On the 5th November 2021 Kiribati deposited its instrument of accession to the Paris Convention, meaning the Paris Convention will enter into force for Kiribati on 5th February 2022.

From the 5th February 2022 Kiribati nationals will be able to make use of the priority rights provided for in the Paris Convention by making an originating application in another member country of the Paris Convention. Currently nationals of Kiribati can only make such use of the Paris Convention if they are domiciled in or have a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in another member country of the Paris Convention.

However, in the absence of other legislative changes, Kiribati’s joining of the Paris Convention will have no practical effect for obtaining patent, trade mark or design protection in Kiribati as such protection can only be obtained by way of the re-registration of a valid patent, trade mark or design in the United Kingdom.

Re-registration of a UK patent or an EP(UK) patent in Kiribati needs to be applied for within 3-years of the issuance date and will expire when the corresponding UK or EP(UK) patent expires. Re-registration of a UK trade mark in Kiribati can be made at any time that the UK trade mark is in force and expires when the UK trade mark is cancelled or is due for renewal. Renewal of the trade mark in Kiribati requires proof that the UK trade mark has been renewed. Kiribati only allows re-registration of UK registrations covering goods classes as service marks are not recognised in Kiribati. Where the UK registration covers multiple classes separate applications need to be made for each class in which protection is sought in Kiribati. Kiribati had allowed EU trade marks to be re-registered, but now that the UK has left the EU it is unlikely that this will be allowed. UK designs automatically extend to Kiribati.