Handling Trademark in the Caribbean: What you need to know Filing Strategies – Where and how to seek protection

MINIÑO TIP by Yvie François and Urko Ochoa

The Caribbean is becoming an increasingly attractive region for foreign investment due to the fiscal and economic incentives offered by most of its territories.

At MINIÑO we provide coverage in 27 jurisdictions, comprising all islands with independent trademark systems, namely, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands (aka BES Islands, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba), Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos, plus the continental territories of Belize, Guyana and Suriname.

• In Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Caribbean Netherlands, Cuba, Curacao, Jamaica, St. Maarten and Trinidad & Tobago, one may opt for a Madrid Protocol application as filing alternative.

  • In Guyana, one may opt for a re-registration of a UK registration, the only way to obtain protection for a service mark.
    • In French Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Barth, trademark registration is not necessary. These are considered French territories, where local registration is not required. French marks enjoy automatic protection and can be enforced without any additional action.
    • Same applies to the French side of the tiny island of St. Martin, where the southern side (named St. Maarten) is a Dutch territory with independent Trademark Laws and register.
    • The US Virgin Islands only allows re-registration of US Federal marks. However, a US Federal mark would be automatically enforceable, provided there is local use, without re-registration.At Miniño, we regularly assist intellectual property owners in developing their filing strategies. If you have any inquiries or require further information, please feel free to contact Urko Ochoa (urko.ochoa@minino.com.do) or Arlene Herrera (arlene.herrera@minino.com.do).
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