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Consider trading internationally? It is advised that you register IP rights in export markets. If you plan to start a business in Trinidad and Tobago, here are some hints you may wish to think about before registering a TM in this jurisdiction.

IP registration requirements in T&T

All issues related to trademark rights in Trinidad and Tobago or any other IP rights are regulated on the highest level – by the country's parliament. This is evidence that the issue of protecting intellectual property rights in the country is approached with great seriousness and responsibility.

This is evidence that the issue of protecting intellectual property rights in the country is approached with great seriousness and responsibility.

This is evidence that the issue of protecting intellectual property rights in the country is approached with great seriousness and responsibility. Applications for TM registration in Trinidad and Tobago are accepted at the local IP Office.

Registering a TM in Trinidad and Tobago grants exclusive ownership rights and provides legal protection of the brand against illegal use or imitation. 

 Electronic filing of TM registration in Trinidad and Tobago is not available, hard copy only.

TM protection 

TM protection is provided for a period of 10 years with the possibility of extension. 

The period for registering TM in Trinidad and Tobago is quite lengthy and may last up to 2 years. When you have your application filed, you will need to wait 3 months to exclude any objections. So, you need to be patient.

Any natural or legal person can file an objection to the registration of your brand. Most common grounds are the signs of similarity with the previously registered brand. The regulator will send a copy of the notice to the applicant, after which the latter can file a counter-objection. If a counter statement with arguments in favor of TM is not provided to the regulator within a month, the application most likely will be rejected.

Remedies for brand infringement include the confiscation of counterfeit products and criminal prosecution. Penalties may include fines of up to US $8000.00 and imprisonment.

Final word

T&T is considered the most advanced state in the English-speaking Caribbean. However, when starting a business in Trinidad and Tobago, entrepreneurs should be aware of the risks they may encounter. Among these are low levels of economic freedom, security, low productivity in the national labor force, high level of bureaucracy and corruption, and the violation of IP rights. 

IP rights protection has been an issue for a long time but the government is taking steps to improve the situation having the relevant legislation amended. 

Today, the country is a party to a number of international conventions on intellectual property and is also a member of the International Union for IP protection.

When deciding to register a TM in Trinidad and Tobago, prior consultation with competent specialists who have experience in this jurisdiction is recommended. Our company's experts will be happy to help you.