13 July 2017

Law Update

Cayman Islands and Kurdistan

Cayman Islands

Coming into effect on 1st August 2017, the new Cayman Islands I.P. Law will bring about the following changes:

Trade Marks

The Trade Marks Law 2016 abolishes the existing system of the re-registration of national UK registrations, EU trade marks and International Registrations, and replaces it with a substantive law. Applications will be examined on absolute and relative grounds, and an opposition procedure is being introduced. There is also provision for the registration of collective marks, and certification marks.

Existing registrations will remain in force until their next renewal date, when they can be renewed for a further ten years, although it will no longer be necessary to submit proof of renewal of the UK, EU or International Registration upon which they were originally based. One element of the current law which is being retained is the requirement to pay annual maintenance fees in respect of all registrations on 1 January each year.


The Design Rights Registration Law 2016 provides for the re-registration of UK and European Community designs in the Cayman Islands. Annual renewal fees will be payable on such cases in a similar manner to those which fall due on trade mark cases, on 1 January in each year following the local filing date.



Kurdistan is now accepting new trade mark applications again after a prolonged suspension since the end of 2016.

Multi-class applications are acceptable and classification follows the Nice Classification system – with local sub-classification. Applications will be examined on both relative and absolute grounds and refused accordingly.

Extension of Iraqi trade mark registrations to Kurdistan is also possible. If a trade mark is already registered or accepted for registration in Iraq and the owner of the trade mark wishes to extend protection to Kurdistan, an official letter should be issued by the Iraqi Registrar in Baghdad with a certified copy of the registration certificate and addressed to the Kurdistan registrar to enable extension and to ensure protection against subsequent conflicting trade marks being accepted in Kurdistan.

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