Intellectual Property Caribbean Association to promote IP rights in the Caribbean region
The Caribbean is a region of complexity: it comprises 30 territories, 13 of which are sovereign states, while 17 are territories dependent of European nations. The region also comprises the mainland countries of Belize, Colombia and Venezuela, as well as Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Another factor adding to the intricacy is the fact that there is no unified culture or language (Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, Creole variants and Papiamento are among the languages spoken in the Caribbean).
Each independent country, dependent territory or even colony operates under its own set of laws and IP policy, and lawyers from the region have found that there is a general lack of understanding or knowledge of IP practice from other practitioners and IP owners from around the world.
Against this background, with the purpose of spreading valuable information about the Caribbean and promoting legislation and policies to strengthen enforcement and prosecution within the region, a group of law firms formed the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA) in 2014. IPCA held its first meeting in May 2015.
In November 2015 the current members met in Miami, Florida to appoint IPCA’s first board of directors. IPCA’s website at 'www.ipca.website' is under construction and will provide comprehensive information on each member country’s legislation and practice, as well as a directory of member law firms. IPCA’s committee members will endeavour to aid their governments and patent and trademark offices, as well as promote co-operation with other IP associations around the world.
Currently, IPCA has 44 members representing 23 Caribbean countries, among which are: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
IPCA members are inviting IP practitioners and law firms from all Caribbean territories to join the association.
Such territories can be divided as follows:
the British West Indies;
the US Virgin Islands (formerly the Danish West Indies);
the Western Virgin Islands (Leeward Islands);
the British Virgin Islands;
the Dutch West Indies;
the French West Indies;
the Portuguese West Indies;
the Spanish West Indies; and
the Swedish West Indies.
Zaida Lugo, Angeles & Lugo Lovaton, Santo Domingo
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