OECS Commission holds Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property in Antigua and Barbuda

Thursday, May 19, 2016 — A two day Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property opened in Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday. The Competitive Business Unit (CBU) of the OECS Commission has orgainsed the seminar at the Heritage Hotel in St. John’s.Close to 25 representatives of businesses and entrepreneurs in music, film, fashion, agro-processing, light manufacturing, and professional services from across OECS Member States are attending the seminar which targets SMEs in the creative and goods sectors.

Business Development Officer at the CBU for the Creative Industries Sector, Sobers Esprit sees the area of intellectual and industrial property as being critical to the creation of wealth and adding value to the production of goods and creative industries especially at a time of increased global competiveness in these sectors: “The critical need to protect the intellectual property of OECS businesses and to be able to use IP to enhance the competiveness of our businesses as we make greater efforts to access markets across the globe for our products and services. We need therefore to build capacity of our entrepreneurs in ways to use and better manage their IP assets in-order to take full advantage of their creative and intellectual capital.”

The OECS workshop on Intellectual Property is serving as a means of increasing the knowledge and skills of entrepreneurs in various aspects of intellectual and industrial property rights to include trade-marks, industrial designs, trade secrets, patents, geographical indications inclusive of recipes, new inventions, phrases and symbols, copyright and related rights to include collective management and protection for music, film, fashion, handicraft and performing arts and other artistic works. It will provide insights into ways for SMEs to be able to register and protect their IP assets and to acquire new knowledge on ways to manage these assets to maximize their income and generate revenue from their creative endeavours.

The workshop is being facilitated by Trinidadian entertainment and copyright attorney Carla Parris with the support of the Deputy Registrar of the Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property Office, Conliffe Clarke. There will also be a presentation on the history and role of collective management and the role of ECCO by Mc Carthy Marie of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO).

SMEs will have the opportunity to join the live broadcast online while other interested persons have been asked to contact the CBU for more information.

At the end of the workshop, the CBU hopes to establish an online forum to continue dialogue on the subject and to get more SMEs engage in an on-going dialogue to address gaps and critical issues which requires clarification and further insights.

This two day Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property is part of the programme of activities under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Integration for Trade of the OECS.

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Tahira Carter

OECS Communications

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States