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Antigua and Barbuda (AG)

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02-01-2017 (Newsletter Issue 3/17)
Some Renewal Dates Accelerated
The transitional provisions of Antigua’s Trade Marks Act 2003 ('2003 Act') will shorten the life of some marks and require renewal by March 1, 2017, regardless of the renewal period in effect at the mark’s grant or last renewal. Potentially affected marks were applied for or last renewed between March 2003 and February 2007. Marks applied for or last renewed in March 2007 or beyond should already be governed by the 2003 Act’s ten-year renewal deadline.

The Trade Marks Act 2003 entered into force on March 1, 2007. The 2003 Act replaced two previous acts (one concerning U.K. mark extensions and one concerning local registrations) (collectively, the “Prior Acts”). The 2003 Act preserved marks registered under the Prior Acts but accelerated the next renewal deadline for some of the preserved marks. Previous certificates of registration or renewal may not reflect an accurate renewal date.

Pursuant to Section 27 of the 2003 Act, all trademarks registered under one of the Prior Acts must be renewed, at the latest, by March 1, 2017. Consequently, marks registered or renewed under one of the Prior Acts between March 2, 2003 and February 28, 2007, may be due for renewal earlier than previously anticipated. Because the application date governs the renewal date in Antigua & Barbuda, the registrations affected include marks applied for when the Prior Acts were in force but granted after the 2003 Act came into force in 2007.

The 2003 Act also provides a six-month grace period for late payment of renewal fees. Renewals of marks originally granted under the Prior Acts will be reclassified according to the Nice Classification system upon renewal.

Source: Caribbean IP, USA

02-01-2017 (Newsletter Issue 3/17)
Procedural Amendments for IR Designating
Antigua and Barbuda has deposited, on January 9, 2017, the following declaration:

- in accordance with Article 5(2)(b) of the Madrid Protocol (1989), the time limit of one year to exercise the right to notify a refusal of protection referred to in Article 5(2)(a) thereof is replaced by 18 months, and; under Article 5(2)(c) of the said Protocol, when a refusal of protection may result from an opposition to the granting of protection, such refusal may be notified to the International Bureau after the expiry of the 18-month time limit; and

- in accordance with Article 8(7)(a) of the Madrid Protocol (1989), Antigua and Barbuda, in connection with each international registration in which it is mentioned under Article 3ter of the said Protocol, and in connection with the renewal of any such international registration, wants to receive, instead of a share in the revenue produced by the supplementary and complementary fees, an individual fee.

The said declaration will enter into force on April 9, 2017.


On October 1, 2006, Antigua & Barbuda put into force the country’s first ever comprehensive trade mark law, the Trade Marks Act, 2003 and Trade Marks Regulations, 2006. A related act, the Intellectual Property Office Act, established an Intellectual Property Office and appointed a Registrar of Intellectual Property.
To comply with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the enactment of the new Trademarks Act was accompanied by new legislation to protect patents, copyright, industrial designs, geographical indications, and integrated circuits.
Antigua & Barbuda thereby established an independent trade mark registration system and repealed its prior laws. Previously, a trade mark applicant was required to have a UK registration as a prerequisite to registration in Antigua & Barbuda or, alternatively, an applicant could obtain a local registration under the old British Classification system which made no provision for service marks. Registration based on a UK registration is no longer possible according to the new law.
Paris Convention priority is available. Antigua & Barbuda has long been a member of the Madrid Protocol, since accession in 1999.
Although a UK-based registration is no longer provided for nor possible under the new act, current UK-based and local registrations will continue under the new Act for their unexpired terms or 10 years from March 1, 2017, whichever occurs first. All new registrations are for a term of 10 years, with renewals for further periods of 10 years.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by mere use within the jurisdiction whereby it is protected only by common law. Only if a mark is registered under the act is it entitled to protection under the Trade Marks Act and Regulations.
The Act confirms that common law "passing off" is still actionable. Also, the doctrine of "honest concurrent user" is still a valid defense to an allegation of trade mark infringement.
Nice classification, 11th edition
A trademark is any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services. The mark may consist of words (including personal names), designs, numerals, letters, or the shape of goods or their packaging.
Three-dimensional trademarks are theoretically registrable.
The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks and collective marks.
The application is filed at the trademarks registry in St. John's, Antigua. Multi-class applications are possible.
A signed Authorisation of Agent form is needed. Tthe proprietor’s seal needs to be applied, if available, and the form must be notarized. No witnessing or legalization of this form is needed. The Declaration of use form needs to be signed before a Notary, with no additional formality.
All applications are examined and subject to absolute and relative grounds of refusal.
Prior use in Antigua & Barbuda is unnecessary provided the applicant asserts, on its Declaration filed at the time of application, an intent to use the mark in Antigua & Barbuda.
After formal examination and acceptance, the mark is published for opposition.
The processing time from first filing to registration is typically 3 to 4 years and perhaps or longer.
Interested parties may oppose new applications within three months from the date of publication of an application.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
All new registrations are valid for a term of 10 years, with renewals for further periods of 10 years.
The grace period is 6 months from the expiration date of the trademark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
A registration is subject to cancellation after three years of nonuse following registration. However, a registrant may assert a defense of "good cause", which may excuse non-use.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is USD 123.00 for one class and USD 19.00 for each additional class. The stated fees include the publication and registration fees

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
Caribbean IP, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, USA  

Caribbean IP, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, USA  

Caribbean Trademark Services, West Palm Beach, FL, 33401, USA

Caribbean Trademark Services, West Palm Beach, FL, 33401, USA

Caribbean Trademark Services, West Palm Beach, FL, 33401, USA

Caribbean IP

Katherine Van Deusen Hely

Katherine Van Deusen Hely
224 Datura Street, Suite 513
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Tel + 1 561 283 1800

Caribbean IP – Katherine Van Deusen Hely, P.L.L.C. is an IP law firm focusing on trademark and other IP services across 24 Caribbean jurisdictions. The firm prides itself on handling trademark searches, registrations, renewals, recordals, oppositions and enforcement matters in a time- and cost-efficient manner. Before founding Caribbean IP in 2014, Katherine worked closely with her cousin, George C. J. Moore. After his passing in 2013, she continued his Caribbean practice as the sole attorney point-of-contact for the firm, working with numerous Fortune 500 companies and clients around the world. Katherine has experience handling all aspects of trademark practice in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

Katherine obtained a Legal Education Certificate from the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas and a law degree from Vanderbilt University. She is a member of the Florida Bar and an active member of the International Trademark Association, serving on the INTA Bulletin Committee (Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee) since 2013. She regularly writes articles on trademark law developments in the Caribbean.

Antigua & Barbuda Intellectual Property & Commerce Office
Miss Ricky Comacho, Registrar
P.O. Box 2666
St. John's
Antigua, W.I.
Tel +1 268 462 0453
Fax +1 268 562 5438

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8