Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown (left), engages in a light moment with Charge d’Affaires of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Jamaica, José Luis Martinez Prada. Occasion was a certification presentation ceremony for patent examiners held recently at the New Kingston offices of the Ministry.
Applying for a patent in Jamaica should be quicker and easier now that the local pool of competent examiners has increased.
Over 70 patent examiners were recently trained during two one-week workshops coordinated by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) with financial support from the European Union.
Certificates were presented to the successful participants during a ceremony at the New Kingston offices of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries on July 29. They are now certified to access requests for patents, which grant applicants the right to prevent other people from using, selling or making their inventions, creations, trademarks, designs or copyrights (EU).
Director General of the Ministry, Vivian Brown, who gave the main address at the event, said the training aims to ensure that there are “sufficient well-trained, standards-aware patent examination personnel” in the country.
“This will, in turn, speed up the time it takes for patents to be examined and approved,” Mr. Brown said, adding that the aim is to improve the efficiency with which institutions can generate new ideas, products, services and processes and turn them into wealth.
He expressed the hope that over time, this will facilitate innovation, improve the country’s overall business environment and the ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
With this training, the pool of examiners has been expanded to include persons conducting research in the sciences, such as biotechnology at the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology, Jamaica; personnel from the Scientific Research Council, lawyers and law students.
Personnel from the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and government chemists, which are the country’s main patent-examining bodies, have also been trained.
Deputy Director, Legal Counsel, JIPO, Marcus Goffe, said the workshops, which were conceptualised by JIPO, are part of a larger regional programme. Others are also being carried out in Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize.
He noted that the main aim of the workshops is to raise the level of awareness about patents as a form of Intellectual Property (IP) right that has the ability to protect inventions, to encourage innovation, and to also realise economic benefits for the science and technology sectors in Jamaica and the wider region.
“Through patents, persons are able to be incentivised to do more research in science and technology, to advance technology in certain areas and to also license technologies outside (of Jamaica) to make money for individuals and for the country at large,” he pointed out.
The training modules involved the areas of mechanics, chemistry, electronics and biology. The European Patent Office procedures were also examined, which served to expose persons working in different areas of technology to applying patent and IP rights to their areas of research.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.
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