Jodi-Ann Gilpin and Kemisha Anderson, Gleaner Writers
Talks are ongoing for collaboration between the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to offer, for the first time in the region, a Master of Law (LLM) in intellectual property (IP) in the cultural and creative industries.
Speaking with The Gleaner at the end of the first day of the WIPO Jamaica Summer School on Intellectual Property being held at the Faculty of Law at the UWI, Natalie Corthesy, lecturer and head of the IP stream in the faculty, said there was a need in Jamaica to give greater assistance to creative industries and its interconnectivity with intellectual property.
"We expect that next academic year, September 2015, we will be able to go ahead with the proposal right here (law faculty). I believe that the proposed LLM will be the answer to the need to give greater assistance to the cultural and creative industry as this presents a great avenue for economic growth in our society," she declared.
PART OF BROADER AGREEMENT
"It's really part of a broader agreement between these organisations to bring greater awareness to intellectual properties and, in particular, to the teaching and research of IP in Jamaica," she said.
Deputy dean of the faculty, Suzanne Ffolkes-Goldson, said the summer school programme was the first step towards introducing other graduate programmes in intellectual property law to the faculty. She added that she was interested in taking the course, adding that she fully supported the venture.
"I really want it to be hands-on because I want to learn more about it and hopefully to continue disseminating this information to Jamaica, as I believe this information should be brought to the fore," she said.
She said the idea for a summer school to be held in the region came about when WIPO Deputy Director General Geoffrey Onyeama, on his visit to Jamaica in 2011, suggested that the Faculty of Law join WIPO in hosting a summer school in the region and also that the university could introduce a graduate programme in intellectual property rights law.
"We realised that this was a crucial step, so we put the proposal to WIPO and they, in return, sent a team in 2012 to do a site visit and then from there on we made the agreement to have the summer school for the first time here in the region."
The summer school started yesterday and ends on June 20. Some 25 participants from different sections of society, including lawyers, lecturers and students, are participating.