed a new legislation – the Protection of Geographical Indications Act. Under this Act, Jamaica became the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to register a geographical indication (GI) – Jamaica Jerk,” Ms. Bellamy said.
  • The main activities of JIPO include the administration of intellectual property systems in Jamaica which include: copyright and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, layout-designs (topographies), new plant varieties and traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy, says over the past 15 years the office has lived up to its mandate of establishing and administering a modern and effective intellectual property system.

Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on February 1, the Executive Director said this has created a catalyst for international competitiveness, facilitating economic growth and national development.

The JIPO was established in 2002, and as the primary Intellectual Property Directorate, it is committed to protecting the creative rights of individuals, organisations and Jamaica.

“Since JIPO came into existence, we have passed a new legislation – the Protection of Geographical Indications Act. Under this Act, Jamaica became the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to register a geographical indication (GI) – Jamaica Jerk,” Ms. Bellamy said.

She explained that the significance of the GI is that it recognises the traditions of a country. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

Meanwhile, JIPO is presently working on the amendments to the Copyright (Licensing Bodies) Regulations 2015, which aims to bring transparency and accountability to the work of collective management organisations (CMOs), which facilitate a more beneficial relationship between copyright owners and users. For copyright protection, Ms. Bellamy is advising persons to join a CMO, “as this will facilitate them getting royalty for your work.”

Explaining, she said every time an artiste’s music is played on the radio, there should be a list that shows what work is being played so that the artiste and all who are involved in the production of that work can benefit.

“So, it is not just the benefit from buying the goods, it is also the benefit from the work being broadcast. You get that from being a member of a CMO,” Ms. Bellamy said. Ms. Bellamy informed that two important tenets of JIPO are public education and enforcement.

As part of JIPO’s public education efforts, officers of the organisation visit institutions, communities and events and make presentations on the work of JIPO. They also offer in-house tours where persons can visit and observe the work of JIPO. Under enforcement there is collaboration with the JCF.

Ms. Bellamy said Jamaica is a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on trade-related matters affecting Intellectual Property Rights. “Under that WTO treaty, we have a number of international obligations, which include the protection of our borders in relation to customs issues and the basic issue of not infringing somebody’s right. So, we work closely with the Constabulary Force’s Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch that deals with intellectual property crimes,” she added.

The main activities of JIPO include the administration of intellectual property systems in Jamaica which include: copyright and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, layout-designs (topographies), new plant varieties and traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.

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