The General Registry of the Cayman Islands has issued a notice which states that as of August 1, 2016, patent and trademark annual fee payments will no longer be accepted in advance of January 1 for the year in which they fall due.

It has been the general practice of trademark and patent owners, to date, to pay annual fees prior to the new year, and often to pay annual fees for multiple years in advance.

However this will no longer be possible, and under the new procedure, for example, annual fees due for a trademark or patent for 2017 must be paid on or after January 1, 2017, and not before.

Where annual fees remain unpaid on March 31 of each year, a penalty fee will accrue. The Registry will not accept payment of the outstanding annual fee(s) unless applicable penalty fees are paid simultaneously, along with any outstanding fees (including outstanding penalty fees) due with respect to prior years.

What steps should trade mark and patent owners take? 

Trade mark and patent owners should review their Cayman Islands portfolios, and consult with their registered agent, to check whether annual fee payments are paid up to date, and if not, ensure that any outstanding years are paid (including any outstanding penalty fees), along with the next annual fee payment due for 2017, and payable after January 1, 2017.

For registered Cayman Islands trademarks or patents, where Ogier is the registered agent, as is our usual practice, we will reach out to our clients towards the end of this year confirming the specific annual fees due. 

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.