International Reggae Day Focuses on Intellectual Property Rights for July 1

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irdbanner_edit.jpgIn recognition of International Reggae Day, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) in association with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), present the IRD Copyright Forum at the Terra Nova Hotel on July 1st. JIPO's ongoing work to heighten public awareness on the importance and economic value of Intellectual Property Rights and the need for the protection of these rights, will gain momentum and additional support with the July 1st forum which is open to the public. Produced annually as a virtual media reggae festival hosted by Jamaica, IRD seeks to combine the power of music, media and technology to celebrate and highlight the power and impact of Jamaican culture around the world.

IRD 2008 joins with the Toots Foundation in a one-year campaign to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Reggae as defined by the 1968 recording of Do the Reggae by Toots and the Maytals, which is credited with giving the genre its name.

According to JIPO's Executive Director, Ms. Carol Simpson, "JIPO is the Government agency responsible for managing the intellectual property system in Jamaica and one of our objectives for the forum is update the business, financial and creative communities on the developments in the copyright sector, nationally and internationally."

Participants at the forum will have an opportunity to hear the important findings of the recently released WIPO Report on the contribution of the Jamaican Copyright to the national economy from its author, UWI Lecturer and Economist Dr. Vanus James.

Speaking to the growing practice of using Intellectual Property as an asset for accessing loans and venture capital will be WIPO guest speaker, Laurent Manderieux, Professor of Intellectual Property Law at L. Bocconi University of Milan, Italy, Associate Professor of Copyright Law at the University of Francophone States, and Visiting Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Trento, Italy.

No stranger to Jamaica, Professor Manderieux developed the 'WIPO Outreach Plan For Strengthening Public Awareness Of Intellectual Property Rights At A National Level in Jamaica', as well as the Outreach Plan For Strengthening Public Awareness Of Intellectual Property Rights in the Caribbean.

In confirming WIPO's decision to co-sponsor the IRD Copyright Forum, Ms. Francesca Toso, Senior Counsellor in the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau at WIPO stated that "It is a part of WIPO's mandate to assist all nations, particularly developing and least developed countries, in using the intellectual property (IP) system to promote their economic, social and cultural development. In this respect, WIPO is pleased to support JIPO and by extension, the Jamaican creative and business communities, in facilitating the discussions taking place on International Reggae Day. It is hoped that the forum will promote a greater understanding of the value of Intellectual Property as assets and how they may be better exploited to achieve individual and national economic benefits."