AFTER two decades of lobbying to get Jamaica listed as a member of the Madrid Protocol, the country is now successful in that effort.
Diane Edwards, president at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), extended congratulations to the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce for the success.
Edwards said in a statement on LinkedIn, “This is truly a big deal for our creative practitioners, who can now get IP recognition in 125 countries by registering in Jamaica! This will hopefully stimulate an explosion in IP registrations in Jamaica for songs, works of art, plays, books, animations, etc.”
Jamaica will become the 110th member of the Madrid system when the Madrid Protocol enters into force on March 27, 2022. Jamaica follows on from the United Arab Emirates, where the protocol entered into force in December 2021.
Analysts noted that the addition to the Madrid system is a welcome development, allowing the expansion of trademark portfolios into additional territories to become more streamlined and cost effective.
Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong, commented on LinkedIn, “The Madrid system offers a convenient route for parties to apply for trade mark protection in up to 126 territories (including Jamaica) by filing a single international application with the national or regional IP office of a Madrid Union member. “
The addition of Jamaica from March 27 also means that foreign businesses and individuals can seek trademark protection in Jamaica through the Madrid system, providing an additional route to protection. While each territory designated is still subject to examination in each national office, as with a national application, the filing of a single application to cover multiple territories, and the ongoing maintenance and renewal of the resulting international registration, can lead to a cost effective and administratively straightforward addition to a trademark portfolio.”
The law firm noted that “the Madrid system therefore remains an attractive route to trademark protection, and with increasing numbers of member territories becomes ever more useful.”
Other beneficiaries will be local rum makers. Earlier this year Christopher Gentles, general manager of the Spirits Pool Association Limited, the trade association for all the rum distilleries, led the call of seeing improved trade opportunities for the sector. Gentles and his group indicated that the GOJ's promise to sign the agreement by year end 2021.
The Madrid Protocol, which adjudicates international trademarks, was created in 1891. Under that system, trademark registration in separate jurisdictions are administered centrally. The system provides protection in many countries around the world and is more effective than seeking protection separately in each individual country or jurisdiction. It is noted that the single registration to cover a wide range of countries results in better portfolio management and cost savings.