“In this regard, we have been doing much to develop this regime. Our efforts include amendments to the Trademarks Act to protect the country name, Jamaica, from use by foreign businesses for trademarks that do not originate from Jamaica but seek to ride on the goodwill and international recognition of the Jamaican brand,” said Mr. Hylton.
The Minister was speaking at the official opening of a Sub-Regional two-day Workshop on: ‘Branding and the Use of Geographical Indications (GIs) in the Development of Management Strategies for Origin-Linked Products’, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on July 21.
Mr. Hylton pointed out that Jamaica has a legislative framework for the protection of geographical indications through the Protection of Geographical Indications Act in 2004 and the Protection of Geographical Indications Regulations in 2009.
“This framework has facilitated the application for registration of Jamaican Jerk as a protected GI, and as an offshoot, the formation of the Jamaican Jerk Association,” the Minister said.
“The workshop will go further by seeking to provide learning opportunities on how to maintain the quality and brand of commercial goods that we trade on regional and international markets,” he added.
Held over two days, the Workshop aims to build the capacity of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) producers to identify and develop geographical indications and origin-linked products, with the goal of assisting businesses in prospering and enhancing their competitiveness in the international arena.
Geographical Indications (GIs), according to the Economic Partnership Agreement Business Brief, are signs used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.
Usually, a GI takes the name of the place of origin of the goods. Agricultural products typically have qualities derived from the territory in which they are grown. The GI protection means that producers from other regions are barred from using a GI region’s name on their products.
Endorsed by the European Union (EU), a number of topics will be addressed at the workshop, including Building Brand value; the process of Registration of a GI; Supply Chain Analysis, and Intellectual Property and Caribbean Export.