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BVI Confirms New IP Regime From September

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
24 August, 2015

The British Virgin Islands' new intellectual property regime will come into force on September 1, 2015.

Previously any person could register a trademark, both from within and outside the BVI. Under the new regime people wishing to register trademarks must first be approved as a Trade Marks Agent by the Financial Supervision Commission. The change will be effective immediately upon the enactment of the new legislation but any applications submitted before that date will be processed under the old system.

The new legislation also clarifies a number of key issues including: the entitlement for registration of a trademark including classification; the grounds for refusal of an application and registration; relevant legal proceedings, including infringement proceedings; what constitutes infringement of a trademark; the licensed use of a trademark; and the registration of service marks.

The enactment of the Trade Marks Act 2013 and the Trade Marks Rules 2015 will repeal the currently administered local and UK Trade Marks Act and Rules, which have been in place for over a century.

The Financial Services Commission said: "This modernization of the Trade Marks legislative framework allows the Territory to keep pace with established best practice standards and current developments. It also helps to position the jurisdiction as a serious competitor in the field of intellectual and industrial property law among its regional and international counterparts."

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