(By Contributor Candace Polius) In the minds of most people the phrase “protecting your business” looks something like purchasing insurance, safes, security related equipment and installing closed circuit televisions.
Whilst these are necessary for the efficient functioning of a business to protect the tangible assets; the intangible assets of a business are often left without protection. These intangible assets are the intellectual property of the business.
A business’ trademarks would fall under this classification. Protection of a trademark is afforded to a business owner through the registration of that trademark. The act of registration offers protection to a business owner from having his trademark be used without permission.
The registration of trademarks in Saint Lucia is governed by the Trademark Act Cap 13.30 of the Revised Laws of Saint Lucia which states:
“A trade mark means a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person”
Trademarks as it relates to a business covers names, words, logos, signage, shapes, symbols, labels and the like. The mark must meet the basic requirements stipulated under the Act in order for it to be registered. In addition, trademark registration is territorial, which means that if a business operates regionally or internationally, to be fully protected, it is wise and necessary to register the trademark in each jurisdiction or country.
In Saint Lucia, the process of trademark registration is a streamlined process, which usually takes a period of approximately four (4) months from start to finish.
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