by Khaila Gentle
BELMOPAN, Mon 17 October 2022
A new amendment to the Patent Act may soon improve the efficiency of offices dealing with patent and trademark matters.
Belize’s patent law, while unfamiliar to most people, is the legislation that offers local musicians, authors, producers and other creators some degree of protection for their intellectual property rights through copyright. , trademarks and patents. A new amendment to this law, which was introduced in the House of Representatives this week, is expected to make the trademark and patent filing process a little more efficient by placing a practicing registrar at the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO).
During Monday’s House of Representatives meeting, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Hon. Francis Fonseca, presented the second reading of a bill for the amendment of Chapter 253 of the Patent Act. This amendment, he said, would remove the role of Registrar of Intellectual Property from the Solicitor General’s portfolio of functions and instead assign those functions to a Registrar based at BELIPO.
BELIPO, established under Chapter 253 of the Patents Act, is the sole intellectual property registry in the country, responsible for the protection of copyrights, designs, patents and trademarks.
According to Minister Fonseca, the new amendment would also allow greater administrative and operational efficiency for the offices of patent examiners, patent agents, trademark supervisors and trademark examiners.
The bill received the unwavering support of the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Shyne Barrow, who as a former hip-hop artist and former CEO of the Belize Society of Composers and Authors, said he knows how important intellectual property is.
“I fought very hard, even engaging with the previous administration to protect the rights of artists. So I’m glad this administration is taking the creative sector seriously in this bill,” he said during the House’s discussion of the bill.