July 11, 2017

Cayman Islands: new intellectual property laws

On August 1, 2017, a series of new IP laws will come into force in the Cayman Islands. The Patent, Trade Marks and Design Rights Registration Laws were adopted on December 19, 2016, and the corresponding Regulations were published on May 26, 2017.

The new landmark Trade Marks Law creates a new, independent system of obtaining trademark protection. Currently, a trademark can only be registered in the Cayman Islands based on a United Kingdom or European Union trademark registration. In the meantime, under the new Trade Marks Law, it is no longer necessary to first get your trademark registered in the UK or EU first if you wish to protect your trademark in the Cayman Islands. Under the independent TM protection system, Cayman Islands trademark registration is not interrelated with the UK/EU registration and in case of lapse of the basic registration the owner’s rights are not affected.

The Design Rights Registration Law provides owners of the UK registered design or Registered Community Design with the opportunity to extend their rights to the Cayman Islands. A corresponding request for re-registration of a design should be filed with the Cayman Islands IP Office.

As for patents, the revised Patent Law includes a provision as to patent assertion entities (“patent trolls”) which prohibits bad faith assertions of patent infringement. In the meantime, a person who suffered damages from said assertions may start a court action against a “patent troll” or counterclaim in an action started against him. The amended Law also stipulates remedies applicable in such cases.

For more information on IP rights registration worldwide please visit our applicant’s guide. Also, we welcome you to get actual and accurate quotes via our quotation system.

Author: Lynda Miller