Monday, April 26, 2021 — Entrepreneurs and innovators in the Eastern Caribbean now have additional support to scale-up and expand their enterprises. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the regional legal and regulatory architecture necessary to support the protection and monetization of intangible assets and other forms of intellectual property in the region.
This revised agreement represents a new chapter in an ongoing collaboration between the two entities aimed at ensuring the value of OECS creativity and innovation is properly harnessed and protected.
The Caribbean remains one of the most diverse regions of the world, due in large part to its unique history as a cultural melting pot. Today, this potent mixture of multiculturalism, openness, and ingenuity can be seen in the region’s art, tasted in its cuisine, and heard in its music. Further, countries of the OECS are embracing its regional identity as Large Ocean States with a rejuvenated focus on innovations in the Blue Economy sector.
At the virtual signing ceremony on Thursday, April 22, 2021, Director General of WIPO Daren Tang, in recognizing the region’s diverse economic value and its contribution to sustainable development, gave his commitment to continue building on the existing partnership between OECS and WIPO. He welcomed the MOU as a new chapter in this relationship.
“I think the OECS model can serve as a model for the regional patent system in the Caribbean region and beyond. We’ve got very new and exciting areas of work that is taking intellectual property away from the very technical and legal route to something that is going to be connected to businesses, especially to micro and small enterprises.”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a global disruption to the business sector, exposing shortfalls and gaps in operations. Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed the lessons learned from these disruptions because one of the outcomes was the accelerated thrust by the OECS to create a more enabling environment for the protection of intellectual property for OECS businesses.
“We need to reevaluate the role of intellectual property as part of the response and rebuilding process to reposition our businesses in the global economy. The question of patents, copyrights and intellectual property is critical for us to maintain our niche advantages.”