Select Country

Select a country to view information on local trademark law

A-E  F-J  K-O  P-T  U-Z

Multinational Agreements
Enter Client Voucher:  info
for Free

Get Listed

Promote your expertise to IP professionals worldwide.
read more

Subscribe to Free Newsletter

To keep updated on the latest amendments to international trademark laws click here

Amendments to Trademark Laws

Print this page
Sep 02, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 13/15)
United Kingdom
Show Country Survey

New Trade Marks Act Now Effective in British Virgin Islands

The Trade Marks Act, 2013 came into force in the British Virgin Islands on September 1, 2015. The new Act replaces the Trade Marks Act (Cap.158) of 1887 and the United Kingdom Trade Marks Act (Cap.157) of 1946.

There are several additional features of the new law. Most significantly, it will abolish the dual filing system. It will no longer be possible to register marks in the British Virgin Islands on the basis of an existing United Kingdom registration.

The main features of the new law include:
- Provision for service marks
- Provision for defensive marks, series marks, certification and collective marks
- Adoption of the 10th Edition of the Nice classification
- Provision for multi-class registration
- Protection for well-known marks
- Definition of a registrable trade mark broadened to include any sign that is capable of being registered graphically (including brand, colour, device, figurative element, heading, label, letter, name, numeral, shape, signature, ticket or word and numeral, as well as “non-traditional” sound, taste and scent marks)
- Priority may be claimed under the provisions of the Paris Convention
- Renewal period revised from 14 to10 years
- Provision for removal after three years’ non-use
- Provision for recordal of licences
- Provision for recordal of assignments without goodwill
- Compulsory preliminary searches (under review)

Transitional provisions:
- Independent and UK-based registrations filed before September 1, 2015, will remain valid under the new law
- Independent and UK-based applications which were pending at the time of the implementation of the new law will be finalised under the provisions of the repealed law
- The 14-year renewal term will continue to apply to independent registrations filed under the repealed law (the 10-year term already applies to UK-based registrations)
- Existing independent registrations will need to be re-classified from the old British to the Nice classification (procedure to be confirmed)

Further, a new scale of official fees has been introduced.

Source: Spoor & Fisher, South Africa/Channel Islands