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New Trademarks Act to come into effect on 1 September; Application to be Licensed as a Trade Marks Agent now available - Press Release No. 2 of 2015

Thursday, 20 August, 2015


Tortola, British Virgin Islands – 20 August, 2015 – The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (FSC) is informing the financial services industry and the general public that the Trade Marks Act, 2013 and the accompanying Trade Marks Rules, 2015 will come into force on Tuesday, 1 September 2015. 

Enactment of the new Trade Marks legislation represents the modernisation of the Territory’s suite of Intellectual and Industrial Property legislation and will repeal the currently administered local and UK Trade Marks Act and Rules which have been in place for over a century.  The coming into force of the new Trade Marks legislation is the culmination of a lengthy consultation process with stakeholders from the financial services industry, government and the general public. 

Current Registrar of Corporate Affairs at the Registry of Corporate Affairs (the “Registry”), Mrs. Myrna P. Herbert, will carry out the duties of Registrar of Trade Marks, Patents and Copyright as mandated by the legislation.

This modernisation of the Trade Marks legislative framework allows the Territory to keep pace with established best practice standards and current developments.  It also helps to position the jurisdiction as a serious competitor in the field of intellectual and industrial property law among its regional and international counterparts. 

A noteworthy feature of the enhanced Trade Marks legislation is the requirement of persons who register trade marks to be approved by the FSC to do so.  Any individual, corporate entity or partnership can apply to act as a Trade Marks Agent.  Applications to register trade marks and related filings can only be made through an approved Trade Marks agent when the new Trade Marks legislation takes effect on 1 September.  The new procedure replaces the previous practice where any individual or company could make an application directly at the Registry and is applicable to persons seeking to register trade marks both locally and from outside the Territory. 

Areas related to trade marks addressed in the new legislation include: entitlement for registration of a trade mark including classification, grounds for refusal of an application and registration, legal proceedings including infringement proceedings, what constitutes infringement of a trade mark, licensed use of a trade mark and the registration of service marks.  

While there is no transitional period when the new Trade Marks legislation takes effect, any applications for trade marks that are currently being processed or filed with the Registry before 1 September will continue to be processed under the old Trade Marks legislation.

Both the Trade Marks Act, 2013 and the Trade Marks Rules, 2015 are available for download from the Legislation Library on the FSC’s website at

For more information on the new Trade Marks legislation and how you can become a Trade Marks Agent, please email or call at the Registry of Corporate Affairs at 494-5355.
Click for Trade Mark forms

 For further information, please contact:

Corporate Communications

BVI Financial Services Commission

Pasea Estate, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Tel:     (284) 494-4190

Fax:     (284) 494-5016


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