- The amendments encourage trade, investments and economic development
- The Bill also seeks to empower the Minister to amend monetary penalties in the Act
A Bill seeking to provide a modern legislative framework for the administration of trademarks in Jamaica was passed in the House of Representatives on July 16.
Debate on the Trademarks (Amendment) Act began on Tuesday, July 9 and was piloted by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton.
Continuing the debate before passage of the Bill, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, noted that the amendments were important, as the Government seeks to encourage trade, investments and economic development.
“If you register a trademark it protects you from others using your brand, protects your property and your rights to revenue and we need this in Jamaica. So, many of our artistes have not had their revenue because of the fact that they were not educated on how to protect their rights,” Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams said.
For her part, Member of Parliament for Central St. Catherine, Olivia Grange, said that amending the Act would ensure an effective up-to-date intellectual property legislative framework for the country.
“That is extremely important for the creative industries and for brand Jamaica. The amendments bring Jamaica in line with other countries globally and make Jamaica compliant with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules,” Miss Grange said.
She suggested that a public education campaign should be undertaken by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), so as to educate the public, particularly the creative industries, about the changes made to the Act.
The Bill was passed without any amendment and will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.
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 carrying out the duties of the 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 by Parliament; and introduce the concept of a “cooling-off period” in relation to proceedings to oppose the registration of a trademark.