Basseterre,St.Kitts July 31 2020 (SKNIS)

As of 27 July 2020, the Intellectual Property Office of Saint Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN) is part of TMclass! The National Industrial Property Office of the Dominican Republic (ONAPI) also joined on the same date. TMclass is an online database developed and managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that assists persons desirous of registering trademarks by identifying the class of goods or services that the proposed trademark would be registered in. All registered trademarks must be associated with at least one of the forty-five class of goods and services and legal protection will only extend to such class or classes. For example, if a person wanted to register their trademark ,“Hungry Belly”, which they use in their food catering service and were not sure which class of services applies to catering, then that person could go to TMclass (http://euipo.europa.eu/ec2/ ), search for the term “catering services” and it will identify acceptable terms and classes associated with that service that an applicant can include in their application documents. This means that if the “Hungry Belly” trademark is registered in the class that covers services providing food and drink (Class 43), then the owners of that trademark can take legal action against any other catering service in St. Kitts and Nevis to stop them from using a trademark that is identical or confusingly similar to “Hungry Belly”.

The IPOSKN is the first country in the CARICOM and the third in the CARIFORUM Region to join TMclass. The Cuban Intellectual Property Office was the first. This means that they have agreed to use and accept a list of common terms between the harmonised database of goods and services (HDB) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Madrid Goods and Services (MGS). The addition of IPOSKN and ONAPI in TMclass brings the total number of participating national and regional IP Offices, to 80.

On this occasion, the Acting Registrar of the IPOSKN, Ms. Jihan Williams, expressed her particular gratitude to the team members of the International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department of the EUIPO whose support facilitated the smooth launch of this initiative. She said, “The decision to join TMclass was easy for our Office as it fully aligns with our ongoing efforts to increase stakeholder satisfaction and the level of ease of doing business with our Office. TMclass specifically provides applicants with a greater level of predictability in the trademark application process and affords them the opportunity to reduce or eliminate misclassification and improper descriptions of goods and services, which accounts for a
significant portion of processing delays.”

The decision by IPOSKN to join TMclass is a concrete result of the CARIFORUM Intellectual Property and Innovation Project funded under the 11th European Development Fund and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). For more information on registering trademarks and intellectual property in St. Kitts and Nevis, please visit www.ipo.gov.kn or our Facebook page at the Intellectual Property Office of St. Kitts and Nevis.