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Barbados exploring intellectual property rights business opportunities

This disclosure was made recently by minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Maxine McClean, during a meeting with director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Dr Francis Gurry.

McClean stated that Barbados recognised the business opportunities created by the application of intellectual property to commercial activities. 

She shared that one very positive element was that many young Barbadians viewed innovation and the application of their intellectual property rights as offering significant business opportunities. 

The minister was therefore optimistic that smart partnerships could be created between Barbadians in the Diaspora and at home to stimulate greater interest and build viable and rewarding networks.

The WIPO director general commented on the internet divide, where most developing countries were characterised as being content rich but distribution poor. He noted however, that Barbados had started to address this issue, as evidenced by the filing of a high number of patent applications in the area of intellectual property rights. 

Gurry identified sports as an attractive area for possible intellectual property development, with specific reference to cricket and the potential for the monetisation of its global appeal. 

McClean shared this position, adding that the shorter version of the game was attracting large global audiences, with the associated rights creating significant business opportunities. 

The two officials exchanged views on Barbados’ intellectual property regime and prospects for the future of intellectual property in small developing countries. Barbados currently chairs the WIPO working group on the establishment of a Caribbean patent system.

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