On 9 December 2021, the CARIFORUM Directorate and the CARIFORUM Intellectual Property and Innovation Project, CarIPI, will be launching a new consultation tool, Caribbean TMclass, a regional interface of TMclass. This classification tool developed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and IP Offices of the EU Member states, is already used by more than 80 IP Offices worldwide. Caribbean TMclass is multilingual and provides free-of-charge access to the lists of terms accepted as suitable to identify goods and services for the purposes of the registration of marks by participating Caribbean IP Offices.
Eight (8) CARIFORUM Intellectual Property Offices have joined and are using TMClass, while others are expected to join soon. The current members are the IP Offices of Antigua and Barbuda (ABIPCO), Belize (BELIPO), Cuba (OCPI), the Dominican Republic (ONAPI), Saint Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN), Saint Lucia (ROCIP), Trinidad and Tobago (TTIPO), and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (CIPO).
The Head of the Intellectual Property of Saint Kitts and Nevis (IPOSKN), Jihan Williams, emphasised the importance of the tool. This will allow goods and services to be searched for and classified when applying for trade mark protection. ‘I am grateful for the cooperation with CarIPI’ said Ms Williams. ‘Caribbean TMclass will make the Goods and Services terms accepted by the CARIFORUM IP Offices available publicly online, for the benefit of potential trade mark applicants and examiners’.
‘The classification tool is a great achievement for the Belize Intellectual Property Office and the users of our services, since the database contains more than 78 000 acceptable terms from which applicants can use to identify the goods and services they wish to seek protection for’, said the Deputy Registrar of the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO), Ms Koreen Flowers.
‘In addition to modernising practices of intellectual property offices and creating a more user-friendly environment, the goal is to continue to enhance the transparency, predictability and accessibility of intellectual property in CARIFORUM and further the integration of CARIFORUM in the world economy’, said Alexis Downes-Amsterdam, Director of CARIFORUM-EU EPA Implementation Unit.
Caribbean TMclass has been developed by the Intellectual Property Offices of the CARIFORUM States and the CARIFORUM Directorate under the CARIFORUM-EU Intellectual Property and Innovation Project (CarIPI), funded by the 11th EDF and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).