A media briefing on the modernisation of Cayman's Intellectual Property legislation is scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at 10am on the 5th floor of GAB.


Who: Minister of Commerce, Wayne Panton; Commerce Chief Officer Dr. Dax Basdeo

What: Discussion of changes to Cayman's intellectual property framework as it relates to the local business community

Where: Cabinet boardroom, 5th floor, Government Administration Building. Please check in with building security in the front lobby.

When: 10am Thursday, 26 March 2015

Background: The Cayman Islands is pursuing a strategy of modernising its intellectual property regime in order to support local creativity and to attract international investment. As part of this, the request of the UK to extend its copyright legislation to Cayman is an essential first step towards domestic legislation for copyright protection. Further work to implement domestic trade mark registration is at an advanced stage, and consideration for improvements to the patent protection regime is being discussed with the UK.

Participants: Minister Panton; Chief Officer Basdeo; copyright committee members.

RSVP by noon Wednesday to: Matthew Yates, Strategic Communications Officer, matthew.yates@gov.ky.



Copyright protection refers to the right of a creator of an original work to the use and benefit of this work, and the prevention of the exploitation of this work by others without permission. The extent of this protection is a matter governed by law and international treaties.

Copyright protection in the Cayman Islands is provided for primarily under the UK Copyright Act 1956. However, a lot has changed since 1956. Indeed, this Act has been replaced in the UK by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which itself is the subject of numerous amendments. Therefore, Cayman's copyright protection framework needed to be up-dated given developments in technology and changes in international standards.

Key elements of the Copyright framework in the Cayman Islands include the following:

  • Scope: Under the UK's Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright protection covers:

    • literary works, including novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, song lyrics, newspaper articles and some types of database;
    • dramatic works, including dance or mime;
    • musical works;
    • artistic works, including paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture, technical drawings, diagrams and maps;
    • layouts or typographical arrangements used to publish a work, for a book for instance;
    • recordings of a work, including sound and film;
    • broadcasts of a work.
  • Benefits: there are several benefits to modernizing Cayman's copyright protection:

    • The attraction of foreign investment in areas in which intellectual property protection is important (e.g. technology companies)
    • Potential to broaden the legitimate access to media content from external markets (e.g. television programmes)
    • Protection for locally created content (e.g. the works of artists and musicians)
    • Enhancement of the international reputation of the jurisdiction
  • Impacts: There are several considerations for local commerce:

    • Businesses that are infringing on copyrights will be subject to legal action if the copyright holder decides to enforce their rights (e.g. sale of bootleg recordings)
    • Use of copyrighted material in a commercial context may require additional permissions not obtained when purchasing copyrighted material for personal use (e.g. playing a personal CD as background music in a restaurant)

Please click here to read The Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 2015.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.