SPECIAL	                                                                       OTN	Update	               OFFICE OF TRADE N...
                                                                                       2    Chubby. But as noted earlier, ...
                                                                                         3    heavily in the digital envir...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

OTN Special Update - A Creative Contribution to Industry and the Competitiveness of Small Caribbean States

1,610

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,610
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

OTN Special Update - A Creative Contribution to Industry and the Competitiveness of Small Caribbean States

  1. 1. SPECIAL OTN Update  OFFICE OF TRADE NEGOTIATIONS   … for trade matters   October 16, 2012         INDUSTRIAL DESIGN   A creative contribution to industry and the competitiveness of small Caribbean States        “Industrial design is the professional service of creating and The creativity of the Caribbean has been recognized   developing concepts and specifications that optimize the globally in many fields, although it is more particularly function, value and appearance of products and systems for known in the arts than the sciences. Clear examples of   the mutual benefit of users and manufacturers.”1 course lie within music and entertainment services, including literature. But in very few fields has this creativity   The small open economies of the Caribbean have relied for through the use of clear artistic merit been applied to decades on being able to produce and provide commodity globally competitive industrial output. Those niches where products  to proximate markets more competitively in terms of this has occurred have rarely, if ever, expanded beyond the price than producers from further locations. As the decreasing artisanal or small scale production for local or regional costs of  the international production and distribution of similar markets. Examples largely arise in the fashion industry in or substitute commodities decreased the relative the area of clothing and accessories design and production,   competitiveness of Caribbean producers, they began to rely including jewellery, handbags and shoes. This limitation in more and more heavily on their competitive position being global expansion no doubt also demonstrates, amongst   protected through advantageous market conditions in other things2, the lack of application of relevant industrial preference to their competitors. These preferential market skill to abundant artistic output.   conditions have now been eroding for some time and so there is an urgent need to identify new competitive strategies that One globally competitive Caribbean product that has taken   would differentiate Caribbean products, both goods and advantage of a unique industrial design to create something services, in ways that would make consumer choices less of a monopolistic global market share is the design of a sensitive  to price differences. bottle for a carbonated beverage produced by SM Jaleel & Company Limited from Trinidad and Tobago, called   OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  2. 2.   2 Chubby. But as noted earlier, there are far fewer examples recognition of, and acceptance of, a unique national or than might be expected from a region that has demonstrated Caribbean sensibility in design, first and foremost by the such globally appreciated creativity. Caribbean itself. Good industrial designs, like other innovations, can be, and A second issue that needs to be addressed also within the   often are, copied by other competitors, thus losing the context of education and training is working with competitive advantage that they provide. Intellectual property enterprises, particularly micro-, small and medium   laws provide the creators or owners of a design with the legal enterprises (MSMEs), on the use of design as a part of their right to exclude others from using the design without requisite competitive strategy. Business support organizations must   permission. Intellectual property rights therefore broaden the themselves obviously become acquainted with the use of scope of successful commercial possibility for industrial design as part of such strategy in order to include it in their designs   from their exclusive use by Caribbean manufacturers service offering to MSMEs. This understanding of the use to include the licensing of designs to manufacturers globally. and valuation of industrial design by MSMEs will drive the   The question to address then is how can the Caribbean demand for the skills eventually expected to be available expand the creation of unique and successful industrial from the education effort. But it can nevertheless take designs  for use by either Caribbean or global manufacturers. advantage of the existing talent.   There are four or five issues that will need to be addressed in A third issue pertains to the establishment of an appropriate order to improve the use of industrial design by Caribbean legal framework for the protection of intellectual property   firms, both as a competitive tool by manufacturers, and as a and an understanding of how it should be used in the weightless3 product by designers; and, in terms of enforcement of intellectual property rights. In the context of   implementation, they can perhaps be addressed industrial design, as with other innovations, it must be simultaneously. Many are already being addressed. recognized that several intellectual property rights can be   used, depending on different aspects of the industrial What can be done? design. For the purely aesthetic aspect of original industrial   designs, in other words designs not dictated by technical or The first issue, although the one that requires the longest to functional considerations, industrial design rights provide provide  returns, is training industrial designers. This subject protection. Copyright can also be used to protect this type should, and can easily, be integrated into the existing of aesthetic design, but industrial design generally also curriculae of both the Arts and the Sciences teaching   includes aspects related to utility that, if they meet the programmes at all levels of the education system. required criteria, can be protected by either utility Nevertheless, if one accepts that there is a high level of   certificates or patents. creativity generally, its introduction at the post-secondary level might bring the fastest returns. The establishment of National   Ensuring effective enforcement of industrial design rights, a Design Centres would serve many needs and should include fourth issue to be considered, requires three components to an Industrial Design component.   be in place. One is awareness of how intellectual property rights are used competitively and the demonstrated In the context of small economies relatively advanced in their   capacity to use these rights in the internal market. A second integration process, it is tempting to consider the establishment is awareness by border agencies and measures that allow of a regional Caribbean Design Centre. The challenge or risk   for action to be taken by them. The third is to have external that this would pose, however, is that the work of the Centre market arrangements that allow for easy acquisition of the then becomes too distant from the regional manufacturers that   rights and similar scope of protection to ensure that similar are its key target clients. One approach to overcome the action can be taken in those markets. This harmonisation of conundrum that smaller economies might not have the scale or   legal frameworks and decision-making is already taking resources for a national Centre would be to use a regional place both within regional integration arrangements and Open Campus to provide this training virtually. Such Centres,   multilaterally. whether national or regional, in addition to striving for eventual recognition as Centres of Excellence, should themselves have   Other issues that need to be addressed include having some distinguishing advantage over others. This will require sufficient information and communications capacity to trade   OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  3. 3.   3 heavily in the digital environment; having broad networks and species from both. relationships with manufacturers and users of globally competitive industrial designs; having strong digital data This ready access to a tremendous range of biological diversity protection and trade secret legislation; and having robust provides the Caribbean with an opportunity to examine closely competition policies, laws and institutions.   how nature solves problems that are currently germane to the human condition. These include the efficient use and Defining Caribbean creativity   conservation of water, energy and light, all part of what might be called eco-innovation. Creating the environment for Caribbean creative expression to   insert itself into global value chains at a point that provides It may well be that focusing on biomimicry as a key design best returns for input costs is not, on its own, enough. The   philosophy will not only help Caribbean design creativity find its Caribbean will need to create for itself in the global market a unique expression, but could, along with an understanding of the sense of expression that is recognizably from the Caribbean.   competitive use of intellectual property rights, help leapfrog industry and enterprise in the small States of the Caribbean into In this, the diversity of the Caribbean and the knowledge it   a globally competitive frontier. holds as traditional become both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage in the sense that its various “Industrial Design and Competitiveness” was written by Malcolm Spence   influences provide fertile ground for innovation, including in – Senior Coordinator, Intellectual Property, Science and Technology creative design expression. In terms of global appeal then, Issues of the Office of Trade Negotiations. The article was first published   in the fourth issue of the Caribbean Creatives magazine, which is because this diverse expression would be recognizable in produced by the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, globally diverse markets it should readily have global market   Policy and Services under the Creative Industry Exchange (CIE). The CIE appeal. is a web portal that provides a regional mechanism for the collection,   collation, analysis and dissemination of data and information on On the other hand because many, if not most, of these cultural/creative industries. Caribbean Creatives is available online at influences  come originally from other places, the resultant www.creativeindustriesexchnage.com expression will struggle to find definition as uniquely Caribbean. It is nevertheless a necessary struggle for   ******************  differentiation to improve the competitiveness of small Caribbean  States. Finding a  Competitive Frontier   As the unique Caribbean expression is slowly unearthed it may ________________________    well be strategic to focus design attention on some area in 1 This definition is from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA): which the Caribbean could join in global leadership. It is this http://www.idsa.org/content/content1/industrial-design-defined author’s contention that an opportunity is currently presenting 2 Other constraints include, for example, lack of sufficient external market itself in an evolving discipline called biomimicry4. knowledge and access, lack of productive capacity (like machinery and equipment), and some would argue, lack of finance. 3 A “weightless” product is one that has little or no cost involved with its physical The Caribbean is recognized as a hot spot of biodiversity5 for relocation to the consumer. This covers goods that have a high value to weight several reasons. In many of the islands the intensity of ratio, like many essential oils, and products in the digital environment. In this indigenous biological diversity is high and it is easily context it also includes the permission granted through a legal license to use an accessible. Two of the States within the Caribbean Community intellectual property right in accordance with specific terms and conditions. 4 See, for example, http://www.asknature.org/ and http://biomimicry.net/ . (CARICOM), Guyana and Suriname, are part of the ecosystem Biomimicry uses an examination of nature to solve human problems. in and around the Amazon Basin and are Members of the 5 See, for example, CARICOM Interests in Relation to Biodiversity and Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO)6. As such Intellectual Property Rights in the context of the FTAA Negotiations, Paolo they have access to a tremendous range of biological diversity. Bifani, 2001 6 This Treaty aims, amongst other objectives, at the conservation and Belize, another CARICOM country, shares a Central American sustainable use of renewable natural resources and sustainable development forest that lies at the cross-road between the tropical south and temperate  north and as such particularly shelters endangered OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org

×