The Trade Marks Act 2013 is due to enter into force in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on 1 September 2015.

The existing law allowed for the registration of applications filed locally, as well as for the re-registration of existing national UK trade marks. However, locally filed applications had to be classified in accordance with the old British classification system of 50 goods classes.

The new law adopts the 10th Edition of the Nice Classification system, and service marks may be registered.  It will no longer be possible to re-register existing UK trade marks.

The definition of a trade mark has been widened to include any sign which is capable of being represented graphically, including colours, shapes, smells and sounds.

Whilst the BVI is not currently a member of the Paris Convention, there is provision in the law to allow priority claims to be made.

Trade marks will be registered for a period of 10 years, calculated from the filing date.

There is provision in the law for the registration of certification, collective and defensive trade marks.

The law empowers the Registrar to reclassify registrations in accordance with the 10th Edition of the Nice Classification, although it is not clear when this will be done.

For further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.