It’s about time Trinidad and Tobago be considered a global entertainment mecca. After all, we’ve introduced to the world one of the greatest shows on earth: Carnival. No, not the one from South America.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of persons spend their vacation savings on a trip to Trinidad & Tobago to take part in the fun and sun. Millions of dollars are spent annually on ‘feting’, ‘liming’ and dancing with friends and family. It’s the place where the creative individual thrives and where expression is seldom restricted.
Yet, where does all this creativity and money end up?
We have recently explored ways to improve Trinidad and Tobago's use of Intellectual Property, which covers multiple industries.
Our culture and our Carnival season thrive on creative industries such as media, entertainment, music, fashion and technology, yet the business that is Carnival and its consequences to the individual are often misunderstood.
As a musician, artist or designer, where do you see the rewards of your effort?
Every artist, creative or business manager needs to think about the ways they make their financial returns, especially after being drained of their ingenuity every year.
Intellectual Property is one of, if not the only, way to ensure that your yearly effort stretches beyond the one-time performance contracts and the fashion parades.
One protection afforded to creatives come through Copyright laws, which protects literary works, films, music and artistic work, not just the idea. For all those budding performers who write their own work and perform their own shows, this is for you!
Taking on the challenge of understanding how this can afford you future success is a little price to pay for the rewards that it can potentially offer.
You won’t have to worry about someone else performing your song or using your lyrics again, unless you authorise them to do so.
That’s the power you gain by having copyright protection for your work!
Much of this copyright work has to be distributed, whether it be music or publishing, and tends to come at a cost. Copyright allows you to transfer the rights to a marketing or distribution company while you take compensation through royalties.
Keep in mind that the economic (and financial) rights for any copyright only lasts for 50 years after the death of the creator, but starts from the date of creation or fixation.
Thinking about how your family can benefit in case of emergencies?
This is their window of opportunity.
Trademarks are the type of protections that manage distinctive signs of goods and services.
Have you heard of the Carnival band TRIBE? You better believe that they are trademarked. Their performances locally and on the road have garnered enough support to secure their image, brand and idea.
Trademarks can help people distinguish or identify your product or service from others based on quality and specific characteristics it entails.
If you're the type of creative with specific signage or a product that you bring to market, a trademark ensures that you have the right to use them or authorise others to use them for a fee.
Guess what! You also get protection from the courts for any infringement of your trademark by others.
As a fashion designer, your work will be rewarded through Trademark rights for initiative and enterprise for financial profit and recognition, whether it be for Carnival or other,
Trademarks have some specific guidelines which you need to comply with to successful apply. These consist of drawings, symbols, and three dimensional signs along with recognisable features.
Not too concerned about the music or fashion industry, but see yourself creating something with your hands or mind? You don't need to look further than a Patent.
It’s an exclusive right (meaning you own the right to manage, develop or sell) to an invention, whether it be a product or process that provides a new way of doing something. It can also be something technical that solves a problem.
If you have the guts to create something truly unique, patent rights allow you the authorisation to grant or deny your inventions' commercial production, use, distribution or sale. Beware, your patent does have a time stamp attached to it. From the minute your patent expires, it becomes part of the public domain.
Given the beauty and creativity abundant in our twin-island state, it is hard to imagine that intellectual property is not in full force and is not the ‘go-to’ protection for what we offer the world.
What is your chosen pathway to success?