To enhance Cayman's Intellectual Property (IP) modernisation, General Registry has hired an expert – Mrs Candace Westby – in patents and trade marks.

Furthermore, Mrs Westby and General Registry's Deputy Registrar Donnell Dixon, recently returned from the UK, having accepted the UK IP Office's invitation for further training.

Currently, one of the main areas of IP, trade marks, is undergoing significant changes in Cayman. The existing legislation is being modified to reflect a more robust framework for the local registration of trade marks, with the new law expected to commence this summer.

In preparation for those legislative changes, General Registry, the local agency that handles the registration of different types of IP, hired Mrs Westby to serve as the new Patents and Trade Marks Examiner. Mrs Westby, who previously worked for the Belize government as an IP registrar, officially took office on 1 February.

'Candace dealt with over 2,000 Belizean trade mark applications, and conducted thousands of interactive searches of international registers for patents', said Registrar General Cindy Jefferson-Bulgin. 'Based on her experience and the impact she has had on Belize's IP legislative framework, she will be a great asset for us as we prepare for the implementation of local legislation'.

Mrs Westby has more than three years of experience dealing with IP matters and holds a bachelor's degree in law from the University of the West Indies. She will oversee the introduction and development of the patents and trade marks division, a newly established area of focus for Registry in anticipation of the new trade marks law, and revised patents legislation.

Prior to taking up office, Mrs Westby and Mr Dixon attended an extensive Trade Mark and Designs training programme, hosted by the UK IP Office earlier this month. The three-week programme, which took place in Newport, South Wales, featured other Overseas Territories and focused on topics such as trade mark examination and information technology systems development.

'The topics were taught by staff members who work in the relevant sections of the office. Overall, the course was well organised and the material provided was extremely useful to the work we hope to do', said Mrs Westby.

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