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Meeting of Heads of Intellectual Property Offices of Caribbean Countries

January 16, 2024

The meeting took place at Basseterre from November 2 and 3, 2023, organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis with the support of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) via the Funds-In-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global.

Image: WIPO

The objective of the Meeting to bring together key policy makers and provide a platform for exchanging views on important developments in the global IP ecosystem as well as for identifying ways IP can assist in addressing challenges for the sustainable development of countries in the region.

In total, fourteen Caribbean countries participated in the meeting (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Saint Kitts and Nevis as a host).

The meeting was opened with the welcoming remarks from Mr. Garth L. Wilkin, the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Koichi Hamano, Commissioner of the JPO (online) and Mr. Hasan Kleib, the Deputy Director General of the WIPO.

Group discussions followed for Heads to share their experiences and exchange ideas while identifying challenges and recommendations in the administration and use of the IP system in the Caribbean region. A specific central topic selected was, “How Can We Strengthen the IPOs” and the following sub-topics, chosen: (1) Infrastructure and new technologies, (2) Management of IP rights (strengthening the ecosystem), (3) IP and Public policy and (4) Public Education and Promotion (Strategic Partnerships and Cooperation).

Image: WIPO

The groups in their discussions benefited largely from the 2 earlier online presentations made by Mr. Yuta Yasuda, IP Attaché of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and by Mr. William Meredith, Director of WIPO, which are about “IP Offices horizons: Navigating emerging trends in the digital environment” and “Digital transformation for IP Offices, Caribbean perspectives”, respectively.

Recommendations from the action plan developed were incorporated in the Resolutions presented to Ministers responsible for IP, for their approval. The Resolutions were approved unanimously by the Ministers at the Ministerial Level Meeting on IP for Caribbean Countries on November 6.

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