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