Jamaica is aiming to become a member of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, which will make it easier for Jamaicans to protect their designs and inventions in multiple countries around the world.

 The Hague System provides a mechanism for registering an industrial design in several countries by means of a single application, filed in one language, with one set of fees.

 The  Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), hosted a two-day regional workshop on the Hague System, at the Liguanea Club in Kingston, on Wednesday (March 4), to sensitise the public, regional partners and attorneys on the System.

            Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Monique Gibbs, commended JIPO for the tremendous work it has been doing in promoting Intellectual Property (IP)rights in Jamaica.

            “We are all aware that the protection of Intellectual Property rights is critical for investment, innovation, entrepreneurship and our creative industries,” she said.

            “In our experience, it is also critical to small business development and employment creation and for the overall competitiveness of the Jamaican economy. Virtually every industry or individual uses or produces intellectual property in one form or another,” Ms. Gibbs added.

 She further noted that Jamaica’s recent passing of the Patents and Design Act has paved the way for Jamaica to sign on to the Hague System, which will offer protection for Jamaica’s designs and inventions globally.

            “The Hague System will also allow persons to file directly with WIPO to register their industrial designs and allows for protection in all countries that are members of the Treaty,” Ms. Gibbs pointed out.

 In the meantime, she said the Government, through JIPO, is working assiduously to ensure that more Jamaicans are able to see the real value of managing their intellectual property assets.“Everyone must be able to benefit from the range of available IP protection,” Ms. Gibbs added.

 She reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to enforcing and protecting the rights of all Jamaican citizens through a sound system of patents, copyright, and trademarks.

            Meanwhile, Senior Advisor, The Hague Registry, Brands and Designs Sector, WIPO, Päivi Lähdesmäki, said she is expecting Jamaica to become the 65th member state of the Agreement and that the advantages will be very beneficial to the country.

 “The HagueSystem makes it easier for foreign enterprises/designers to protect their industrial designs abroad in various local markets, and it generates additional income in terms of filing and renewal fees for the Intellectual Property office,” she said.

            The Senior Advisor noted that the Hague System is cost-effective and efficient, as it creates opportunities that would not otherwise exist for any enterprise with a limited Intellectual Property budget, and also offers rights holders flexibility in targeting national, regional or global markets for particular goods.