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WIPO selects Saint Lucia for new study

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Contact: Julita Peter


Tuesday, March 24, 2009 – Saint Lucia has been selected as one of six territories in which a study is to be conducted for a new area of intellectual property- the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expression and Genetic Resources. This latest initiative was one of the resolutions passed at a ministerial meeting on Intellectual Property for Caribbean Countries in Barbados in 2006.


A seven-member working group comprising representatives from Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Lucia has been formed to carry out the study, which will result in the establishment of a regional framework on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expression and Genetic Resources. The group which is headed by the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Consultant and Regional Coordinator Mary-Ann Richards, met with key stakeholders in Saint Lucia on Monday March 23, for a national consultation.


“Intellectual property is a broad concept that could include any type of intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields,” said Desma Charles, Acting Registrar of Companies and Intellectual properties in Saint Lucia. “Hence the emergence of traditional knowledge, folklore and genetic resources which has become the subject of much discussion and which are now under consideration for much wide spread recognized protection.”


Charles further noted that Intellectual Property was a tool for economic growth and development, and that traditional knowledge, folklore and genetic resources were no exception to the economic potential of developing countries like Saint Lucia.


“The marketing and commercializing of tradition -based innovations and creations have major economic benefits and are capable for creating new trading opportunities for rights holders while contributing to sustainable development of the economy.
The value of Intellectual Property thus cannot be ignored,” Charles added.


The main purpose of Intellectual property rights is to promote and protect human intellectual creativity and innovation. The Intellectual Priority refers to the property resulting from creations of the mind and is generally divide into two main categories: Industrial Property and Copyright.

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