Guyana crafting National Intellectual Property Strategy

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An Intellectual Property Strategy could be released next year, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge.

Addressing the media at his end of the year press conference at his South Road, Georgetown office on Thursday, the Minister said the Government is working with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to draft the blueprint and also review local laws related to the protection of intellectual property.

Though a draft Intellectual Property and Copyright legislation was prepared under the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration, it was never advanced.

“The idea is that we develop a National Intellectual Property Strategy (NIPS) which will be a blueprint so that we can move forward,” Minister Greenidge said.

The process, he said, can take up to six months and therefore should be completed by mid 2019.

The Minister also disclosed that work is ongoing with WIPO on the issue of a copyright legislation. In this case, a review of the current draft has been completed.

Guyana’s only law protecting copyrights is the British Copyright Act of 1956, which was adopted when the country became independent in 1966.

Other aspects being looked at include the industrial property legislation and work with the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs on the question of geographical indications which speaks to rights to maps of a specific area.

While copyright deals with the rights of authors of books and other writings including musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films; Industrial property refers to trademarks and distinctive signs along with innovations.

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