Filling a trademark in Bonaire (the BES-islands)

As of October 10th, 2010 and due to constitutional changes the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. Since then Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (“BES-islands”) has become special municipalities of the Netherlands. The Trademark Office is managed by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (“BOIP”). The Madrid Agreement and Protocol apply to the BES-islands. The BES-islands IP legislation i.e. Trademarks Act for the BES-islands is based on the “first-to-file”-principle. In other words he who files a trademark first is granted the exclusive right to use the trademark in the BES-islands. While it is not required for a mark to be used at the time of or prior to filling, a registration can be declared null and void by the Court of First Instance of the BES-Islands upon demand of any third party, if it can be determined that no use of the trademark has been made during a period of 5 uninterrupted years. Use by the owner following a period of 5 years of uninterrupted use will serve to fullfil the “use”-requirement. Registration and subsequent renewals are valid for a period of 10 years. Registrations are published monthly in an Official Gazette. The first to file principle is without prejudice to the rights of priority established in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883 and the Protocol of 27 June 1989 (Treaty Series [Trb.] 1990, 44) to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks of 14 April 1891 or the right of priority pursuant to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of 15 April 1994; Appendix 1C to the Agreement to Establish the World Trade Organization