On August 1 2017 the Trademarks Law 2016, the Patents and Trademarks (Amendment) Law 2016 and the Design Rights Registration Law 2016 came into force, introducing a new IP regime in the Cayman Islands.

Trademarks

Under previous legislation, trademark protection in the Cayman Islands was obtained by extending the rights of a UK or EU-registered trademark. The Trademarks Law 2016 establishes a standalone Cayman Islands trademark registration system which no longer allows for the extension of UK or EU-registered trademarks and instead provides its own system of registration.

A local register of trademarks will be maintained by the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office.

Trademarks recorded in the Cayman Islands before August 1 2017 will be transferred to the register and deemed registered under the new law until their renewal date under the previous legislation. Series marks will also remain protected until their next renewal date, at which time they must be registered individually under the Cayman act.

Trademark owners must appoint a local registered agent to transact business with the registry.

Patents

The Patents and Trademarks (Amendment) Law 2016 eliminates all reference to trademarks. Unlike the new trademark regime, no local registration process is available for patents. Patent rights protection continues by way of extension of a UK or EU registration.

The new law prohibits the assertion of patent infringement in bad faith and provides remedies for aggrieved parties.

Design rights

The Design Rights Registration Law 2016 allows existing UK and EU-registered design rights to be extended to the Cayman Islands, affording owners the equivalent rights and remedies as those in the United Kingdom or the European Union. Extension applications must be submitted by the registered design right owner's duly appointed registered agent.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.

For further information on this topic please contact Madeleine Heal, Tian Peralto or Elkie Rose at Harneys by telephone (+1 345 949 8599) or email (madeleine.heal@harneys.com, tian.peralto@harneys.com or elkie.rose@harneys.com). The Harneys website can be accessed at www.harneys.com.