In Trinidad and Tobago, 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 of Trinidad and Tobago (IPO).
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use prior to the filing of the trademark application in order for it to register.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Trinidad and Tobago, 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.
In Trinidad and Tobago, third party opposition actions may be filed against a trademark application within a period of three (3) months following its publication.
As stated before, it is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in order to register. However, once registered it must be used within five years after registration, otherwise it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions for lack of use.
Once registered, trademarks in Trinidad and Tobago have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of application, and can then be renewed for periods of ten years. The trademark renewal may be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date, and as late as six months after it upon payment of late renewal additional fees.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Trinidad and Tobago (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.