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Law Enforcement Officers Train to Tackle Counterfeiting

Government 08 Jul, 2024 Follow News

(From left to right) - CIIPO Director - Candace Westby, the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Director of the Intellectual Property Rights Unit - Victor Barrett; Maples Partner Quentin Cregan, and Livingston, Alexander and Levy Partner - Mikhail Jackson during a panel discussion following the presentatio

Law enforcement officers and civil service officials came together recently to learn more about the local and international frameworks that support intellectual property (IP) rights enforcement in the Cayman Islands.

More than 30 officers, from the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce, Department of Commerce and Investment, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and Customs and Border Control, participated in the 18 June session at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, which focused heavily on the importance of combatting counterfeiting.

Organised by the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office (CIIPO), the workshop aimed to build participants’ capacity in the area of intellectual property rights enforcement, in particular the risks to public health and safety that counterfeiting poses. It follows a recent increase in the trading, importation and sale of counterfeit goods on island, which are criminal offences under the Trade Marks Act, (2016).

The comprehensive training included collaborative best practices and case studies in anticounterfeiting; the legal framework for IP rights enforcement; investigative techniques and operational strategies for addressing counterfeiting. Also on the agenda were presentations that explored how products by various international brands can be identified as counterfeit.

Facilitators were CIIPO Director Candace Westby; Maples Partner Quentin Cregan; the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Director of the Intellectual Property Rights Unit, Victor Barrett; and Livingston, Alexander and Levy Partner, Mikhail Jackson.

“This workshop featured distinguished local and international experts with approximately 40 years’ combined experience combating counterfeit and piracy crimes. Their insights and strategies significantly enriched our training session which CIIPO sees as an important early step towards Government-wide collaboration on this critical subject. We are incredibly grateful to our enforcement and policy partners for taking the time to attend.” Mrs. Westby said.

Interim Director of the Department of Commerce and Investment, Claudia Brady commented “As one of the enforcement agencies responsible for enforcing the Trade Marks Act 2016, the DCI is very pleased to be part of this training initiative which provided particularly important information that will assist our investigations going forward. We left with pertinent knowledge about identifying counterfeit goods, the techniques of those intent on breaking the law and more in-depth knowledge of the legislation.”

From a policy perspective, Senior Policy Advisor at MFSC, Risha Pragg-Jaggernauth, noted that the sessions provided invaluable insights into the complexities of IP law and its crucial role in protecting creative endeavours.

Ms Pragg-Jaggernath added that: “Engaging with experts and fellow participants deepened my understanding of IP strategies and their application in various industries. I’m excited to leverage this knowledge in my professional journey, and eventually see maximum protection of intellectual property assets in the Cayman Islands.”

Officials expect that the workshop will increase the skills and abilities of the enforcement personnel who participated and also enhance inter-agency collaboration between the key stakeholder agencies.

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