Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Wehby holding Shaw to Madrid Protocol deadline

Published:Monday | June 14, 2021 | 12:06 AM

Following the passage of the Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2021 without any amendments in the Senate last Friday, government Senator Don Wehby served noticed that he intends to hold Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Audley Shaw to his commitment to have Jamaica ratify the far-reaching Madrid Protocol by next month.

Wehby, who is also chief executive officer of the GraceKennedy Group, said he was pleased that Jamaica had finally taken a step that he believes will have a significant multiplier effect on business potential.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has described the Madrid system as a one-stop solution for trademark holders to protect intellectual property in multiple markets.

Currently, 1.3 million trademarks are registered in the system and trademark protection is provided in more than 120 countries.

With GraceKennedy currently having 235 registrations managed in more than 130 territories, the cost, bureaucracy, and administration involved in such an exercise are enormous, he told colleague senators.

The protection secured for Jamaican brands under the Madrid Protocol will make a big financial difference for manufacturers and other business people who have suffered at the hands of pirates, Wehby said.

“We have a rich culture, heritage, and legacy as a country, which others have recognised, and in some cases, have sought to capitalise on for their own gain. I have received numerous emails and messages from persons in the diaspora who show me pictures of products made in other countries that have no relation to Jamaica being marketed as Jamaican products,” he added.