Bureau Intellectual Property officially opens on Friday

POSTED: 04/6/16 6:06 PM

St. Maarten News – The bureau for Intellectual Property launches the official opening of its office at Cannegieter Street 15 this Friday afternoon. The bureau, a guaranteed moneymaker for the government, was already in the works in 2014 and it could have been operational by January 1 of last year if the parliament had managed to approve the relevant legislation.

The BIP will earn money from the registration of trademarks and patents. The bureau will be able to serve its local clients faster as well. In curacao it would take three months before an applicant would get confirmation of the registration of a trademark. The local BIP is able to do this within two weeks, project manager René Mazel told this newspaper in 2014.

Registered trademarks are protected for ten years; after that the registration must be renewed. Brands can be registered in 34 categories of goods and 11 categories of services.

Mazel said at the time that the BIP expects to handle 200 local trademark submissions per year. Around 700 international brands will also seek protection in St. Maarten every year. The estimated annual income from trademark registration is around $500,000.

From the registration of patents, the bureau will earn around $150,000 per year.

The BIP’s operational costs are around $350,000, so it expects to close off every year with a surplus. The organization will keep $500,000 in a reserve fund, but the rest goes straight to the treasury. In 2014, the money for the reserve fund was already in the bank.

The BIP will also issue ISBN-numbers for books and register work that is protected by copyright.

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