Since Cayman’s new trademarks law came into effect at the beginning of this month, the Financial Services Ministry told Cayman 27 it has seen a major uptick in brands filing for protection. In just 15 business days, the Intellectual Propery offic (CIIPO) has received more than half of the trademark filings it has traditionally received in an average year before the new law.
What do Coca-cola and Pepsi have in common? They’re both sweet fizzy beverages with way too many calories, and they have both filed for trademarks protection in the Cayman Islands under the new law. They are just two of the biggest brands among the 150 or so that have filed since the law took effect on 1 August.
Some other heavy hitters? Yahoo, Century 21, Chanel, MasterCard, and the Cartoon Network have also filed for protection in Cayman.
Local brands are also well-represented in these early filings, and I doubt I’m the only one to rejoice in the irony that in the race to file first under the new law, it was none other than Cayman’s iconic Sir Turtle who won the race. And now, at 54 years young, Sir Turtle is adding to its impressive resume, as the first mark in Cayman’s new trademarks registry…
“Sir Turtle is ingrained in our tourism industry, it is the ambassador for Cayman Airways, and it is displayed on our aircraft livery,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell. “When you see Sir Turtle, that’s Cayman Airways, that’s representative of a product that you know and understand.”
Mr. Kirkconnell said having the new trademarks provisions in place is good for tourism and good for business.
“Tourism related companies will have more peace of mind operating here because their logos can be trademarked,” said Mr. Kirkconnelll, who also serves as Deputy Premier.
Chief Officer for Financial Services Dr. Dax Basdeo said the trademarks law has potential to generate revenue for the government.
“Using this new modern framework across all the four pieces we now have in place, including trademarks, we are getting interest, we are being observed as having a modern framework,”said Dr. Basdeo.
Minister Tara Rivers said the new IP laws have answered long standing concerns from the business and creative communities.
“Not only will this legislation protect creations of our people, it will also cement Cayman’s place as a major economic player in the global IP stage,” said Ms. Rivers. “This new law brings a welcome change to the process.”
The Intellectual Property office said the base fee to register a trademark is $200 dollars, with a $75 fee for each class of mark. That’s where things get a bit tricky. The IP office said there are 45 different classes of trademarks, that can be very client-specific.
Donnie Dixon, the Deputy IP registrar told Cayman 27 the process can be complex. He said those wishing to register a brand or mark must apply for protection through an agent.