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Developments in law or practice in our jurisdictions

Cayman Islands: new intellectual property regime

Authors:
Publication Date:
17 August 2017

The Trade Marks Law 2016, the Patents and Trade Marks (Amendment) Law 2016 and the Design Rights Registration Law 2016 came into force on 1 August 2017, introducing a new intellectual property regime in the Cayman Islands.

Trade Marks

Under the previous legislation, trade mark protection in the Cayman Islands was obtained by extending the rights of a UK or EU registered trade mark. The Trade Marks Law 2016 establishes a stand-alone trade mark registration system for the Cayman Islands which no longer allows for the extension of UK or EU registered trade mark, and provides its own system of registration.

A local register of trade marks will be maintained by the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office (Register).

Trade marks recorded in the Cayman Islands prior to 1 August 2017 will be transferred to the Register and deemed registered under the new law until their renewal date under the previous legislation. Series marks will also remain protected until their next renewal date at which time they must be registered under the Cayman Act individually.

A trade mark proprietor must appoint a local registered agent to transact business with the Registry.

Patents

The Patents and Trade Marks (Amendment) Law 2016 eliminates all reference to trade marks. Unlike the new trade mark regime, there is no local registration process for patents. Protection of patent rights continues by way of extension of the UK or EU registration.

The new law prohibits the assertion of patent infringement in bad faith and provides remedies for aggrieved parties.

Design Rights

The Design Rights Registration Law 2016 allows existing registered UK and EU design rights to be extended to the Cayman Islands affording owners the equivalent rights and remedies as in the UK or EU. All extension applications must be made by the registered design right owner’s duly appointed registered agent.

Harneys is a registered intellectual property agent affiliated with CIIPO and is able to assist with all aspects of protecting intellectual property rights in the Cayman Islands.

For further information please contact the authors.