BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — On January 12, 25 and 28; February 1, 4, 11 and 15 the Canadian government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) project sponsored a virtual workshop via Zoom for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states on Intellectual Property Rights.
The facilitator of the workshop 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 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.
Participants in attendance came from the islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis; Antigua and Barbuda.
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.
Participants at these sessions came from a wide range of professional backgrounds including but not limited to registrars, deputy registrars, attorneys-at-law, business owners, representatives of the creative arts, magistrates and government officials. The participants had high praise for the facilitator. She in turn reported that it was an honour to work with the group because of the high level of their engagement evidenced by their comments and questions.