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Haiti Seeks To Modernize IP Regime, Will Receive WIPO Support

by Robert Lee, for LawAndTax-News.com, London

29 September 2006


The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr Kamil Idris on Tuesday pledged the Organization’s support to Haiti in modernizing its intellectual property (IP) infrastructure.

This came during a meeting in Geneva on the sidelines of the WIPO Assemblies, between Dr Idris and Haiti’s Minister of Culture and Communication, Daniel Elie. Elie informed the Director General of his Government’s commitment to upgrade the IP infrastructure in Haiti and join an agreement established between WIPO and several Caribbean countries in December 2003.

Dr Idris welcomed Haiti’s commitment to upgrading the intellectual property system in that country. He highlighted the importance of IP as a tool for development and shared his views on the best way to maximize the potential of IP as a tool for wealth creation. The Minister signed the agreement, which is designed to further strengthen cooperation between WIPO and several Caribbean countries in the field of IP, on behalf of his country.

The agreement establishes the terms of a project that is designed to support closer integration of the region into the global economy by fostering technological innovation, creativity and competitiveness through intensive and effective mobilization and use of intellectual property.

The project supports ongoing regional initiatives for economic development and integration of IP policies and strategies into government economic and social development plans at regional and national levels. It creates conditions for the development, protection, ownership, management and use of IP assets in the region, by fostering technological innovation, business competitiveness and cultural industries.

The project also promotes technology transfer, the strengthening of regional research and development initiatives, encouragement of local invention and creativity, promotion of an IP culture and the forging of national and regional identity and branding.

The other participating governments include Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Elie informed the Director General that the Haitian Government has established an autonomous copyright office and requested WIPO’s support, particularly in the field of human resources training and infrastructure support for the development of this office. He also requested assistance in launching a public awareness campaign in Haiti to sensitize the general public to the importance of IP.

The Director General pledged WIPO’s support in establishing a national focused action plan for the development of Haiti’s copyright system and any other support requested by the Haitian Government to further enhance the IP infrastructure in that country.


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