Guyana joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and acceded to the Berne and Paris Conventions in late 1994. Guyana has not ratified a bilateral intellectual property rights agreement with the United States.
Registering a patent or trademark can take six months or longer, but even with a completed registration, no effective enforcement mechanisms exist to protect intellectual property rights. Patent and trademark infringement continues to be common. Local television stations, at times including the state-owned and operated National Communication Network (NCN), pirate and rebroadcast TV satellite signals with impunity. Most music, videos, and software for sale are pirated. Book piracy is also widespread, especially foreign textbooks. Some estimates show that illegally photocopied textbooks account for nearly one-third of local sales. HBO has an ongoing issue with local firms relating to alleged infringement of intellectual property rights.
Guyana’s laws have not been amended to fully conform to the requirements of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. In 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation and Ministry of Legal Affairs drafted TRIPS legislation, but the draft has not moved forward.
Your U.S. trademark registrations and patents will not necessarily protect you in Guyana. In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective protection of their intellectual property. For background, link to our article on Protecting Intellectual Property and Stopfakes.gov.
The U.S. State Department’s Investment Climate Statement also contains information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Guyana The U.S. Department of Commerce has a regional IP Attaché office based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who can provide advice and support to U.S. companies facing IPR issues in the region. Additionally, one may contact ITA’s Office of Standards and Intellectual Property Rights (OSIP) Director, Stevan Mitchell at Stevan.Mitchell@trade.gov.
IP Attaché Contact for Guyana
Av. Presidente Wilson, 147, 4th floor
20030-020 - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Tel. +55 21-3823-2499