Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon Anthony Hylton, said that modernisation of the intellectual property legislative framework is integral to Government’s efforts to develop the creative industries.
He was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 9, where debate commenced on the Trade Marks (Amendments) Act.
According to Minister Hylton, passage of the Bill will improve the business and commercial environments for the growth of creative industries, which he said, is one of the critical pillars of the economic growth agenda.
He said the amendments, which will clarify certain stipulations in the Act and facilitate smoother operation of the legislation, are in keeping with the Government’s commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
He stated that the provisions will ensure that trademark holders are afforded protection based on international best practices.
“This will no doubt augur well for improving Jamaica’s present status in the ‘International Doing Business Report’ in the global forum. This will show that Jamaica is indeed serious about international trade and will therefore enhance the appeal of the logistic hub to potential investors,” Mr. Hylton argued.
Among the specific features of the Bill are: to provide for the revocation of a trademark as a result of non-use or disuse for a period of five years without good reason; and to establish the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) as the organisation responsible for the carrying out the of duties of Registrar under the Act.
The Bill also seeks to empower the Minister to amend monetary penalties in the Act by way of Order, subject to affirmative resolution of each House of Parliament; and introduce the concept of a “cooling-off period” in relation to proceedings to oppose the registration of a trademark.
Debate on the Bill will continue at the next sitting of the Lower House on July 16.
Contact: Latonya Linton