The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) says that its crucial for Jamaican exporters to have a full understanding of how to leverage intellectual property so that they can protect their products in local and international markets.
The Agency’s Vice President of Sales and Promotions, Claude Duncan, made the comments at the “National Capacity Building Workshop on the Protection of Intellectual Property for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises”, which was held on September 5, 2018, at JAMPRO’s Business Auditorium in Kingston.
The workshop, held jointly by JAMPRO, Caribbean Export, and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), was hosted to build awareness of the importance of identifying and protecting a business’ intellectual property. The partners also aim to boost Jamaica’s export development, promotion and sales, by empowering companies with the knowledge to protect their products and trademarks.
With Caribbean Export identifying Intellectual Property (IP) as an increasingly important element of trade, the partners say that businesses will better positioned to reap greater benefits when exporting if they consider the full range of IP issues in rolling out new products and expanding into new markets.
Educating Exporters is necessary to protect intellectual property
As JAMPRO looks to boost the country’s export performance, the Agency has said that with the addition of new international markets for export, it is important for exporters to be knowledgeable about the implications around intellectual property in entering the market. The challenge lies in equipping business owners with the relevant information to protect their intellectual property.
The workshop sought to address this challenge, and JAMPRO’s Vice President emphasized this in his opening remarks at the event, “This workshop is timely given the hyper competitive global environment in which we operate. Many businesses in the Caribbean do not register their trademarks or other IP, citing lack of awareness of what is necessary, the difficulty of the process and/or the cost associated with the registration.“
Mr. Duncan said that intellectual property protection is needed to foster innovation, and that the training was critical to build knowledge of IP in the Jamaican business community. JAMPRO continues to seek out more opportunities to educate exporters on leveraging intellectual property laws to protect their products and services locally and abroad.
The full day workshop focused on intellectual property rights, and their role in brand development. JIPO also gave an overview of Jamaica’s IP Framework, and the use of intellectual property by SMEs.