Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Hon. Norman Dunn.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, says Jamaica’s accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) will lead to significant progress in strengthening the country’s innovation ecosystem and gross domestic product (GDP).
“Ultimately, the PCT brings Jamaican creators within the world’s reach. They may seek protection in countries where they intend to exploit their ingenuity,” he noted.
The State Minister was addressing a recent webinar on the new Patents and Designs Act 2020, which was hosted by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) in co-operation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Jamaica’s accession to the PCT was provided under the new legislation.
On November 10, 2021, Jamaica deposited the instrument of accession with WIPO, making the island the 154th member of the treaty. The effective date for the treaty in Jamaica was February 10, 2022.
The agreement makes it possible for innovators to seek patent protection for an invention in several countries by filing a single international patent application designating several countries for which protection is being sought.
Meanwhile, Dr. Dunn said that the new Patents and Designs Act has brought the intellectual property framework of Jamaica into the 21st century, opening new sources of international revenue for Jamaican inventors.
“It has opened doors for Jamaica’s participation in important international treaties, expanding opportunities for local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and individual inventors seeking global protection and utilisation for their innovations,” he noted.
He pointed out that under the new Act, inventors will be able to obtain utility model protection, also known as petty patents or minor patents.
This form of protection enables inventors and innovators to register their innovations, which may not necessarily qualify for a patent, but which, nonetheless, meet the criteria for registration as a utility model.
As of February 10, 2022, Jamaican individuals and organisations, or residents in the country, have been able to file an international patent application in Jamaica, through JIPO, or directly with WIPO.
The Patents and Designs Act 2020 was passed in the House of Representatives in December 2019, with the Senate giving its approval in January 2020.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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