On 14 October 2021, the sub-Project Steering Committee of the CarIPI project held a virtual meeting with the CARIFORUM Directorate, the intellectual property (IP) offices of its member states, the European Union and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to review progress. During the meeting, participants discussed and endorsed the third Annual Work Plan (AWP3) which is due to run from November 2021 to October 2022 and which includes four work packages.
In order to raise awareness of the benefits of intellectual property rights, as addressed under work package 1, the third annual work plan will include conducting economic studies to obtain better data for policymaking. Other activities will include the organisation of events on research cooperation, as well as on innovation and genetic resources. Creativity is another important aspect; in this respect a pilot project introducing IP in primary and secondary schools will be carried out.
Activities aimed at institutional strengthening and digitalisation (work package 2), will build on the foundations of previous work plans and will focus on interventions that support IPOs in the digitisation of their business processes and databases (i.e. IP tools and databases).
The project will continue to provide technical assistance to Haiti in modernising and digitalising the national trade mark system. Specialised training initiatives will be implemented for IPO examiners and IP representatives, while other activities will target customs and the judiciary, expanding the scope of previous interventions.
In terms of the harmonisation of laws and practices (work package 3), the CARIFORUM States will receive guidance on international IP treaties. Additionally, a study on regional cooperation in industrial designs will be carried out. This work package will also involve identifying and documenting common practices in trade mark and design systems, and assisting the CARIFORUM States with the plant variety rights registration framework.
Under work package 4 – generating value through IPR & business strategies – the CarIPI project will retain its focus on private sector initiatives through the mentorship programme initiated during AWP2. Entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their competitiveness through the strategic use of IP tools will receive assistance through this programme. Finally, an intellectual property B2B training programme will be organised in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency and other partners in the region.
Since its inception in November 2019, not only has CarIPI worked towards supporting the CARIFORUM States in implementing CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) commitments, it has also facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experience on how IP systems can better respond to the needs of SMEs so that they can to do business globally while safeguarding their IP.
CarIPI is an international cooperation project funded by the European Union and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It was set up to strengthen the intellectual property rights environment in the Caribbean region, to foster trade and investment, and to stimulate innovation and competitiveness in the private sector. As the ‘innovation and intellectual property rights’ component of the EPA support programme, CarIPI aims to contribute towards achieving the commitments and expected benefits of the EPA, thus laying the ground for a sustainable long-term regional framework and cooperation in the field of intellectual property. The project began on 01/11/2019 with an expected duration of 48 months. Following the signature of the amendment to the Contribution Agreement (Addendum no.1 signed by the parties on 10/05/2021) to increase funds to reach an EUIPO contribution of 30 % (EUR 1.2 million), the duration was extended by six months and the project will now run until 30 April 2024.