Registering a trademark in the British Virgin Islands involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the Financial Services Commission, and waiting for the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will give you exclusive rights to use it in the British Virgin Islands for an initial period of 10 years, renewable every 10 years thereafter. By following this guide and using the resources provided, you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand in the BVI. Adhering to the requirements and guidelines is important to ensure a smooth registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
The first step in the process is to conduct a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. The Financial Services Commission of the British Virgin Islands provides a search facility where you can conduct this preliminary search. It's recommended to hire a professional service to conduct this search, as the BVI does not have an online database for this purpose.
Step 2: Application
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the BVI Financial Services Commission. The application must include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
Step 3: Examination by the Financial Services Commission
After receiving the application, the Financial Services Commission will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the BVI Trade Marks Act. They will also determine whether the trademark can be registered or if it infringes upon any existing trademarks.
Step 4: Publication
Once the application passes the examination, the Financial Services Commission will publish the application in the BVI Gazette. This is to give third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for three months from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, the Financial Services Commission will proceed with the registration of the trademark. The applicant will then receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application is approximately USD 350 (as of 2021) for one class of goods or services. Additional classes will incur extra charges. If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. Please note that these fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees with a local attorney or the Financial Services Commission.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 12 to 18 months, provided that there are no objections or oppositions.
Financial Services Commission: http://www.bvifsc.vg/