Trademarks in registration in Sint Maarten

As of October 10th, 2010 and due to constitutional changes the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. Since the island of Sint Maarten has become a state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Sint Maarten did not establish its own Bureau of Intellectual Property (“BIP”) following the constitutional changes. The choice was made for the BIP of Curacao to manage trademarks registration for Sint Maarten during a transitional period. The Sint Maarten IP legislation i.e. Trade Marks National Ordinance 1995 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 Sint Maarten. 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 Sint Maarten 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 fulfill the “use”-requirement. Registration and subsequent renewals are valid for a period of 10 years. Registrations are published monthly in an Official Gazette.