Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
With significantly updated copyright legislation commencing on 30 June,
which will offer greater legal rights to Cayman's musicians,
visual artists, and others in the creative fields, Government has
taken a vital step forward in modernising intellectual property
(IP) legislation, and in improving the local commerce
In addition to copyrights, Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said
Government plans to present bills in the Legislative Assembly in
September that will update existing trade mark legislation, in
order to allow local trade marks registration; and introduce design
'Under our current legislation, persons are unable to
register their trade marks in Cayman without first obtaining
protection in the UK', Minister Panton said. 'Also, design
rights are not currently protected by law in Cayman.
'Local artists and investors have been frustrated for many
years by the lack of modern IP protection in Cayman, and clamoured
for improved rights. With copyrights, while previous legislation
offered a level of protection, it was outdated to the point where
local artists could not properly protect their digital music,
images and other digital creations', he said.
Minister Panton said that by updating our IP legislation, Cayman
also will become more attractive to investors.
'This has a local component as well', he said. 'If
entrepreneurs know their works will be protected in Cayman, they
have an incentive to locate here, create jobs here, and spend money
in our economy. Furthermore, businesses such as Health City Cayman
Islands, Cayman Enterprise City and the entities operating within
them; as well as other individuals and businesses in Cayman who
also benefit from IP protection, will be able to attract more
Beginning 30 June, creators such as songwriters, musicians,
visual artists, and writers will have increased protection for
their copyrights through The Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order
'Work to update copyrights began about two years ago',
Minister Panton said. 'At that time, Cayman was under the UK
Copyright Act 1956 – when digital music, DVDs, and other
forms of creativity didn't exist.
'In order to modernise our law, then, Cayman first had to
ask the UK to extend to us its 1988 Copyright Act – which
itself has been updated several times. The UK Privy Council granted
this extension in March 2015, and since then my Ministry has been
making necessary arrangements for local implementation', he
In September, the Ministry of Commerce plans to present the
Trade Marks Bill to the Legislative Assembly for approval by local
The Trade Marks Bill will allow persons and companies to locally
register their brands and company logos. Local registration also
would remove the exclusive rights to the use of certain words which
were registered in the UK, for example the word
As defined by www.ipo.gov.uk, design rights refer to the
physical appearance of an item or a part of it, and can apply to
industrial as well as handicraft items. Currently, there is no
mechanism that allows design rights to be registered in the Cayman
Islands; Government intends to rectify this by allowing design
rights registered in the UK to be extended to the Cayman
'Copyrights, therefore, are just the beginning',
Minister Panton said. 'By allowing persons to register a range
of IP rights in a more efficient, cost effective manner, we are
assisting them in exercising their rights if anyone infringes upon
'This represents a major improvement to our commerce
legislation, and to our reputation as a leading jurisdiction for
all types of businesses', he said.
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As reported in the market updates section of this newsletter, the UAE Ministry of Economy recently reviewed the fees charged by its various departments, including the Trade Mark, Patent and Copyright Office.
As the technology industry is highly competitive and grows rapidly, organizations focus on reducing costs in a bid to strive to retain and/or gain the competitive advantage.
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