4 December 2012

Caribbean IP Part 20: St Kitts and Nevis

ISO 3166 country code: KN.

St Kitts and Nevis, sometimes referred to as St Christopher and Nevis (both are referred to in the Constitution), is a federal country consisting of two islands. It is the smallest independent country in the Americas both in terms of population and area. Anguilla was formerly a part of the federation before being separated in the 1980s.

The Registry of the Supreme Court administers IP rights in St Kitts and Nevis. They have no website.

St Kitts and Nevis has a modern trade mark law dating from 2002. However, it retains some bureaucratic features from previous regulations, namely, the need to submit Declarations and Statements with each trade mark application. It does allow for purely local protection - a UK registration not being a prerequisite for filing - which makes obtaining a trade mark accessible for locals and foreigners alike.

I cannot see that the country has a law for the registration of registered designs but Common Law protection may exist.

The country is very dependent on tourism although the island of Nevis has developed an offshore financial industry in recent years. Madrid Protocol membership does not seem to be on the cards although accession of other countries in the region could have a persuasive impact on the Government of St Kitts and Nevis.

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