As Intellectual Property (IP) specialists in the Caribbean, HSM IP is thrilled to hear that the Bermuda Government is making efforts to update its intellectual property laws.

Vance Campbell (Minister for Bermuda Tourism and the Cabinet Office) shared that this huge undertaking would involve collaboration among the Ministry for Tourism and the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs with the Department of Registry General and the Ministry of Economy and Labour through the Economic Development Department. A special IP Taskforce has already been assigned.

Their objective is to make legislation governing trade marks, patents, registered designs and copyrights more fully aligned with UK and global standards and best practices, allowing Bermuda to better compete for business.

Reports indicate that they are tackling trade marks first. Bermuda's trade mark laws were originally enacted nearly 50 years ago.

One of the areas this new legislation plans to address is for Bermuda's trade mark registration and renewal periods to be amended to cover 10-year terms. Since current registration periods are only seven years, this will be a welcome change.

As matters stand today in Bermuda, it typically takes 12 to 18 months for the Registry to process a local application for registration.

The Bermuda Government intends to submit to the UK formal requests for extension of several treaties governing the protection of IP rights. Their project team is coordinating with the UK Intellectual Property Office and will be submitting copies of the draft legislation to the UK IPO for review and comment.

With regard to Bermuda's patent legislation, work has already begun to modernise the law and it will follow a similar course to that of the trade marks legislation.

Bermuda's copyright laws are the most recently enacted, with the Copyrights and Designs Act 2004, but updates are still needed to enhance the regime, including the ability to voluntarily register copyright ownership.

HSM IP is monitoring this news and looks forward to updating our materials when they happen.

Click here to read HSM IP's Bermuda trade mark guide.

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