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Intellectual Property Rights or IPR and Brand Patenting are among the most talked about subjects in international business meets. In a truly global environment for commerce and trade, it is very important to safeguard the interests of companies that have successfully developed ideas and brands. Once they decide to launch their products in a lucrative market, they have to anticipate the possibility of someone else using their ideas or brands. The Madrid Protocol is meant to avert such possibilities and allow global registration of products and brands. Jamaica, however, is yet to be a signatory to the Madrid Protocol. Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), has now called for expediting the process to pass the required legislation for this purpose.
JCC Wants the Relevant Bill to Be Fast-Tracked
Mr. Trevor Fearon, the CEO of JCC, in his appeal to the legislators, has said he understood that the Parliament has a number of legislations to be taken up. The bills are discussed thoroughly, expert opinions obtained and finally, the legislation adopted. Fearon said he understands there will be a list and the IPR Bill may be in the queue. However, he would want the MPs to find ways to pull this particular legislation out of the queue and pass it, as soon as they can. In highly competitive businesses, time is of utmost importance and Brand Jamaica could suffer if there is further delay.
IP Rights Expert Called in to Explain the Benefits of Madrid Protocol
It is in this context that the JCC had organised an event to drive home their point. Sarah Hsia, an attorney-at-law specialising in intellectual property related cases, was asked to speak on the subject. She mainly addressed the Madrid Protocol and how it could be beneficial to Jamaican companies. The focal point was that if a company in Jamaica has developed a product that has universal acceptance and wants to take the brand abroad, it may have to apply in each country it wishes to do business in and obtain a trademark registration. The Madrid Protocol enables registrations in over 100 countries who are signatories to the protocol. The appropriate legislation has to move forward for signing the Protocol in the best interest of the Jamaican businesses.
It is now for the MPs to heed to the call from JCC and act upon it.