Intellectual property will be in focus tomorrow, Thursday April 26, as this country observes World Intellectual Property Day, under the theme: Visionary Innovators.

Deputy Registrar at the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO), Kevin Hunte, said intellectual property was already a "buzz word" in Barbados, especially as Government continues to push the cultural and creative industries.

"The two go hand-in-hand. For the cultural industry to really succeed it needs protection. The ambit of the law that would protect cultural industries and the expression of cultural industries would be intellectual property," he said.

However, Mr. Hunte pointed out that more people were now enquiring about intellectual property as the economic downturn forced people to seek out alternative sources of income.

He explained that someone who wrote a book, a song, or sculpted a piece of art, usually contacted the CAIPO office to find out how it could be protected, and also how it could be profitable.

The Deputy Registrar stated that while some people were aware of the concept of intellectual property, they were not aware of the aspects that applied to them and would call or visit the office.

"We have done a number of brochures; we have revamped the website so that people can go on it and get information," Mr. Hunte said.

He added that CAIPO had a mandate to provide education for intellectual property. "We have partnered with different agencies to get the information out there for the protection of intellectual property, not just dealing with trademarks," he stated.

To achieve this, the Deputy Registrar said his department partnered with the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Inc. (COSCAP) through an outreach programme in schools; conducted training for enforcement agencies; and partnered with the National Cultural Foundation by participating in seminars and workshops.

In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day tomorrow, CAIPO will be placing banners on its website, and distributing posters and flyers at its Belmont Road, St. Michael office to inform the public about copyright and other issues related to intellectual property.

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