Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Audley Shaw.
Jamaica has been removed from the United States Trade Representative watch list, which the country has been on for decades. This follows the tabling of the Patents and Designs Bill by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Audley Shaw, which led to the passage in January 2020 of the Patents and Designs Act to replace the country’s outdated patent and industrial designs regime. The new bill was developed in an effort to modernize Jamaica’s patent and industrial designs regime and to implement its international obligations.
Jamaica’s removal was disclosed by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington on April 29 in its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights and the findings of its Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Review), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
According to the Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy, “this is truly a significant achievement for the government and people of Jamaica. The US Embassy has been interacting with the Ministry of Industry Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, National Security and Justice Ministries,” she informed.
The efforts of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, the Ministry and other arms of government in enforcing intellectual property laws have also resulted in this significant achievement.
“The collaboration between JIPO and the IP enforcement arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force along with the Ministry of Justice has made this a reality. This is a win for all creatives in Jamaica whether in the field or arts or sciences and, we welcome the recognition of the efforts of the arms of government in working towards the achievement of this removal from the USTR watch list. The Board, management and staff of JIPO recognise and thank everyone for the role that they played in this achievement,” the Executive Director added.
The Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to US innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.
Trading partners that currently present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR identified 33 countries for these lists in the Special 301 Report.
A number of trading partners have taken steps to address concerns identified in last year’s Report as a result of significant engagement by USTR and other US government agencies, which included Jamaica.
The report also highlighted Jamaica’s establishment of a specialized IP vice-squad within the Jamaica Constabulary Force. It also stated that the United States will continue to engage with Jamaica to monitor these reforms.
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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