We have been advised that the new Netherlands Antilles Trade Marks Act (1995) will come into force on 01 January 2001.

The implementation of the new law should be noted by anyone with an existing Trade Mark Registration, as the new law requires all existing Registrations to be re-registered within 12 months. The new law will reduce the renewal term of all Registrations to 10 years, and we envisage that the renewal date of many existing Registrations will change. For example, if an existing Registration was renewed in 1996, its next renewal date under the old law would be in 2016. Once the Registration is re-confirmed, its next renewal date will be in 2006.

If you require us to re-register any existing trade mark, we are able to offer a special rate for a renewal filed simultaneously. In the example given above, this would avoid the need to file a renewal again in 2006, when the fees will be higher.

Other features of the new law include:-

·         the introduction of service marks;

·         The definition of a trade mark has been broadened to include shapes, sounds, smells, etc., as well as 3-dimensional marks;

·         Rights will accrue to the first to register, not the first to use;

·         The period after which a registration may be cancelled for non-use has increased from 3 to 5 years;

·         Collective trade marks will be registerable.

Additionally, it is envisaged that the Netherlands Antilles will join the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol in the near future, so it will be possible to obtain protection by means of an International Registration.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.