Jamaica Gov’t copyrights “Jamaican Jerk” label

Labels claiming their products as authentic “Jamaican Jerk” will be held to a higher standard, following the government’s successful application trade marking the phrase. The claim now has a geographical indication (GI) system in place, requiring all products with that specific claim to be produced in Jamaica, or be companies based in Jamaica.

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton, says the GI system is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Similar protections are in place for other iconic products, such as Mexican tequila and French Champagne. Jamaica is the first first English-speaking country in the region to register an indigenous product.

Plans are also in place to extend the GI marker to the nation’s non-wines-and-spirits. Minister Hylton says this means that all goods for which GI protection exists would be protected against the use of phrases like ‘Jamaican-style’, ‘Jamaican type’ and ‘Jamaican kind’ by producers who seek to ride on the goodwill of authentic Jamaican products.


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