August 2, 2021

Minister Hylton calls for continued dialogue towards IP in the Caribbean

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Anthony-Hylton-jamaica-rise-640x425From First Look

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton is calling for continued dialogue towards a more robust and effective Intellectual Property (IP) administration in the Caribbean.

Minister Hylton was speaking at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Preparatory Meeting of Heads of Intellectual Property Offices of Caribbean Countries, on February 23, 2015, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Offices in Kingston.

Pointing to the registration of patent, the Minister noted that to register a patent in 15 countries of CARICOM with relatively small markets, at present requires 15 applications under 15 different laws, 15 attorney, and 15 sets of application and registration fees.

“Is this sustainable? I do not think so. We have to address this issue forthwith, particularly in terms of affordability, accessibility and in terms of subsequent appeal of these markets to local and foreign investors, especially knowledge-based investors. In short, it is critical to the ease and speed of doing business”, Minister Hylton suggested.

Minister Hylton says that the Government of Jamaica is committed to modernizing and developing further its Intellectual property infrastructure.

“The business of protecting intellectual property rights holders is one of my highest priorities. It forms an important element of the doing business environment, and is critical to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship”, he said.

Mr. Hylton also pointed to the need for the development of a regional framework for the protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions. He noted:

“The draft document containing Elements of a Possible Regional Framework for the Protection of Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) proposes a protective regime, consistent with international law and policy, for the recognition and protection of rights over GRs, TK and TCEs in the Caribbean Region”.

The draft provides access and benefit sharing principles and procedures that must be followed by persons seeking to gain access and to utilize the region’s GRs, TK and TCEs. The goal is to assist Caribbean Countries to legally protect GRs, TK and TCEs within their territories.

Minister Hylton said that the Ministry recognizes the importance of intellectual property protection, domestically, regionally and globally and it is for this reason CARICOM and other partners in Geneva are working with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to secure the protection of country names.

“We must now work together to make the whole business of IP administration easier and more efficient. We must continue to combat piracy and counterfeiting of our IP rights in order to protect Caribbean innovation, creativity and jobs”, he added.

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IMAGE: Anthony Hilton

Related story:

Industry Ministry suspends National Collateral Registry’s Search Facility

From First Look

Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce | 2015-02-16 00:00:00
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has instructed that the search facility of the National Collateral Registry be suspended until further notice. All other aspects of the Registry remain operational.

The Minister’s announcement follows concerns raised in the media over public disclosure of personal information on the credit registry.

Minister Hylton says the suspension is to facilitate further consultations with relevant stakeholders, after which a decision will be made to safeguard the accessing of information on the Registry.

“The issue is not so much what information is available because that is specified in the SIPP Act. The major issue is who accesses the information. In fact, the information in question has always been in the public domain. However, with access now being electronic, more people are now able to access the information. That is the critical issue – the levels of access. We have to look at the levels of access to the information on the Registry and that, essentially, is why we have suspended the search facility,” the Minister says.

Minister Hylton also noted that similar information is available at other institutions, such as the Titles Office.

The Minister also pointed out that the information on the Registry is not posted by the Government. He states: “The information relating to the borrower and the loan are uploaded to the Registry by the bank/financial institutions (creditor), not the Ministry; not the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ). In other words, the banks fundamentally operate the Registry. The COJ maintains the Registry.”

Further, the Minister noted that the notice can only be registered with the authorization of the debtor. He explained that the SIPP Registry is a notice registry only and that the related loan documents are not filed on the Registry.

Prior to January 2, 2014, the date on which the National Security Interest in Personal Property Registry was implemented, the Companies Office of Jamaica maintained a “Charges Registry” under which charges over personal and real property created by companies were registered.

The information on the Charges Registry was searchable by the general public but for a fee. The information on the register included the name of the company, the loan amount as well as a description of the property used to secure the loan. The loan documents were also available for searching by the public.

With regard to individuals, depending on the type of property used to secure loans, charges were either registered at the Registrar General’s Department (for personal property) or the Office of the Registrar of Titles (for real property). Those registries were also searchable by the public.

Charges created by companies were also registrable at both Titles Office and RGD prior to January 2014.

With the passage of the SIPP Act all charges over personal property created by both companies and individuals may be registered on the SIPP Registry to allow for greater efficiency and certainty.

The National Security Interests Personal Property Registry (NSIPP) was established under the Security Interests in Personal Property Act 2013. Registration notices are filed to:

• Sufficiently identify the debtor, and state the debtor’s business or residential address and taxpayer registration number;
• Sufficiently identify the secured creditor, and state the secured creditor’s business or residential address;
• State the amount of the principal indebtedness or other obligations secured by the security interest covered by the notice; and
• Describe the secured property covered by the notice.

A person may register a registration notice only if the debtor concerned authorizes the registration.

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