Jamaican Government Protects Nation’s Brand, Copyrights “Jamaican Jerk”

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Jamaica now has a Geographical Indication (GI) system designed to protect the country from anyone who attempts to capitalize on “brand Jamaica.” Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, notes the GI system indicates that products originate from a specific geographical spot and have certain qualities and reputation linked to that place of origin. As a result of the system, Jamaica, which is known for its jerk seasoning can now protect the label “Jamaican Jerk” from misrepresentation around the world, just as France protects the label “Champagne” and Mexico protects its Tequila. By instituting the GI system, Jamaica becomes the first country in the Caribbean to register a local product. Hylton said additional steps will be put in place to protect the nation’s name and other brands from misuse. The Protection of Geographical Indications Act will be amended to provide greater GI protections to non-wines-and-spirits as well.

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Stephanie Korney