Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 21, 2021 (SKNIS): Officials within the Intellectual Property Office of St. Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN)outlined and explained four basic types of IP rights and protections including trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets, all of which are important to establishing rightful ownership and preventing the unlawful use of one’s property.
“…When you start thinking about the algorithms and the circuit boards and apps, the physical component of it, provided that they are new – and new means does not exist anywhere else in the world – they could be subject to a patent. So when we start talking about things that are new and they add a new element to solving a problem then we start talking about patents,” said Jihan Williams, Registrar of Intellectual Property Office of St. Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN), on the August 18 edition of ‘Working for You’.
Ms. Williams touched on trademark protection which refers to phrases, words or symbols that distinguish the source of a product or services of one party from another.
“We start talking about trademarks when we think about things that distinguish goods and services from one another. So if I place two bottles of water in front of me with no label you would not know which one is Dasani and which is Island Purified unless you have a visual sign of which one is Dasani and Island Purified,” said Ms. Williams.
Another important type of IP right is copyright and this is used to protect expressions of ideas and creations like art and writing.
“We talk about copyright for original pieces of literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, also with broadcasting, cable programming and arranged published editions of works as well. So when you talk about those original pieces of work then copyright comes into play,” she said. “Dramatic refers to movies, theatre productions, and music. Literary works relate to works intended to be spoken or sung and artistic are the visual works – the photography, paintings and sculptures. They would be protected under copyright if they are original.”
Assistant Registrar at IPOSKN, Nicola St. Catherine, spoke about trade secrets which refer to specific, private information that is important to a business because it gives the business a competitive advantage in its marketplace.
“The exploitation of one’s intellectual property is where you may derive your bread and butter. And trade secrets, you cannot protect what you have not divulged or exposed as this is what I want protected,” said Ms. St. Catherine. “Trade Secrets are such that your best way is to protect your intellectual property is to simply keep it to yourself. The day that gets out in public you have lost all benefits. You may still have some kind of right but it will be a hard sell to prove it.”
She noted that trademarks, patents and industrial designs require a description and for persons to elaborate on what their properties are so that officials can know what it is they are protecting and assist accordingly. However, when it comes to trade secrets that is a different story as they won’t be able to assist given the nature.