Attorney General Wilkin Highlights The Importance Of IP In Sports At WIPO Ministerial Meeting

Attorney General Hon. Garth Wilkin.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Honourable Garth Wilkin, Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis, addressed key stakeholders at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Ministerial Level Meeting on Intellectual Property for Caribbean Countries, on November 06, at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour, underscoring the critical role of intellectual property (IP) in the sports industry.

Attorney General Hon. Garth Wilkin.

AG Wilkin outlined the Federation’s strategy to bolster the sports industry through intellectual property (IP) during a session facilitated by WIPO Director General Daren Tang. With representatives from across the Caribbean region in attendance, AG Wilkin highlighted the unrecognized potential for sports monetization via IP, emphasizing the necessity for a paradigm shift.

“In a country, whose population hovers at between 45 and 50,000, we are proud of our home-grown international athletes,” said AG Wilkin. “It is now the time for us to change the course of history and utilize WIPO expertise to impact our next generation of athletes.”

The Honourable Attorney-General described the intersection of IP and sports as “immensely relevant,” where innovation and creativity extend beyond the playing field.

“Intellectual property rights are the lifeblood of the sports industry,” Minister Wilkin said, while using the evolution of the sports shoe as an example, explaining how each aspect, from patented technologies to trademarked design, constitutes a distinct product powered by IP.

The event served as a springboard for St. Kitts and Nevis to launch their journey in leveraging IP for sports. Recounting the beginnings of this journey.

“Our journey in IP and Sports started in 2021, when during our celebration of Kim Collins Day, WIPO hosted an IP and Sports webinar. This collaboration signifies a significant step toward our vision of becoming a sustainable island state,” he said.

AG Wilkin took the opportunity to unveil a collaborative initiative with WIPO, launched just a week prior, dedicated to bolstering the sports sector in St Kitts & Nevis. This strategic alliance aims to conduct an in-depth diagnostic review and enhance the understanding and use of IP in the sporting arena. He noted that the Federation’s investment in this initiative reflects the government’s unwavering commitment to national development. AG Wilkin said that by tapping into the vast potential of intellectual property within sports, St. Kitts and Nevis sets the stage for groundbreaking innovation, economic advancement, and heightened global stature.

The Attorney-General offered his heartfelt thanks to WIPO and all the partners involved, echoing DG Tang’s philosophy that “our people are our most important resource.” He showcased the diverse array of local talent, notably the IP Registrar, whose accomplishments as a singer, songwriter, and author embody the dynamic and inventive spirit of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Minister Wilkin said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, in partnership with WIPO, is setting the stage for a future where sports and IP not only coexist but thrive together, paving the way for a sustainable economic landscape rooted in the country’s rich athletic and creative prowess.

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