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The Cayman Islands has published the new Trade Marks Bill 2016, which introduces major changes to its trade mark laws. The commencement date is yet to be announced, but it is expected to enter into force in early 2017.
The bill introduces independent national laws for the application and registration of trade marks in the Cayman Islands, thus abolishing the current system of the extension/re-registration of national UK and EU registrations.
Therefore, from 2017, applications in the Cayman Islands will (inter alia) be examined on absolute and relative grounds and there will be provisions for opposition and revocation for non-use. Trade mark proprietors will still need to pay annual fees in order to maintain a registration in the Cayman Islands.
In view of the impending changes, if you intend seeking trade mark protection in the Cayman Islands, you are advised to do so before the end of the year in order to take advantage of the current, simpler, trade mark regime (where possible).
If you would like further advice on this matter, please get in touch with your usual Wilson Gunn contact or give us a call on 08444 77 00 22.
This new Trade Marks Bill 2016 will be implemented in the Cayman Islands on 1 August 2017 meaning that from this date on the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office will only accept national Cayman Islands applications, filed by a registered agent in the Cayman Islands. However trade marks already registered under current law will remain in force and be treated in the same manner as new national trade mark registrations from 1 August 2017.