No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 1 ANTIGUA
[ L.S. ]
James B. Carlisle,
18th December, 2003
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
No. 18 of 2003
AN ACT to make provision for the registration of the trade marks
and other purposes related thereto.
[ 3lst December, 2003 ]
ENACTED by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda as fol-
1. This Act may be cited as the Trade Marks Act 2003 and Shor title and
comes into force on a day Fied by the Minister by notice pub-
lished in the Gazette.
2. In this Act - Interpretation.
"collective mark" means any visible sign designated as
such in the application for registration and capable of dis-
tinguishing the origin of any other common characteris-
tics, including the quality, of goods or services of different
enterprises which use the sign under the control of the
registered owner of the collective mark;
"Court" means the High Court;
ANTIGUA 2 The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
"International Classification" means the classification ac-
cording to the Nice Agreement Concerning the Interna-
tional Classification of Goods and Services for the Pur-
poses of the Registration of Marks, of June 15,1997 as last
"mark" means any visible sign capable of distinguishing
the goods ("trademark") or services ("service mark") of an
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for intellectual
"Paris Convention" means the Paris Convention for the
Protection of Industrial Property of March 20,1883, as last
"priority date" means the date of the earlier application
that serves as the basis for the right of property provided
for in the Paris Convention;
"Register" means the register maintained by the Registrar
under section 19;
"Registrar" means the Registrar of Intellectual Property
appointed under the Registrar of Intellectual Property Of-
fice Act, 2003;
"trade name" means the name or designation identifying
and distinguishing an enterprise.
Acquisition of the 3. (1) The exclusive right to a mark, as conferred by this Act,
right shall be acquired by registration in accordance with the provi-
a mark and regis-
trability. sions thereof.
(2) A mark cannot be validly registered:
(i) if it is incapable of distinguishing the goods or ser-
vices of one enterprise from those of other enter-
(ii) if it is contrary to public order or morality;
No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 3 ANTIGUA
(iii) if it is likely to mislead the public or trade circles, in
particular as regards the geographical origin of the
goods or services concerned or their nature or char-
(iv) if it is identical with, or is an imitation of or contains
as an element, an armorial bearing, flag and other
emblem, a name or abbreviation or initials of the name
of, or official sign or hallnlark adopted by, any State,
intergovernmental organisation or organisation cre-
ated by an international convention, unless autho-
rized by the competent authority of that State or or-
(v) if it is identical with, or confusingly similar to, or
constitutes a translation of, a mark or trade name
which is well known in Antigua and Barbuda for
identical or similar goods or services of another en-
terprise, or if it is well-known and registered in
Antigua and Barbuda for goods or services which
are not identical or similar to those in respect of which
registration is applied for, provided, in the latter case,
that use of the mark in relation to those goods or
services would indicate a connection between those
goods or services and the owner of the well-known
mark and that the interests of the owner of the well-
known mark are likely to be damaged by such use;
(vi) if it is identical with a mark belonging to a different
proprietor and already on the Register, or with an
earlier filing or priority date, in respect of the same
goods or services or closely related goods or ser-
vices, or if it so nearly resembles such a mark as to be
likely to deceive or cause confusion.
4. (1) The application for registration of a mark shall be filed Application for
with the Registrar and shall contain a request, a reproduction of registrati0n.
the mark and a list of the goods and services for which registra-
tion of the mark is requested, listed under the applicable class or
classes of the International Classification; and it shall be subject
to the payment of the prescribed application fee.
(2) The application may contain a declaration claiming the
priority, as provided for in the Paris Convention, of an earlier
ANTIGUA 4 The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
national or regional application filed by the applicant or his pre-
decessor in title in or for any State party to the convention or
any member of the World Trade Organisation in which case, the
Registrar may require that the applicant furnish, within the pre-
scribed time limit, a copy of the earlier application, certified as
correct by the Office with which is was filed.
(3) The effect of the said declaration shall be as provided in
the Paris Convention and if the Registrar finds that the require-
ments under &is subsection and the Regulations pertaining
thereto have not been fulfilled, the declaration shall be consid-
ered not to have been made.
(4) The applicant may withdraw the application at any time
during its pendeney.
Examination, 5. (1) The Registrar shall examine whether the application corn-
opposition, and plies with the requirements of section 4 (1) and the Regulations
mark. pertaining thereto.
(2) The Registrar shall examine and determine whether the
mark is a mark as defined in section 2 and is registrable under
section 3 (2).
(3) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in
subsection (1) and (2) hereof are fulfilled, he shall forthwith cause
the application, as accepted, to be published in the prescribed
(4) Any interested person may, within the prescribed period
and in the prescribed manner, give notice to the Registrar of
opposition to the registration of the mark on the grounds that
one or more of the requirements of sections 2 and 3 (2) and the
Regulations pertaining thereto are not fulfilled.
(5) The Registrar shall send forthwith a copy of a notice re-
ferred to in subsection (4) to the applicant, and, within the pre-
scribed period and in the prescribed manner, the applicant shall
send to the Registrar a counter-statement of the grounds on
which he relies for his application and if he does not do so, he
shall be deemed to have abandoned the application.
(6) If the applicant sends a counter-statement, the Registrar
shall furnish a copy of it to the person giving notice of opposi-
No. 18 of 2003. Z l e Trade Marks Act 2003. 5 ANTIGUA
tion and, after hearing the parties, if either or both wish to be
heard, and considering the merits of the case, shall decide whether
the mark should be registered.
(7) After an application is published and until the registration
of the mark, the applicant has the same privileges and rights as
he would have if the mark had been registered; however, it shall
be a valid defence to an action brought hereunder in respect of
an act done after the application was published, if the defendant .
establishes that the mark could not validly have been registered
at the time the act was done.
(8) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in
subsections (1) and (2) are fulfilled, and either:
(i) the registration of the mark has not been opposed
w i t h the prescribed time limit; or
(ii) the registration of the mark has been opposed and
the opposition has been decided in the applicant's
he shall register the mark, publish a reference to the registration
and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration; otherwise
he shall refuse the application.
6. (1) The use of a ~egistered mark, in relation to any goods or Rights conferred
services for which it has been registered, by any person other than by . ~ g ~ ~ @ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * du-
ratlon and renewal. the registered owner shall require the agreement of the latter.
(2) The registered owner of a mark shall, in addition to any
other rights, remedies or actions available to hlm, have the right
to institute court proceedings against any person who infringes
the mark by using the mark, without his agreement, or who per-
forms acts which make it likely that infringement will occur; and
the right shall extend to the use of a sign similar to the registered
mark and use in relation to goods and services similar to those
for which the mark has been registered, where confusion may
arise in the public. In case of the use of an identical sign for
identical goods or services, a likelihood of confusion shall be
(3) The rights conferred by registration of a mark shall not
extend to acts in respect of articles which have been put on the
The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
market in Antigua and Barbuda by the registered owner or with
(4) The provisions of section 3 (2) (v) shall apply, mutatis
mutandis, in any action instituted by the owner of a well-known
mark against any person in respect of the unlawful use of the
(5) The registration of a mark shall be for a period of ten years
from the filing date of the application for registration.
(6) The registration of a mark may, upon request, be renewed
for consecutive periods of ten years, provided that the regis-
tered owner pays the prescribed renewal fee.
(7) A period of grace of six months shall be allowed for the late
payment of the renewal fee on payment of the prescribed sur-
Invalidation and 7. (1) Any interested person may request the Registrar to
removal on invalidate the ;egistration of a mark.
grounds of non-
(2) The Registrar shall invalidate the registration if the person
requesting the invalidation proves that any of the requirements
of sections 2 or 3 (2) are not fulfilled.
(3) Any invalidation of a registration of a mark shall be deemed
to have been effective as of the date of registration, and it shall
be recorded and a reference thereto published as soon as pos-
(4) Any interested person may request the Registrar to re-
move a mark from the Register, in respect of any of the goods or
services in respect of which it is registered, on the ground that
up to one month prior to filing the request the mark had, after its
registration, not been used by the registered owner or a licensee
during a continuous period of three years or longer; but a mark
shall not be removed if it is shown that special circumstances
prevented the use of the mark and that there was no intention not
to use or to abandon the same in respect of those goods or
Collective marks. 8, (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), sections 3 to 7 and 12
to 16 shall apply to collective marks.
No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 7 ANTIGUA
(2) An application for registration of a collective mark shall
designate the mark as a collective mark and shall be accompanied
by a copy of the regulations governing the use of the collective
(3) The registered owner of a collective mark shall notify the
Registrar of any changes made in respect of the regulations re-
ferred to in subsection (2).
(4) In addition to the grounds provided in section 7 (2), the
Registrar shall invalidate the registration of a collec/tive mark if
the person requesting the invalidation proves that only the reg-
istered owner uses the mark, or that he uses or permits its use in
contravention of the regulations referred to in subsection (2) or
that he uses or permits its use in a manner liable to deceive trade
circles or the public as to the origin or any other common charac-
teristics of the goods or services concerned.
9. (1) Any licence contract concerning the registration of a Licensing of
mark, or an application therefor, shall provide for effective con-
trol by the licensor of the quality of the goods or services of the
licensee in connection with which the mark is used. If the licence
contract does not provide for such quality control or if such
quality control is not effectively carried out, the licence contract
shall not be valid.
(2) The registration of a collective mark, or an application
therefor, may not be the subject of a licence contract.
10. (1) A name or designation may not be used as a trade Trade names.
name if by its nature or the use to which it may be put, it is
contrary to public order or morality and if, in particular, it is liable
to deceive trade circles or the public as to the nature of the
enterprise identified by that name.
(2) Notwithstanding any laws or regulations providing for
any obligation to register trade names, such names shall be pro-
tected, even prior to or without registration, against any unlaw-
ful act committed by third parties.
(3) In particular, any subsequent use of the trade name by a
third party, whether as a trade name or a mark or collective mark,
The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
or any such use of a similar trade name or mark, that is likely to
mislead the public, shall be deemed unlawful.
Interpretation of 11. For the purposes of this Act:
"Madrid Protocol" means the Protocol Relating to the
Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registra-
tion of Marks, adopted at Madrid on June 27,1989;
"Common Regulations" means the Common Regulations
under the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol;
"international application", "international registration",
"International Bureau", "holder", "designation", "subse-
quent designation", "date of international registration" and
"date of subsequent designation" have the same meaning
as in the Madrid Protocol or the Common Regulations, as
the case may be.
"designation of Antigua and Barbuda" means a request
made in relation to an international registration (either in
the international application or subsequently) for exten-
sion of protection to Antigua and Barbuda under Article
3ter (1) or (2 ) of the Madrid Protocol;
"date of the designation of Antigua and Barbuda" means
the date of an international registration resulting from an
international application in which Antigua and Barbuda
was designated or the date of a subsequent designation of
Antigua and Barbuda, as the case may be.
Effect of 12. Where an international registration of a mark contains a
designation of Antigua and Barbuda, the protection of the mark
national shall be the same, as from the date of the designation of Antigua
application. and Barbuda, as if the mark had been the subject of an applica-
tion for registration filed under section 4.
National 13. (1) Where the Registrar has been notified by the Interna-
processing of tional Bureau that an international registration contains a desig-
nation pf Antigua and Barbuda, he shall proceed in accordance
with section 5 (2).
(2) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in
section 5 (2) are not fidfilled, he shall notify the International
No. 18 of 2803. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 9 ANTIGUA
Bureau that, to the extent that the said conditions are not ful-
filled, protection of the mark in Antigua and Barbuda is refused.
(3) Any interested person may, within the prescribed period
and in the prescribed manner, give notice to the Registrar of
opposition to the protection of the mark on the grounds that one
or more of the requirements of section 2 or 3 (2) and the Regula-
tions pertaining thereto are not fulfilled.
(4) The Registrar shall forthwith notify the International Bu-
reau of an opposition under subsection (3) and subsequent pro-
cedure shall be in accordance with section 5 (5) and (6), refer-
ences to the applicant being construed as references to the holder
of the international registration.
(5) No notification in accordance with subsection (2) or (3)
and (4) shall be sent to the International Bureau after the end of
one year from the date on which the International Bureau noti-
fied the Registrar of the designation concerned.
14. Where no notification of refusal or opposition has been Effect of intema-
sent to the International Bureau in accordance with section 13 tional regishation
as national regis- (21, (3), (4) and (5) , or any such refusal has been withdrawn or tration.
any such opposition h a been decided in favour of the holder of
tbe &exnational registration, the protection of the mark in Antigua
and Barbuda shall, as fiom the date of the designation of Antigua
and Barbuda, be the same as if the mark had been registered
under section 5 (8) of this Act.
15. Further details concerning international applications and Further prey;-
international registrations, including the procedure to be fo2lm.ved sions CoIICemlrs:
and any fees to be paid in connection with the filing of an inter- applications er!ti
national application through the Intellectual Property Office, may international
be i u c W in the Regulations. registrations.
16. In the event of any d c t between, on the one hand, this Conflict between
Act or thc Regulations and, on the other, the Madrid Protocol or the Madrid
the Common Regulations, the latter shall prevail. Protocol and this Act.
17. (1) Any change in the own~nhip of or the registration of Changts in
a & or cokctive mark, or in the owntfshtp of an application ~ ~ ~ h ~ ~ d C u .
~ , r b P l l b e i n w r i t i n g i a t h ~ f a r m a n d s h a l l , a t t h e
ANTIGUA 10 The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
but such change shall have no effect against third parties until
such recording is effected.
(2) Any change in the ownership of the registration of a col-
lective nwk, or in the ownership of an application therefor, shall
require previous approval by the Minister.
(3) Any change in the ownership of a trade name must be
made with the transfer of the enterprise or part thereof identified
by that name and shall be in writing.
(4) A change in ownership of the registration of a mark or a
collective mark shall be invalid if it is likely to deceive or cause
confusion, particularly in regard to the nature, origin, manufac-
turing process, characteristics, or suitability for their purpose, of
the goods or services to which the mark is applied.
(5) Any licence contract concerning a registered mark, or
an application therefor, shall be submitted to the Registrar
who shall keep its contents confidential but shall record it
and publish a reference thereto; and the licence contract shall
have no effect against third parties until such submission
has been made.
18. Where an applicant's ordinary residence or principal place
of business is outside Antigua and Barbuda, he shall be repre-
sented by a registered agent resident and practising in Antigua
and Barbuda before the Registrar of the Intellectual Property
Office. The procedure for the registration of an agent shall be
prescribed in the Regulations.
19. (1) The Registrar shall maintain a register for Marks to be
called the Register of Marks; and all the recordings provided for
in this Act shall be effected in the Register.
(2) Collective marks shall be registered in a special section of
the Register of Marks.
(3) The Register may be consulted by any person, and any
person may obtain extracts therefrom, under the conditions pre-
scribed in the Regulations.
No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 11 ANTIGUA
(4) The Registrar shall publish in the Oficial Gazette andfor
in any intellectual property journal created under the authority of
the Registrar of the Intellectual Property Office all the publica-
tions provided for in this Act.
20. (1) The Registrar may, subject to any provision in the Corrections of
Regulations, correct any error of translation or transcription, cleri- errors and
cal error or mistake in any application or document filed with the :Zension
Registrar or in any recording effected pursuant to this Act or the
(2) If the Registrar is satisfied that the circumstances just@ it,
he may, upon receiving a written request, extend the time for
doing any act or taking any proceeding under this Act and the
Regulations, upon notice to the parties concerned and upon
such terms as he may direct: and such extension may be granted
though the time for doing the act or taking the proceeding has
21.The Registrar shall give any party to a proceeding before Exercise of
him an opportunity of being heard before exercising adversely to discretionary
that party any discretionary power vested in him by this Act or powers.
22. (1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction in cases of Competence of
dispute relating to the application of this Act and the Regula- and
tions and in matters which under this Act are to be referred to the appeals.
(2) Any decision taken by the Registrar under this Act, in
particular the registration of a mark or collective mark, or the
refusal of an application for such a grant or registration, may be
the subject of an appeal by any interested party before the Court
and such appeal shall be filed within two nionths of the date of
23. (1) Subject to section 6 (3), an infringement shall consist Infringement,
of the performance of any act referred to in section 6 in Antigua unlawful acts and
and Barbuda by a person other than the owner of the title of
protection and without the agreement of the latter.
(2) On the request of the owner of the title ofprotection, or of
a licensee if he has requested the owner to institute court pro-
ANTIGUA 12 The Trade Marks Act 2003. No. 18 of 2003.
ceedings for a specific relief and the owner has refused or failed
to do so, the court may grant an injunction to prevent infringe-
ment, an imminent infringement, or an unlawful act referred to in
section 10 (2) and (3), award damages and grant any other rem-
edy provided for in the general law.
(3) Any person who knowingly performs an act which consti-
tutes an infringement as defined in subsection (1) or an unlawful
act as defined in section 10 (2) and (3) is guilty of an offence and
is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $100,000 or to impris-
onment for a term of five years, or to both.
Restrictions on 24. (1) The owner of the trademark may give notice in writing
imp0rtati0n Of to the Comptroller of Customs -
(a) that he is the owner of the registered trademark;
(b) that the infringing trademark goods, articles or
materials are expected to arrive in Antigua and
Barbuda at a time and a place specified in'the
(c) that he requests the Comptroller of Customs to treat
~ c t NO. 7 of as prohibited goods under the Customs (Control and
1993. Management) Act, 1993 during a period specified in
the notice, the infringing trademark goods, articles
(2) Goods are "infringing goods", in relation to a registered
trademark, if they or their packaging bear a sign identical or sirni-
lar to that mark and,
(a) the application of the sign to the goods or theirpack-
aging was an infringement of the registered trade-
(b) the goods are proposed to be imported into Antigua
and Barbuda and the application of the sign in
Antigua and Barbuda to them or their packaging
would be an infringement of the registered trade-
(c) the sign has otherwise been used in relation to the
goods in such a way as to infringe the registered
No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Aot 2003. 13 ANTIGUA
(3) Material is "infringing material", in relation to a registered
trademark if it bears a sign identical or similar to that mark and
(a) it is used for labelling or packaging goods, as a busi-
ness paper, or for advertising goods or services, in
such a way as to i n h g e the registered trademark;
(b) it is intended to be so used and such use would
infringe the registered trademark.
(4) "Infringing articles" in relation to a registered trademark,
~ - --
(a) which are specifically designed or adapted for mak-
ing copies of a sign identical or similar to that mark;
(b) which a person has in his possession, custody or
control, knowing or having reason to believe that
they have been or are used to produce infringing
goods or materials.
(5) The period specified in a notice givenunder subsection (1)
shall not exceed five years and shall not extend beyond the end
of the period for which trademark may subsist.
(6) Subject to subsection (7), where a notice has been given in
accordance with this section, the importation into Antigua and
Barbuda of goods, articles or materials to which the notice re-
lates is prohibited; but notwithstanding anything contained in
the Customs (Control and Management) Act, 1993, a person is A
not liable to any penalty under that Act other than forfeiture of
the goods, articles or materials, by reason that any goods, ar-
ticles or materials are treated as prohibited goods, articles or
materials by virtue of this section.
(7) The importation of not more than five (5) articles by a
person for his private and domestic use is not prohibited under
(8) A person giving a notice under this section shall -
ANTIGUA 14 The Trade Marks Act 2003.
No. 18 of 2003.
(a) coniply with such conditions as the Comptroller of
Customs may by regulations prescribe; and
(b) satisfy such requirements as may be so prescribed
in connection with the giving of the notice, includ-
ing requirements relating to -
(i) the form of the notice;
(ii) the furnishing of evidence, whether on giving
notice, or on the importation of the goods, or
at both such times;
(iii) the payment of fees in respect of the notice;
(iv) the giving of security in respect of any liability
or expense which the Comptroller of Customs
may incur in consequence of the notice by
reason of the detention of any article or any-
thing done to an article detained;
(v) the indemnification of the Comptroller of (=us-
toms against any such liability or expenses,
whether security has been given or not; and
(vi) any incidental or supplementary matters.
(9) Regulations made under subsection (8) may make different
provisions in respect of different classes of cases and are sub-
ject to negative resolution of the House of Representatives.
Appl~cat~on of 25. The provisions of any international treaties in respect of
Internatlona' intellectual property to which Antigua and Barbuda is a party
shall apply to matters dealt with by this Act and, in case of
conflict with provisions of this Act, shall prevail over the latter.
Regulations. 26. The Minister may make Regulations prescribing details
for the implementation of this Act and the Regulations may, in
particular, provide for the payment of fees in connection with
applications for the registration of marks and collective marks
and matters related thereto.
No. 18 of 2003. The Trade Marks Act 2003. 15 ANTIGUA
27. (1) The Registration of the United Kingdom Trade Marks Repeal of
Act and the Trade Marks Act, are repealed. Cap. 377A and
Cav. 435 and
(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Acts referred to in sub- provisions.
section (I), trademarks registered under those Acts shall remain
in force but shall, subject to subsection (3), be deemed to have
been granted or registered under this Act.
(3) Trademarks registered under the Acts referred to in sub-
section (1) shall be due for renewal within the same period as
under those Acts or 10 years from the entry into force of this Act,
whichever period first expires, and, upon renewal, shall be reclas-
sified in accordance with the International Classification.
(4) Within 18 months from the entry into force of this Act, the
Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, make any further transi-
tional or saving provisions which appear to him to be necessary
Passed the House of Representatives this Passed the Senate this 25th day
8th day of September, 2003. of September, 2003.
S. Walker, S. Walker,
Clerk to the House of Representatives. Clerk to the Senate.
Printed at the Government Printing Office, Antigua-and Barbuda
by Walter A. Massiah, Government Printer
-By Authority, 2003.
8G12 .03 [ Price $6.10 ]