Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Ikechi Mgbeoji


Geographical Indications, International law, Intellectual property rights, Jamaica, Caribbean, European Union


The dissertation is a critical analysis of, and engagement with agricultural and food based geographical indications, the politics of development and international relations, and the prospects of forming reformist linkages between geographical indications and development in Jamaica and the Caribbeans intellectual property landscape. A net importer of intellectual property, Jamaica has yet to fully claim intellectual property as its own.

The dissertation proposes that geographical indication schemes should be envisaged, and practically function as part of Jamaicas development policy. This approach calls for a reformist approach to intellectual property in Jamaica, which includes an awareness of the pitfalls of being a repository base for the hegemons intellectual property ideals. I approach development and intellectual property rights in the Third World as two terms that are often incongruent with each other, absent a participatory and strategic approach to sustaining viable linkages between the two concepts. A counter-hegemonic intellectual property strategy for Jamaica and the Caribbean focuses on domestic and regional coalition building between key stakeholders, a path that is not without its challenges.

Blue Mountain coffee is used to illustrate and conceptualize a notion of intellectual property working from a Third World people based perspective: for the benefit of those who are often forgotten in Blue Mountain coffees value chain. I critically address domestic and international challenges that are likely to affect the positioning of geographical indications as an intellectual property asset of development in Jamaica. From the analyses, the most significant international issues relate to reciprocal rights recognition for geographical indications and product pricing, a factor that is dependent on consumer demand. Power and politics in the international relations of geographical indications impact its ability to be a counter-hegemonic force in Jamaicas intellectual property futures. The role of Jamaicas political culture in facilitating developmental changes through geographical indications is also crucial to the success of the initiative.

International jurisdictional differences over the precise scope of protection accorded to geographical indications are a significant obstacle to the advancement of rights domestically. The dissertation theoretically and practically tackles these issues, and suggest policy recommendations to overcome identified challenges.


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