Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, November 9, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO) – Concurrent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Ministerial Meeting for Caribbean Countries, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew led a series of bilateral discussions with key WIPO figures. Among the prominent WIPO representatives were Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO; Mr. Hasan Kleib, Deputy Director General of the Regional and National Development Sector; Ms. Beatriz Amorim-Borher, Head of the Latin America and Caribbean Sector; and Ms. Carol Simpson, Head of the Caribbean Sector.
Attending the meeting alongside Prime Minister Drew were Attorney General the Honourable Garth Wilkin, Chairperson for the WIPO Ministerial Meeting; Minister of Creative Economy, the Honourable Samal Duggins; and Registrar of the Intellectual Property (IP) Office of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mrs. Jihan Williams-Knight.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew and delegates (Attorney General Hon. Garth Wilkin, Hon. Samal Duggins, Mrs. Jihan Williams-Knight) meeting with World Intellectual Property Officials (Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO; Mr. Hasan Kleib, Deputy Director General of the Regional and National Development Sector; Ms. Beatriz Amorim-Borher, Head of the Latin America and Caribbean Sector; and Ms. Carol Simpson, Head of the Caribbean Sector) at Park Hyatt.
The discussions centered around several crucial topics related to intellectual property rights and copyright, including the WIPO Cooperation Agreement, the strengthening of the copyright framework (laws and treaties), and the Intellectual Property and Sport Regional Pilot Project.
The WIPO Cooperation Agreement aims to delineate the responsibilities of both WIPO and the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis in upgrading the electronic infrastructure used by the Intellectual Property Office of Saint Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN) for processing trademark applications. The Industrial Property Automation System (IPAS), developed and maintained by WIPO, will receive the latest version through this agreement. This upgrade will allow IPOSKN to access cloud storage at no cost, process applications electronically, facilitate remote access for staff, offer improved services, and replace manual searches with online searches accessible beyond regular office hours.
Another focal point was the revision of the National and International Copyright Legislative Framework. As part of IPOSKN's 2022–2024 Strategic Plan, the Copyright Act, which has not seen substantial amendments since its enactment in 2000, will be updated. Dr. Justin Koo from Trinidad and Tobago, a WIPO-hired consultant, will modernize the law to align with international obligations and incorporate technological advancements. In 2023, Saint Kitts and Nevis is set to pass an updated copyright law, including WIPO model regulations governing the activities of collective management organizations (CMOs). The country will also accede to five WIPO-administered copyright treaties, enhancing protection for authors and content in the digital environment.
Additionally, the delegation explored the Intellectual Property and Sports Pilot Project.
Prime Minister Drew during the discussions highlighted the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration’s thrust to ensure that the Ministries of Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and The Creative Economy; and Entertainment and The Arts is a “one-stop shop” where “nationals will come in with an idea and leave equipped with everything – branding, funding, business license, training - and everything that is needed to be successful in their endeavours”, he stated.
WIPO is initiating a pilot program in the region with a focus on unlocking economic potential within the local sports sector. Saint Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago were selected for this project. Ms. Ozelle Martin, a Kittitian-born attorney specializing in sports law in the USA, has been contracted by WIPO to consult on the Saint Kitts and Nevis project, commencing in November 2023. The project will delve into income generation opportunities through IP, the management of broadcasting rights, and the integration of IP into a sports tourism policy.
The bilateral meeting holds the promise of significant benefits for the country. By enhancing the nation’s intellectual property infrastructure and copyright framework, these discussions pave the way for improved protection of creative and innovative works, greater economic opportunities, and a more favourable environment for creatives, athletes, and businesses.
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