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July 15, 2016 Vol. 71 No. 12 Back to Bulletin Main Page

IP Bureau Opens in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten


On April 8, 2016, the Bureau for Intellectual Property Sint Maarten (BIP SXM), located in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, hosted the official opening of its offices to the public. This comes six months after the BIP opened for business online subsequent to its October 1, 2015, announcement that it would begin handling all Sint Maarten trademark matters. Trademark matters for Sint Maarten were handled previously by the BIP in Curaçao.

The BIP has the legal status of an independent governing body and falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication. The BIP of Sint Maarten is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and works closely with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP).

Thus far, the trademark registration process in Sint Maarten under the new BIP has been both straightforward and relatively fast, especially when compared with other Caribbean jurisdictions. The only language accepted for new applications is English. In addition, the BIP is requesting English translations at the time of renewal for any trademarks registered for goods or services listed in Dutch, Spanish, or Papiamento. Ultimately, the Sint Maarten register of trademarks will be completely in English.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2016 International Trademark Association