Region: British Virgin Islands

New trademark laws and fees now in place

As of September 1 2015, the BVI has completely overhauled its trademarks regime, ending the previous dual system of trademark registration. Arguably, the most important change is that the laws unify the former dual application system into a single system. In addition, the BVI has instituted a new fee structure under the new laws. Trademark owners and practitioners accustomed to the prior fees, which were quite low, may be surprised by the increase.

08 October 2015

What the British Virgin Islands’ trademark overhaul means for counsel

On September 1 2015 the British Virgin Islands’ new Trademarks Act 2013 and Trademarks Rules 2015 will come into effect. However, in some instances it will be advantageous for trademark owners to register marks in the jurisdiction now, rather than wait for the new regime to be implemented.

05 June 2015

Validity of service mark registrations reaffirmed

Following an announcement which caused anxiety among the trademark community, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, which incorporates the Registry of Trademarks, has decided to resume registration and renewal of UK service marks under the Registration of United Kingdom Trademarks Act.

18 July 2011

Health minister seeks to combat counterfeit drug sales

The deputy premier and minister for health and social development, R Dancia Penn, has announced the government's intention to tackle the sale of counterfeit drugs. The 2008 budget makes provision for the post of director of pharmaceutical services, who will be responsible, among other things, for the regulation of businesses that offer drugs for sale.

11 February 2008

Implications of UK abolition of relative grounds refusal

The coming into force of the UK Trademarks (Relative Grounds) Order 2007 has implications for many jurisdictions which, like the BVI, incorporate parts of the UK trademark regime by statutory reference. It is likely that confusingly similar or identical trademarks will exist in both the UK and the BVI trademark registers simultaneously as a result of the change in the UK examination process.

08 October 2007

Act that may affect trademark declarations published

The Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public Act 2007, which may have an effect on any declaration required under the Trademarks Act, has now been published in the <i>Official Gazette</i>. Once a proclamation by the governor is made bringing the act into force existing commissioners for oaths and notaries public will have six months beginning on the date of commencement of the act to apply for automatic enrolment on the relevant roll.

15 May 2007

New bill may affect trademark declarations

The Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public Bill 2006, which provides for the appointment of commissioners for oaths and notaries public, has been published. The bill, if brought into force, will be important for the purposes of any declaration required under the Trademarks Act. Where the local agent appointed under a power of attorney makes a declaration, it will have to be made and subscribed before either a commissioner or a notary public.

16 April 2007

Domain names now under new management

Following the appointment of a chairman and deputy chairman, the Board of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission is now ready to take up the responsibility for the management of the British Virgin Islands country-code top-level domain '.vg'. It is hoped that the new board will be able to tackle some areas of the domain names management system which need serious attention.

23 February 2007

Mark owners must be wary of Chinese character name threat

Since January 1 2007 the Business Companies Act 2004 has been the sole corporate statute for registration of companies in the British Virgin Islands. One important feature of the act is that it allows the registration of a company with an additional name in foreign characters, such as Chinese characters. However, there is a threat that a company registered with a Chinese character name in the British Virgin Islands may cause confusion with other businesses operating in China.

16 February 2007

Proposed trade policy to affect comparative advertising

The government of the British Virgin Islands is drafting a trade policy that will touch on topics such as misleading advertising. While the law is aimed at protecting the public, it may also bring more protection to trademark owners who are not currently protected against unauthorized uses of their trademarks in comparative advertising.

29 September 2006

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