Jamaica has been removed after decades of being on the United States Trade Representative watch list, according to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries.
The ministry’s statement follows disclosure by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington during its annual meeting on the Special 301 Report, which identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to United States innovators and creators that rely on the protection of their IP rights.
Trading partners that present significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed on the priority watch list or watch list.
USTR identified 33 countries for these lists in the Special 301 Report.
Jamaica’s removal from the watch list comes against the background of a new bill that was developed to modernize the country’s patent and industrial designs regime and implement its international obligations.
Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy said, “this is truly a significant achievement for the Government and people of Jamaica. The United States Embassy has been interacting with the Ministry of Industry Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, National Security and Justice Ministries.”
“The collaboration between JIPO and the IP enforcement arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force along with the Ministry of Justice has made this a reality. This is a win for all creatives in Jamaica whether in the field of arts or sciences and, we welcome the recognition of the efforts of the arms of government in working towards the achievement of this removal from the USTR watch list. The Board, management, and staff of JIPO recognize and thank everyone for the role that they played in this achievement,” Bellamy added.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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