8 January 2013

Caribbean IP Part 23: Sint Maarten

ISO 3166 country code: SX.

Sint Maarten was a part of the Netherlands Antilles up until its dissolution on 10 October 2010. Much of what was written about Curaçao applies to Sint Maarten.

For a transitional period of one year the Sint Maarten Bureau of Intellectual Property was to be managed in Curaçao (by what was the former Bureau of Intellectual Property of the Netherlands Antilles). Effectively, the laws for Sint Maarten and Curaçao were to remain the same and the Registers would have operated in parallel. Owners of existing Netherlands Antilles registrations were automatically considered to cover both Sint Maarten and Curaçao. Of course, from 10 October 2010 it has been possible to file or renew in Curaçao only, or in Sint Maarten only.

The one-year transitional period in which Sint Maarten should have began operations of its own IP Office has now passed and I am not aware that this Office has been established in the St Maartener capital of Philipsburg or elsewhere in the country. Once this happens then we may see a divergence in practice and timelines compared to the Office in Curaçao.