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Panton addresses IP protection laws in the LA

| 17/04/2015 | 0 Comments
Wayne Panton, Cayman Islands Minister of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment

Wayne Panton, Minister of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment

(CNS Business): The push to modernise Cayman’s Intellectual Property Protection Regime was brought to the forefront in the Legislative Assembly this week by Minister of Commerce Wayne Panton. This presentation follows after a press conference held last month by the minister and cabinet members, explaining why the change of IP laws is so desperately needed in the Cayman Islands.

The minister explained the government began the process of updating the intellectual property laws last month when the UK extended its 1988 Copyright Act to Cayman. The act has been extended by the Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 2015, which was passed by the UK Privy Council on 19 March. The new set of copyright laws will replace the UK’s 1956 Act and in its place will be the extensions of the UK’s 1988 Copyright Act.

“This was the first major milestone in government’s efforts. In order to extend the 1988 Copyright Act to Cayman, the extension of the UK’s 1956 Copyright Act had to be revoked first; both actions were accomplished through the new Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 2015. Madam Speaker, as indicated in the Order, I note that the extension of the 1988 Copyright Act is subject to changes requested by the Cayman Islands Government,” Panton announced to the House.

However, although passed, the 2015 Order that gives effect to the 1988 Copyright Act will not happen until a commencement date has been determined. Panton stated that could take at least six months to allow the Ministry of Commerce to conduct a public education campaign and to make necessary arrangements for local implementation.

Panton explained that there are other initiatives in the works to strengthen Cayman’s intellectual property regime, such as the introduction of a local register for trademarks. As of now, the law requires people to first obtained a trademark registration in the United Kingdom before they can register in the Cayman Islands, which is costly.

“I expect to bring a new Trade Marks Bill to this Honourable House in the next few months,” he told the House.

In closing the minister added, “While we already have achieved a significant milestone in modernising our IP protection regime, there is much left to be done. Nevertheless, with the support of the Honourable Members of this House, industry, and other key stakeholders, we will enhance this foundation for the long-term growth, and the economic diversity and success, of our islands.”

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