Senate passes Patents and Designs Bill

Government Senator Pearnel Charles Jr piloted the bill through the Senate.

The Patents and Designs Bill, which is aimed at modernising Jamaica’s intellectual property regime, has been passed in the Senate.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who piloted the legislation, said it will impact positively on the country’s economic development.

“It will allow us to raise our standards and to have international compliance in several aspects and safeguard the inventors in our country. Through this Bill, [inventors] will receive much more protection, and hence there will be greater promotion of creativity and efforts to find solutions to our challenges,” he said at the passing of the bill last Wednesday (Jan 23).

Senator Charles Jr noted that the bill repeals the Patents Act and the Designs Act, which were enacted in 1857 and 1937 respectively, and fulfils Jamaica’s international obligations in relation to the protection of intellectual property. He said that deficiencies in the existing Acts have precluded Jamaica’s involvement in international arrangements. “Both of those laws lack the requisite level of protection and application that is consistent with international norms and practices in the field of patents and designs,” he noted.

Opposition Senator Kevan Gayle.

For his part, Senator Kavan Gayle said the Bill will ensure that Jamaica has one of the most modern and useful patents systems in the world. He pointed to the need for a robust education programme to support the legislation.