WIPR Influential Women in IP 2019
IP office interview: Saint Lucia
Browne herself had a very limited knowledge of IP
before joining the office, but she was determined to
learn and to help others understand the benefits of IP.
Seven years ago, Browne became deputy registrar, after
only three years as an associate in legal chambers.
“Interest in IP was growing in the Caribbean region
and I wanted to be part of that new movement,”
she says. “I wanted to, and still very much want to,
promote IP in Saint Lucia and across the region.”
Under the mentorship of the then-registrar and
the completion of several World Intellectual Property
Organization courses, Browne was ready for her next
challenge. When the post of registrar became vacant
in 2017, she seized the opportunity.
Has she faced any challenges throughout her career
because of her gender? The answer is a resounding ‘no’.
Browne’s young age has been more of an issue,
she says. Just three years out of law school, she was
dealing with senior officials and executives with years
of experience on her. Some of these people appeared
to be less than impressed by Browne’s age—to
“If you wow a person with your knowledge, they
will look past your age and focus on your experience.
After that, it’s all smooth sailing,” she explains.
Browne’s work has been positively influenced
by strong female IP office registrars across the
Caribbean, women that Browne works closely with
and highly respects.
And role models are exactly what female innovators
in the Caribbean need, adds Browne.
She says: “Women are and always have been a
critical part of the IP system and, particularly in the
Caribbean, where many of the IP office heads are
female, they’ve worked tirelessly to promote IP.
“However, we need to promote female role models
and highlight their success stories, so that innovators
can have someone to look up to.”
At least in Saint Lucia, women are moving to
the forefront of innovation, expressing interest to
the registry on how to register their creative works
and benefit from the economic gains of protection,
according to Browne.
For her, driving an increase in the participation of
women in the IP and innovation industries comes in
the form of more training and financial support.
“This would make a huge difference. Many women
have great ideas that could revolutionise industries,
but I’m sure the cost and lack of understanding of IP
discourages them,” she says.
Browne adds that diversity could be attainable
if women were to be given greater access to
funding opportunities for research and product
While the office provides advice and workshops,
there’s nothing specifically geared towards women
and IP on the island. But there is potential,
particularly with Browne at the helm. l
This leaves little time for providing public
outreach, but it’s an aspect of her job that Browne
feels strongly about.
In honour of World IP Day on April 26, 2018, the
registry hosted a two-day commemorative event, aimed
at providing information and understanding, along
with an opportunity for those looking to register their
IP with a face-to-face interaction with registry staff.