Several participants from a range of professional backgrounds from the Organisation of Eastern Carbbean States (OECS),were engaged in a series of virtual workshops on Intellectual Property Rights.
The workshops, staged on January 12, January 25 and January 28; February 1, Februry 4, February 11and February 15 were organised by the Canadian Government funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project, a relesase from the OECS states.
Participants at these sessions included registrars, deputy registrars, attorneys-at-law, business owners, representatives of the creative arts, magistrates and government officials from the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda.
The facilitator was Fiona Hinds, Q.C., the partner at Carrington & Sealy law firm in Barbados with responsibility for the Intellectual Property Group.
Professor Velma Newton, CBE, SCM, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice opened the proceedings with a brief overview of the IMPACT Justice Project and background to the workshop. She mentioned that the initiative was undertaken at the request of the OECS Commission to provide the Member States with sensitization training on Intellectual Property Rights.
Hinds explained the process of creating intellectual property rights, owning, exploiting, infringing and fair usage of the rights. During these sessions, she advocated for favourable consideration to be given by regional governments to a harmonized approach in dealing with Intellectual Property. Her view is that the region should have one standard set of rules to govern intellectual property rights such as copyright and trademarks. Currently, varying provisions in different countries exist which allows for different treatment of an intellectual creation based on the country.
During the training sessions, Hinds, took the participants through the key provisions of the legislation of each country represented and also made comparisons with the intellectual property laws which govern Barbados and Jamaica.