BVI in focus: registering trademarks


BVI in focus: registering trademarks

Strahil Dimitrov /

On each day of the INTA annual conference in Orlando we are asking Jamal Smith, president of the British Virgin Islands Trademark Association, some questions about IP on the islands. Today he talks us through the best practice for trademark registration.

For trademark attorneys, what is the process for registering a trademark? Who is able to do it?

The process is extremely simple. There is an application form that can be completed by a trademark agent or the trademark owner. In both cases, only the trademark agent can file the application with the Registrar of Trade Marks. Every registered trademark must have a trademark agent. A list of registered agents in the BVI can be found on the BVI Financial Services Commission.

For a more detailed look at the registration process check our Trademark process chart. We have also produced a guide to registering trademarks in the BVI.

How many trademarks are registered in the BVI - how has that number changed over the years? What kind of growth do you expect?

We have more than 7,000 trademarks registered in the BVI. Over the years there has been a steady stream of registrations. We have seen a 50% increase in our registrations in the past eight months. This increased activity is partially credited to the modernisation of our trademarks legislation (Trade Marks Act, 2013). We anticipate that registrations will continue to increase at a similar, if not greater rate in the next few years.

Our legislation now captures priority registrations, registrations of olfactory marks, sound marks, 3D marks and service marks. The act also features enhanced protection for stakeholders through the registration of defensive marks and robust enforcement capabilities.

We are committed to the development of our intellectual property sector and are convinced that more stakeholders will come to appreciate the enviable benefits of having their trademarks registered and protected in the BVI.