Once BIP SXM has registered your application in the Sint Maarten trademarks register, you will have exclusive rights to the use of your trademark. Your registration is valid for 10 years which can be renewed at the end of this period. Renewal of a trademark grants protection for another period of 10 years and can be repeated infinitely.
However, to maintain those (exclusive) rights, you must:
use your trademark
keep your registration updated
renew it on time
Modifying a Trademark
It is important that the details in the register are correct and up-to-date. If anything changes, you can ask us to amend the particulars in the register.
The most common change is, of course, a change of address. However, your company's name may also change, or you may transfer (sell) your trademark, grant another party a license or provide your trademark as security to the bank. Furthermore, another party may have an attachment placed on your trademark registration, or you may decide to cancel your trademark registration or certain goods or services from it. These are all matters which must be recorded in the register, so that they can be invoked in dealings with others.
Change of your company's logo, or additional products or services, are not considered common changes and will require a new trademark application.
There is a form with explanatory notes on submitting modifications/changes to be made in the register. You can send this form to BIP SXM by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you would like to make changes to your international registration, please click here.
Which changes can be made?
- changes to name and address
- change of trademark agent
- change of correspondence address
- reducing the list of goods and services (adding to it is not possible)
- transfer (sale)
- notification or cancellation of a license
- change to the regulations on use and oversight (with respect to a collective trademark)
- notification or cancellation of pledges and attachments
Which changes are not possible?
- the trademark itself can never be changed
- the list of goods and services can never be extended (but can be limited)
- a collective trademark can never be converted into an individual trademark (and vice versa).
Renewing a Trademark
A trademark registration is valid for 10 (ten) years counting from the filing date. The registration can be renewed for an unlimited number of successive ten-year periods. In principle therefore, a trademark can be protected forever.
To ensure continued protection, you must ensure that your registration is renewed. We send a renewal reminder to the address stated in the register. Failure to receive a reminder, for whatever reason, does not give rise to any rights. Renewing your registration on time is and remains your own responsibility!
A renewal form and explanatory notes are provided. You can send the form to BIP SXM by email (email@example.com).
To renew an international trademark, please click here.
Using your Trademark
Once your trademark has been registered, the idea is, of course, that you actually use it for the goods and/or services applied for. If you fail to do so for a period of more than 5 (five) years, your trademark may be revoked (in its entirety or as regards certain goods or services). (article 9 paragraph 2 sub a Trademark Ordinance)
Make sure that you use your trademark in the form in which it is registered. If, for example, you update your logo, you will need to register it anew.
The use of an ® sign can make it clearer to third parties that your trademark is registered.
Monitoring your Trademark
Once your trademark has been registered, you can take action against anyone who infringes it. After all, you registered your trademark in order to be able to do that.
You can take action against someone else using an identical or similar trademark for the same or similar goods or services as you. In fact, in certain circumstances, you can even take action to prevent your trademark from being used for entirely different goods or services, provided that your trademark is well-known and, for example, its reputation or distinctive character is affected. There are also instances where you can take action against use of a well-known trademark even if it is not being used to distinguish goods or services.
There is usually a time limit for taking action against infringement. If you tolerate the use or registration of a more recently registered trademark for more than five years, it will generally not be possible to take action against that trademark at a later date.
To enforce your trademark in an effective fashion, it is advisable to constantly monitor whether more recent, infringing trademarks are being filed or used. It is, of course, a good idea to carry out internet searches from time to time to check whether your trademark is being used by anyone else.
You can also hire a trademark representative or specialized lawyer to monitor use of your trademarks. All kinds of practical and legal issues affect the monitoring and enforcement of trademark rights. You can do certain things yourself. However, you should not forget that trademark law is a specialist field, and a lot of companies do not have the expertise in house. It may therefore be a good idea to leave this work to an IP professional. More about Trademark Representatives