It brings me great pleasure to write that the new intellectual property laws we’ve talking about for weeks now will commence on August 1, 2017! Yes, that’s right around the corner. The Trade Marks; Design Rights Registration; and Patents Amendment laws will provide modernised protection for creators in the Cayman Islands. With trade marks, proprietors will be able to locally register them through one of the registered agents at CIIPO (the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office). Once registered with CIIPO, a trade mark will be valid for 10 years after which the owner may choose to renew their trade mark. The new Trade Marks Law also provides several remedies where a trade mark is being infringed. The law outlines what is considered to be infringement, such as using a sign that is identical or similar to a registered trade mark for commercial purposes. Furthermore, it empowers officers with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and Department of Commerce and Investment trade officers, to take necessary actions against infringement. For the first time in the Cayman Islands, you will also be able to record design rights as of August 1. Design rights will be recorded by CIIPO, based on the registration of a design in the U.K.
As you may recall from a previous column, design rights protect the shape and ornamental qualities of goods—such as the shape of a light fixture or a car. By registering your design with the UK IPO, you will be able to have that right extended in the Cayman Islands, which provides security for your creations right here on the ‘Rock’. I’ve said this quite a few times but it is worth repeating – IP rights are valuable assets to your business.
They can be used as security; or as revenue generators, through licensing and franchising. You can also use IP for marketing, to set your business apart from your competitors. You work hard to create your unique brand, product packaging or invention. You deserve to have it protected and be properly compensated for its use. If you’ve been waiting for the laws to commence, the time is nigh—so let’s get creating, Cayman!