OECS signs MOU with World Intellectual Property Organization

OECS Media Release

Monday, April 26, 2021 — Entrepreneurs and innovators in the Eastern Caribbean now have additional support to scale-up and expand their enterprises.  The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the regional legal and regulatory architecture necessary to support the protection and monetization of intangible assets and other forms of intellectual property in the region.

This revised agreement represents a new chapter in an ongoing collaboration between the two entities aimed at ensuring the value of OECS creativity and innovation is properly harnessed and protected.

The Caribbean remains one of the most diverse regions of the world, due in large part to its unique history as a cultural melting pot. Today, this potent mixture of multiculturalism, openness, and ingenuity can be seen in the region’s art, tasted in its cuisine, and heard in its music. Further, countries of the OECS are embracing its regional identity as Large Ocean States with a rejuvenated focus on innovations in the Blue Economy sector.

At the virtual signing ceremony on Thursday, April 22, 2021, Director General of WIPO Daren Tang, in recognizing the region’s diverse economic value and its contribution to sustainable development, gave his commitment to continue building on the existing partnership between OECS and WIPO. He welcomed the MOU as a new chapter in this relationship.

“I think the OECS model can serve as a model for the regional patent system in the Caribbean region and beyond. We’ve got very new and exciting areas of work that is taking intellectual property away from the very technical and legal route to something that is going to be connected to businesses, especially to micro and small enterprises.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a global disruption to the business sector, exposing shortfalls and gaps in operations. Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed the lessons learned from these disruptions because one of the outcomes was the accelerated thrust by the OECS to create a more enabling environment for the protection of intellectual property for OECS businesses.

“We need to reevaluate the role of intellectual property as part of the response and rebuilding process to reposition our businesses in the global economy. The question of patents, copyrights and intellectual property is critical for us to maintain our niche advantages.”

About the OECS:

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an international inter-governmental organisation dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is an eleven-member grouping comprising of the full Member States of Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. These members are part of the Economic Union and received the full benefits of Economic Union including the free movement of people and goods, with the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe as Associate Members of the OECS.

About WIPO:

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. The organization is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.

WIPO’s mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Its mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

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