The new trade marks legislation in the Cayman Islands

La nouvelle législation marque aux îles CaïmansSince August 1, 2017, new dispositions have been added to the trademark laws in the Cayman Islands, following the implementation of the Trade Marks Law 2016. This new law has been announced in order to repeal the old law – The Patents and Trade Marks Law 2011. There are several important changes to the statutory regime applicable to trademarks in the Cayman Islands.

  1. Noteworthy Changes
  • Registration directly to the CIIPO: it is official; there is no prior need to register an English or European trademark in order to obtain trademark rights in the Cayman Islands. The CIIPO (Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office) is now authorized to receive registration requests for trademarks directly.
  • Opposition period: it is provided by paragraph 16 of the Trade Marks Law 2016. It takes effect at the date of publication of acceptance of the application, and lasts for 60 days. Previously, a trademark in the Cayman Islands was an extension of an English or European trademark, and there was no such opposition period.
  • Absence of revocation for non-use: the new law still has not introduced the possibility for revocation of a trademark because of non-use (§44 of the Trade Marks Law 2016).
  1. Temporal Applicability of the Law

For this purpose, the Trade Marks (Transitional provisions) Regulations 2017 was published on July 18, 2017. It clarifies the consequences of the new regulation on existing trademarks, pending proceedings, current infringements, assignments and transmission of registered trademarks, and licensing.

Starting August 01, 2017, existing trademarks will be transferred to the new registrar until their renewal date and they will be subjected to the new law. If the trademark is expired or pending for non-payment of annual fees, it will not be automatically transferred to the new registrar. In these instances, trademark owners will have to file for a new trademark application under the new law. Finally, pending disputes concerning a trademark registered under the old law as well as infringement cases also registered before the implementation of the new act will still be subjected to the old law.