In Saint Kitts and Nevis, the exclusive rights to a trademark are granted only by registration, as it is a “first-to-file” jurisdiction. However, in exceptional cases, well-known trademark can be protected even if they have not been filed yet.
Trademark applications are filed with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Saint Kitts and Nevis to file or register it.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Saint Kitts and Nevis, 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.
Opposition actions can be filed within a period of three (3) months starting from the publication in the Gazette of the Registrar. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
As stated above, it is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in order to register in Saint Kitts and Nevis. However, if it is not used within a period of 3 years after the registration, it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions for lack of use.
Registered trademarks are valid for a period of ten (10) years starting from the date of application. They can then be renewed for successive period of ten years. The trademark renewal can be requested after the expiration date during the grace period of 6 months, subject to the payment of late renewal fee.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Saint Kitts and Nevis (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.