Kingston, Jamaica – As the Government of Jamaica pushes for increased exports, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is assuring Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) that using the Madrid Protocol is procedurally easier than filing several national intellectual property applications worldwide. Adrienne Thompson, Deputy Director & Registrar at JIPO outlined its benefits at a recent Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Virtual Biz Zone Webinar held under the theme, Trade Mark Anywhere: Understanding the Madrid Protocol.
The report on the JBDC’s Mapping of the Jamaica Cultural & Creative Industries points out that increasing international exports was considered the greatest opportunity by 13% of respondents, while 18% said improving knowledge of IP and copyright as the most significant opportunity for achieving growth.
Ms. Thompson explained that the Madrid protocol, “Allows trade mark registration in multiple countries via one application in the home country. You file one application, in one language and pay one set of fees for protection in multiple markets.”
Trade Marks are distinctive signs or symbols, including names, logos, shapes, colours, odours and sounds applied to the owners’ goods or services to distinguish them from those provided by competitors. “They are essentially the face of your brand and your business,” she said.
Entrepreneurs have the option of registering their trade mark locally where applications are filed at the IP office in Jamaica, JIPO; regionally, through regional office with effect in all member states covered by that region; and internationally through the Madrid Protocol.
Thompson pointed out the benefits of utilising the Madrid protocol versus the local and regional routes, “It is cheaper than filing several national applications worldwide; and one international application is equivalent to a bundle of national applications.”
Continuing, she said, “Wherever you register your trade mark, those are the boundaries of its protection.”
According to Thompson the Madrid Protocol application entails a the 3-stage process, “At the first stage, that is where you are going to submit your international application to your local office. So, in order to use the Madrid system, you’re going to have to have a basic application, that is going to be your pass to get access to using the Madrid system. That basic application is going to have to be a locally registered trade mark or a local application at JIPO. So, you need to have a national application in order to access the international route. Once you submit that local application to JIPO, we are going to certify that your international application corresponds with your parent mark or your basic mark. Then we [JIPO] will forward your international application to the Word Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), who administers all of the international applications.”
Continuing to stage 2, she said, “So after WIPO examines your application to see if it has all of the formalities for all the territories that you designate, WIPO publishes the application in their journals or gazettes and that will notify the territories of the application.”
Thompson added that in the final stage, “The scope of protection of the international registration is determined by substantiative examination under the territory’s domestic laws.”
JBDC and JIPO are agencies under the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC).
The JBDC is a catalyst for success, innovation and development in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.
The JBDC hosts its Virtual Biz Zone webinars twice monthly on Tuesdays at 10:00am, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to join the informational sessions by registering through the website at www.jbdc.net. Interested entrepreneurs can subscribe to JBDC’s YouTube page @JBDCJamaica to watch previous sessions.