Why and how to register a trademark in the Cayman Islands

Since August 1, 2017, a trademark registration may be done directly through the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office. Although it is no longer necessary, trademark applications may still be based on trademarks registered in the United Kingdom or through EUIPO as a European Union Trademark (EUTM), in order to then be extended for this territory. Extension of a registered trademark to the Cayman Islands is done through the Cayman Islands General Registry (CIGR).

Visit our section for trademark services in the United Kingdom for further information regarding UK trademarks.

Visit our section for trademark services in the European Union for further information regarding EU trademarks.

If the trademark is registered as an extension for protection of a trademark previously registered in the UK o through the EUIPO, the extension does not have to be made for all the classes included in the original registration. However, original registration must include the class or classes that one wishes to extend protection for in the Cayman Islands.

If the trademark that the extension is based upon is not renewed in its territory of origin, protection in the Cayman Islands will also lapse. Once the trademark is renewed in the territory of origin, then it can be renewed in the Cayman Islands. Although a trademark’s validity period in the Cayman Islands follows that of the registration in the country of origin, please be aware that annual maintenance fees are required in order to maintain the validity of a trademark in the Cayman Islands. Those fees must be paid before March 31st each year. It is possible to pay in advance all the annual fees due up to the next renewal date of the trademark.

Any changes or modifications to the registration of the trademark on which the extension is based, such as transfers of ownership or change of owner names, should also be recorded with the registration authority of the Cayman Islands within two (2) months of the change being recorded in the UK or European Union trademark. If the changes to the trademark of origin are not recorded, enforcement actions will not be possible in cases of infringement to the trademark in the Cayman Islands.

Once accepted by the trademark office of the Cayman Islands, trademarks will be published for 60 days. During this period third parties may present opposition actions against the registration of the trademark in the Cayman Islands. The opposition stage of the trademark process was introduced in August of 2017.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in the Cayman Islands, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

 

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