Sat | Oct 20, 2018

NHT has options outside Outameni Experience

Published:Monday | November 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

WHILE THE National Housing Trust (NHT) is making plans to spend an additional $20 million to purchase chattels, intellectual property, script and props from Outameni Experience, at least one attorney-at-law is suggesting that the housing entity could pursue a similar idea without spending more money for the package.

The legal mind, who asked that his name be withheld, suggested that the Trust should not spend more taxpayers' money on the Outameni brand but could draw on Jamaica's rich cultural heritage and roll out a plethora of similar events for persons who wish to visit the facility.

"You can brand your style or product your way, but you could not say that it is you alone sell that product unless you invent the product," the attorney added.

Further, the lawyer pointed out that no one could claim any intellectual property rights for an idea or concept that is rooted in the cultural and historic experiences of a people.

consumer's choice

He pointed out that consumers would know that there are different entities offering cultural services but they are differentiated by brand name. According to him, consumers would have the opportunity to choose which one of the cultural attractions they want in the marketplace.

For days, debate has been raging over the NHT acquisition of the nearly 10-acre property in Orange Grove, Trelawny, where the Outameni Experience is located.

To date, several groups including the private sector and civil society organisations, have raised concerns about the acquisition.

At present, Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has answered the call for an audit to be conducted into the transaction.

The Gleaner has been reliably informed that Monroe Ellis' team of auditors has already visited the Trust to start its probe into the purchase of the property for $180 million.