New developments in the Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Legal Framework

The Cayman Islands had an outdated IP legislation in force, but waves of change are in progress. With the new Cayman Islands Intellectual Property Office (CIIPO), the Cayman Islands Government fully intends to revolutionize the organization and application of new Intellectual Property laws.

The local government is reinforcing CIIPO with a brand new set of IP legislation, starting with the new legislation regarding Trademarks, Patents and Industrial Designs, expected to be passed October 2016, coming into force in 2017. The new Trademark law will allow any interested party to register a national trademarks in Cayman Islands, which in turn will be formally and substantially reviewed, complemented by a publication for opposition purposes. Hitherto, trademark owners had to re-register UK or EU trademarks and only formal examinations took place. In fact, the re-registration system will be abolished.

Patents will continue to be extended from existing UK patents but new provisions were included to prevent abuse from Patent Trolls; Design Rights protection will be introduced allowing for the extension of UK and EU Industrial Designs.

The first issue of the Cayman Islands Gazette for Intellectual Property occurred September 5th, 2016. From now on, this Gazette will be published online alternatively with the regular Gazette.

Changes are also in the works for Copyright, taking into account that an adapted UK legislation is still in force, with local legislation expected for 2017.

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