Copyright © 2000 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Two Winter 1999-Spring 2000 Numbers 1-2.
THEME: CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: ISSUES AND OPTIONS
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TO THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN:
WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York
445 West 59th Street
New York, New York 10019
Published Online: December 15, 2016
As the developing world enters the twenty-first century, it is faced with an unprecedented effort on the part of more developed nations seeking to protect and tighten their intellectual property rights. This article examines the importance of intellectual property to the Commonwealth Caribbean by focusing on several areas including the correlation between economic development and intellectual property rights. It contends that the more developed nations often exploit the weak patent laws and investment opportunities fueled by high unemployment and large debt burdens that are characteristic of the developing nations. To this end, the research examines the tangible benefits that a system of national and international protection of intellectual property rights would afford Caribbean nations. It advocates that the legal profession in the Caribbean region lobby for a revision of laws that potentially impede foreign investment or participation, copyright and patent legislation, and greater protection of cultural intellectual property. The importance of intellectual property rights to one Caribbean nation—Trinidad and Tobago—illustrates the dilemmas faced by member nations of the Caribbean region. The article concludes that in more recent years protection of these rights has become an important contributing factor to the nation's gross national product.