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Registration of Trademarks and Service marks

In November 1987 the Bureau of Intellectual Property of Aruba officially started with the registration of trademarks and service marks in Aruba. Before this date registrations for protection of marks in Aruba had to be made through the Bureau of Intellectual Property of the Netherlands Antilles established in Curaçao, the Netherlands Antilles.

There are two types of marks: trademarks and service marks. A trademark distinguishes the source of goods and a service mark the source of services. This means that a trade or service mark distinguishes the goods and services of an individual or an enterprise from those of others.

Words, logos, slogans, mottos, names, letters, numbers, symbols, emblems, shapes, designs, features of packaging, color combinations, animations, figurative elements or combinations of those signs and also sounds may be used as trade or service marks.

Figurative elements comprise e.g. designs, pictures, drawings of landscapes, animals, people, things, ornaments, shapes, houses, stars, fictitious beings, geometrical figures and solids: whether real or abstract representations.

Marks, although usually 2-dimensional, may also be 3-dimensional. E.g. forms of containers, holders or packages or the shape of the goods themselves can be used as trademarks.

According to the Aruba Trademark Act, the right of exclusive use of a mark, pertains to the one, who has made first use of said mark in Aruba. The right of exclusive use extends solely to those products or services, for which said mark is being used, or had been used on a date not prior the last three years.

The trademark owner who requests registration of a mark first is also considered the first user of the mark and has exclusive right of use, but solely in the classes the mark is registered, but for non-use during a period of more than 3 years since its last use.

The registration of a mark entitles the owner or title bearer to gain royalties from the exclusive right of use of the mark. The trade or service mark owner may transfer all or part of his trademark rights to anyone by an assignment or marks can also be licensed exclusively or non-exclusively to third parties in exchange for royalties.

Once the mark is registered, it can not be used without the owner’s authorization. Trademark rights can be enforced in court against third party infringers who use the mark without permission of the owner or title bearer.

A trade or service mark registered in Aruba will only protect the owner or title bearer against others from using his mark within Aruba and its territorial waters but not outside Aruba.

After applying for registration of a mark in Aruba, protection can be sought in other countries by filing applications in selected countries.

Foreign mark protection will prevent others from profiting from a mark in other countries. Many countries will allow to claim priority from an Aruban application for a mark provided the application is filed within six months of the original filing date in Aruba.

For effective protection a mark must be officially registered. If a trademark is protected, then no person or enterprise than its owner may use it or any trademark similar to it that its use would lead to confusion in the minds of the public. At least not on or in connection with goods or services regarding which confusion may arise.

To obtain registration of a mark in Aruba the applicant has to file a request in triplicate at the Bureau. The trade or service mark has to be apt for the distinguishing of the goods or services from those of others. See Trademark Restrictions.

Registration gives exclusive right of use in the registered classes. Exclusive rights of use of a mark is obtained through first use and registration is considered first use.

The duration of registration is limited to 10 years and renewable for indeterminate periods of 10 years.

If applicant is established outside Aruba, he must choose domicile in Aruba at the office of a recognized trademark agent.

Registration is the most solid basis for constituting the grant of exclusive rights. At the moment exclusive trademark rights can be acquired through first use but sometimes it is very difficult to proof when first use took place and no sources are available to investigate newness of intended trade or service marks.

Therefore first use does not always offer sufficient guarantee to those wanting to make the effort and sometimes very costly investments to launch new products or services in the market and then discover an identical or a resembling trade or service mark is already in use.
For said reason the Bureau is drawing up a new Trademark Act, which shall grant acquisition of exclusive rights in a mark through registration only (first to file).

See our FAQ section for further details of the procedure for registration of trade and service marks and
also other related topics.

Trademark restrictions      Classes      FAQ      TRADEMARK FORMS

 

                                 
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Copyright © 2004 Intellectual Property of Aruba
Last modified: april 25, 2007