INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS SHOW INTEREST IN PROTECTING THEIR IP RIGHTS IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

Jihan Williams, Director of IPOSKN

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 19, 2019 (SKNIS): Several persons have shown interest in protecting their rights in St. Kitts and Nevis under the Intellectual Property (IP) Protection Framework, said Jihan Williams, Acting Registrar of the Intellectual Property Office of St. Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN), while appearing on the government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You” on June 19.

“We spend every day dealing with people who have clients from Australia, Canada, and Europe and all over the place. They recognize little St. Kitts and Nevis as a market they need to protect their creativity, their product, said Ms. Williams. “We have people who have gone through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and select St. Kitts and Nevis as one of the markets that they want to protect their invention in. So those are the ones that we see. Those are the ones that we receive.”

She spoke briefly about the different areas of applications the IPOSKN receives.

“In terms of the nature, we see a lot of pharmaceuticals, and lots of inventions relating to energy production. Particularly around 2008, 2009, 2010, when conversations about geothermal energy were very high, we saw a lot of energy type applications coming in,” she said.

Ms. Williams noted that Kittitians and Nevisians are very talented, however, the office has received less than “2 percent of trademark applications from locals.” She encouraged them to get their rights protected.

“No Kittitian or Nevisian has come to our office saying I have invented something and gone through the process of applying. We get people who come in and say, I think I have something, but they don’t follow through,” she said. “Our own people are out there… creating freely, selling freely, doing everything just freely and not protecting. So, it is something that we are addressing in terms of seeing how we could encourage more local filings.

The Intellectual Property Office of St. Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN) was established by Section 3 of the Patents Act (Cap 18.25) and is a Government department operating within the Ministry of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communications. Historically, the functions of the Office fell under the umbrella of the High Court Registry but, in order to give focused attention to intellectual property matters, the IPOSKN became a standalone department within the Ministry in 2011.

IPOSKN is responsible for administering all laws relating to intellectual property; processing applications for, administering and granting intellectual property rights, where applicable; carrying out studies, programmes and activities regarding intellectual property; promoting creativity and inventiveness among citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis; raising public awareness on intellectual property rights and issues, and collaborating with national, regional and international bodies, agencies or institutions, whether public or private, to promote the advancement of people through science, culture, commerce or any art insofar as intellectual property is concerned.

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