Aruba

Registration of a trademark as such does not give the registrant the exclusive right to the use of the trademark. Pursuant to the Ordinance a registration of the trademark creates a presumption of first usage by the registering party. This presumption places the burden of proof of first usage of the trademark on those parties claiming to have the exclusive right to use the mark. The presumption of first usage is one reason why it is advisable for the owner of a trademark to register his mark in Aruba. In addition, once a trademark has been registered, the Bureau of Intellectual Property will not register other marks, which are identical or so similar that it might create confusion in the mind of the public as to the origin of the goods or services in Aruba. Registration and subsequent renewals are valid for a period of 10 years. Registrations are published monthly in an Official Gazette (“Marcaruba”).

Curacao

Filling a trademark in Curacao As of October 10th, 2010 and due to constitutional changes the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. Since then Curacao has become a state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Curacao has established its own Bureau of Intellectual Property (“BIP”). The Curacao 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 theexclusive right to use the trademark in Curacao. 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 Curacao 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 (“Merkenblad”).

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. 

As of October 1st, 2015, the Bureau for Intellectual Property of Curaçao is no longer the competent authority for registering Sint Maarten trademarks and will not handle/process any requests received on or after that date. The Bureau for Intellectual Property of Sint Maarten (BIP SXM) in cooperation with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) will open for business on-line on Monday, October 5, 2015.

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.

Bonaire, Saba & St. Eustatius

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 comply with 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.

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