Unexpected Changes to St. Maarten Trade Mark Practice (October 2015)


On 1 October 2015, the Bureau of Intellectual Property (BIP) Curaçao ceased handling trade mark matters relating to the country of St. Maarten.  On 5 October 2015, the newly formed BIP of St Maarten (BIP SMX) became the competent authority for such work, working in conjunction with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP).  An online trade mark registration route is now available (BOIP is a paperless office).  

All trade mark applications, searches and renewal requests for St Maarten trade marks filed up until 30 September will continue to be processed by (BIP) Curaçao, and any similar requests received on or after 1 October 2015 will be handled by BIP SMX.  New official government fees can be found on the following website: http://www.bip.sx/fees. 

A new National Ordinance is planned to come into effect during the course of October 2015.  Pursuant to Article 15 of the amended Ordinance (AB 2014, no. 83) a new definition of a trade mark representative has been agreed upon.  As of 1 October 2015, trade mark representatives must be: an attorney at law or Notary practicing in St Maarten; a professional in the field of trade marks established in St Maarten and registered as such at the Chamber of Commerce; or an employee of a company established in St Maarten that specializes in trade marks and the registration thereof and that are registered as such a the Chamber of Commerce. 

Other key changes are as follows: 
1.       Powers of Attorney are no longer required
2.       Scanned copies of documents will be accepted (originals are not required) 
3.      A scanned copy of an extract from the Chamber of Commerce is now required for                         recordal of change of name
4.      English will be the official language at BIP SXM
5.      Claims relating to colour should be made using standardised colour coding systems, such           as Pantone
6.      Online searching of the Registry database is now possible


Questions or comments? Contact Sophie Peat, Attorney at speat@hsmoffice.com