The copyright laws in the Cayman Islands, until very recently,
have stemmed from the Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 1965 (the
1965 Order). The 1965 Order extended certain
provisions of the UK Copyright Act 1956 to the Cayman Islands.
The Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 2015 and the Copyright
(Cayman Islands) (Amendment) Order, 2016 (collectively, the
New Orders) came into effect in the Cayman Islands
on June 30, 2016. These New Orders extend Part 1 of the UK
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended and modernised
from time to time) (the 1988 Act) to the Cayman
Islands. The application of Part 1 of the 1988 Act is subject to
certain exclusions and modifications.
This is a significant development for the Cayman Islands, and
the first step in the Cayman Islands' Government's plans to
reform and modernise Intellectual Property (IP)
laws generally. The result of this enhancement is that the
copyright laws in the Cayman Islands are now fully modernised and
able to serve a thriving, innovative, and entrepreneurial
The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO)
defines "Copyright" as "the grant of an exclusive
right to produce or sell a book, motion picture, work of art,
musical composition, software, or similar product during a
specified period of time."
It is important to note that copyright arises
"automatically", and does not require any form of
Beyond the reform of the copyright regime, there is a new trade
mark regime in the works which will have the effect of creating a
standalone trade mark system in the Cayman Islands, and one that is
not dependent on extensions of UK or European Community trade marks
into the Cayman Islands. A new design right system is also
proposed, as well as the introduction of provisions to limit or
prevent patent trolling. These reforms are expected to be in force
by the final quarter of 2016.
WIPO has said that: "An efficient and equitable
intellectual property system can help all countries to realize
intellectual property's potential as a catalyst for economic
development and social and cultural well-being. The intellectual
property system helps strike a balance between the interests of
innovators and the public interest, providing an environment in
which creativity and invention can flourish, for the benefit of
The Cayman Islands Government and legal community are therefore
striving forward with these reforms for this very purpose assisting
local businesses, entrepreneurs and artists (be they musicians,
designers, film makers or painters) to protect their IP, and to
exploit their IP through licensing or trade.
The reforms will also encourage further investment into the
Cayman Islands from abroad for similar reasons, enhancing the
Ogier is at the frontline of these reforms, having presented to,
and advised the Cayman Islands Government on IP reform. Ogier has
also represented the legal community on the Government's radio
station talking in detail about IP reform as part of the
Government's public education campaign on these reforms.
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.
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