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Jamaica seeking WIPO protection

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer


The Government has made initial steps to have the name 'Jamaica' protected for economic and cultural reasons by the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Marcus Goffe, manager of the Trademark Design and Geographical Indications Unit of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), says while at present no country has any right of protection for its name, Jamaica is making a bid to secure the right to protect 'Brand Jamaica'.

"The government of Jamaica has made a move in WIPO to protect the name Jamaica in an international sphere," said Goffe. "We have started the process whereby all countries who want to do this have been asked to submit a report to WIPO as to the importance of their country name (and) how not being able to protect it legally has hindered their progress."

Goffe, who was speaking with The Gleaner following a seminar hosted by JIPO at the University of Technology Western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay, St James, recently, said WIPO has set a May deadline for Jamaica to make a case and his office is working assiduously to have the necessary reports ready.

Goffe argued that many people use the name Jamaica and derive economic and other benefits from it and JIPO hopes to put a halt to the practice so that the people of Jamaica can fully benefit from economic activity inclusive of culture and sports, which continues to be exploited overseas.