Like certain other offshore jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, Jersey has recognised the importance of having a modern intellectual property regime that adheres to international standards. The current IP laws in Jersey date as far back as 1908 and it is clear that these are not befitting of a world leading finance centre such as Jersey.

From December 2007 to March 2008, the States of Jersey carried out a public consultation on the proposed new IP laws. As a result of this process, there has now been produced the draft Intellectual Property (Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 201- ("IPURL"), which will be lodged for consideration by the States during 2011.

The IPURL, as the name suggests, covers certain unregistered IP rights; being copyright, database rights, publication rights, performers' rights and design rights. It is modelled on the provisions of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 insofar as that Act relates to unregistered rights. We will be providing detailed information on each of these rights in future updates and notes, but please do let us know if you have any specific enquiries while the IPURL is being considered.

Certain registered IP rights have received more recent updates than unregistered rights, hence the importance of tackling unregistered rights first. However, we understand that a new law dealing with registered rights is also in the making and should be available for public review some time later this year.

Ultimately, Jersey's new IP laws should enable Jersey to become compliant with, and party to, a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS"), Berne Convention, Universal Copyright Convention and secure membership to the World Trade Organisation ("WTO"). Such recognition would undoubtedly further secure Jersey's reputation as a first class jurisdiction in which to do business.

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.