HSM IP LTD
The introduction on 30 September 2023 of the new Jamaican Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2022, Resolution (also referred to as Jamaica’s Trade Marks Act) represents a significant milestone in the country’s intellectual property (IP) landscape and enhances their IP regime. Read more +
HSM IP is honoured to be listed in the Top 10 Trade Mark Law Firms by the Trade Mark Lawyer Magazine for their 2023 Caribbean rankings. This Top 10 ranking highlights HSM IP’s dedicated and continuous contributions to the world Read more +
HSM IP has once again contributed to the International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) to Trade Marks. Click here to read our Cayman Islands 2023 Trade Mark chapter by Huw Moses and Kate Cleary. This guide is now in its 12th Read more +
Caribbean Trade Marks: The Rising Costs and Importance of IP in Q2 2023
In the second quarter of 2023, it is interesting to note for brand owners that official fees at Intellectual Property (IP) Offices across the Caribbean, Central and South America are on the rise. HSM IP’s Kate Cleary (Intellectual Property Manager) and Shirly Ramirez (IP Administrative Assistant) cover the latest trends in Caribbean Trade Marks and Intellectual Property.
As brand owners increasingly seek to protect their intellectual property in these jurisdictions, a number of IP Offices across the region are taking this opportunity (no doubt also influenced by the current general rise in living costs as well as the ongoing de-escalation of COVID measures and restrictions) to review and increase official fees. The last decade has seen a general trend of fee increases across the region, with increases ranging from as little as 3% up to 20%.
Brand owners would be wise to take note of this ongoing trend and to ensure that they do not delay what may be traditionally considered “non-urgent” updates to their IP portfolios. For example, while it is not mandatory in many jurisdictions for updates to the registered name or address of a trade mark proprietor to be recorded, brand owners should consider the trend for increases in official fees when evaluating whether it is prudent to delay such recordal projects. A 5% increase in official fees, such as that we have recently seen in Bermuda, can translate to a substantial outlay in fees payable, across a portfolio of just a couple of dozen trade marks.
The ongoing expansion in scope of work IP Offices are handling and the time staff are spending on IP matters has its own impact on the steady rise in official fees. The 5% increase in official fees in Bermuda took effect from 1 April 2023 and is reported to be valid until 2025. Savvy brand owners may seek to take advantage of this hiatus in fee increases to ensure their portfolios are in order and up-to-date, to avoid the impact of any subsequent official fee hikes.
While the most recent fee increase put in place was in Bermuda, fees or local taxes have also increased in the last 12 months in Dominican Republic, Suriname and Aruba, and further increases cannot be ruled out over the coming year. Indeed, anticipated implementation in 2023 of new Trade Marks Rules in Jamaica will be accompanied by a hike in official fees at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office of roughly 75%.
HSM IP is equipped to assist brand owners with updates to proprietor details / changes in title against their trade marks throughout the Caribbean and in an effort to encourage timely attendance to such matters we offer large portfolios a discounted fee for such recordal projects.