Intellectual Property Week 2021

DEMYSTIFYING THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK INVOLVED IN IP T HE JAMAICA Intellectual Property Office recently joined their counterparts around the world in the observance of Intellectual Property Week which highlighted micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and sought to increase public awareness about the importance of protecting businesses before they are taken to the marketplace. MSMEs play a critical role in the growth of emerging economies, accounting for some 90% of businesses. In Jamaica, it is estimated that MSMEs employ about 80% of the workforce. However, very often they are overlooked and even overshadowed by the large conglomerates which have wider brand recognition and are more experienced in the world of intellectual property (IP). It is, therefore, commendable that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the country offices like JIPO have used the media and other sources of information to demystify the ramifications of the legal framework involved in IP such as trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, patents, and design rights. It is evident that many owners of MSMEs have demonstrated brilliant, creative ideas in the production and packaging of their goods. However, they often fail to protect their intellectual property, and consequently lose significant earnings, and are vulnerable to piracy fromunscrupulous competitors. The webinar which took place on the Marrakesh Treaty and information on access to published works by blind, visually impaired and print disabled persons was timely but also welcomed. Increased availability of material in braille and audio formats will be a boon to this category of individuals so they can improve their capacity to become entrepreneurs. The intangible world of copyright and protection of intellectual property cannot be left to chance and I trust that as MSMEs grow, more Jamaican MSMEs will learn how to market their ideas and enhance their confidence in knowing that they are pursuing the requisite steps in protecting their IP rights. SIR PATRICK ALLEN Governor General T HE JAMAICA Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) has played an integral role as an oversight and regulatory body safeguarding intellectual property in Jamaica for two decades. JIPO encourages stakeholders to think, imagine and create their unique innovations with the assurance that they will not be unfairly or illegally used or exploited. Through their efforts to educate micro, small and medium-sized (MSMEs) enterprises about the use of patents, copyright, and trademarks, JIPO ensures that people are recognised and compensated for their creations or inventions. I am proud to join JIPO in their virtual celebration of Intellectual Property (IP) Week, which is from April 23, 2021 to May 2, 2021. On April 26, we also join 192 other member states alongside the World Intellectual Property Organisation ( WIPO) in celebrating World Intellectual Property Day globally. Modern technological developments have led to an increase in the significance of IP. While IP is vital for all creators, it is incredibly essential to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. IP protection helps MSMEs: 1. Establish their business identity through branding strategies. 2. Add value to their business through IP asset valuation and management. 3. Increase access to capital and financing options. 4. And prevent imitation of products and services by competitors. Increasingly, MSMEs require greater IP protection to boost creativity, innovation, and competitiveness. Without the requisite protection, businesses and creators would not be able to maximise the benefits, especially monetary benefits, of their inventions, which is a key indicator of success. It is therefore crucial that MSMEs have a fundamental understanding of the advantages and, indeed, importance of IP protection before entering the market. It is for this reason, among others, that I am pleased to note that this is a focus of Intellectual Property Week 2021. Since 2001, JIPO has been championing the modernisation of our local intellectual property system. I commend the team at JIPO for the work they have been doing in administering an IP system that continues toact as acatalyst for international competitiveness, economic growth, and national development. The activities executed by JIPO have been aimed at improving the capacity of creators and innovators and assisting our Jamaican MSME owners with creating wealth through the acquisition and maintenance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). As we celebrate IP Week under the theme ‘IP and MSMEs: Taking Your Ideas to the Market’, I am confident that all the objectives will be met as you recognise creatives in the artistic and literary fields and encourage innovation and creativity in designs, written and artistic works, symbols, names, or images used in business. I also encourage all individuals and businesses to get involved with the team at JIPO as they continue to fulfil their mission of promoting proper protection and administration for MSMEs especially. I wish you a happy Intellectual Property Week! PRIME MINISTER THE MOST HON. ANDREW HOLNESS, ON, MP MSMES REQUIRE GREATER IP PROTECTION TO BOOST CREATIVITY As we celebrate IP Week under the theme ‘IP and MSMEs: Taking Your Ideas to the Market’, I am confident that all the objectives will be met as you recognise creatives in the artistic and literary fields and encourage innovation and creativity in designs, written and artistic works, symbols, names, or images used in business. ‘Paving the path to growth and development through the protection of Intellectual Property Rights’ II

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