Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Growth & Jobs | Secure it! JAMPRO says it is crucial for exporters to protect their intellectual property

Published:Tuesday | September 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Claude Duncan, vice-president of sales and promotions at Jamaica Promotions.
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The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) says it is 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.

Claude Duncan, the agency's vice-president of sales and promotions, made the comments at the 'National Capacity Building Workshop on the Protection of Intellectual Property for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises', which was held last week at JAMPRO's Business Auditorium, St Andrew.

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 be 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 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 (IP) 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 of sales and promotion, Claude Duncan, emphasised this in his opening remarks at the event, "This workshop is timely, given the hypercompetitive 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."

Duncan said 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. The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office also gave an overview of Jamaica's IP Framework and the use of intellectual property by small and medium enterprises.