I registered my company’s trademark with the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office ( JIPO) about six months ago. I thought the process would have been complicated, but it was fairly easy. Although their website was a bit daunting, the staff was really helpful.
First things first, you need to have a Logo/Trademark. The Trade Marks Act, 1999, defines a Trade Mark as:
any sign that is capable of being graphically represented and capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking (i.e. any person, company or business entity) from those of another undertaking
It may be a good idea to do a search for identical or similar marks . Any similar/identical marks would prevent your TM from being registered. There are two ways to do a search according to JIPO.
- The applicant or his representative may conduct the search manually at a cost of $500 per hour or for any fraction of an hour.
- The applicant may request that JIPO conduct the preliminary search and provide advice. A Form TM23 must be used to request this search; the applicant must provide a representation of the Mark and the list of classes and the appropriate goods and/or services. The cost for this search is $1500 for the first class, and an extra $1000 for each additional class
N.B Searches have to be done at the JIPO office ( I don’t know why this can’t be done online).
I didn’t do any searches because I was confident that EduFocal’s Logo was unique 🙂 But be warned, if you don’t do a search and your Trade Mark is rejected your application fee will not be refunded and you’ll have to pay to for another application.
JIPO has 45 classes that your business can fall into. To save yourself some time go through the classes and identify which yours fall into before you go the JIPO office, view them here. The application fee is $3500 JMD, which includes the cost of the first class. Each additional class costs $1000. Assuming you chose 1 class your total cost for registering your trademark will be $8,320 JMD. You can pay that in full or you can pay the $3500 and the balance of $4820 JMD if your mark is approved. If you pay the $8320 JMD and your mark is rejected you will NOT get a refund, so I recommend you pay the $3500 JMD first and if it’s approved you pay the balance of $4820 JMD.
Additionally, you’ll also need to print six 2 x 2 inch copies of your logo, one of which will be used on this form. To save time, print the form and fill it out before you get in. Whatever you’re not clear on, leave it blank and they’ll help you out at the office. If you’re choosing more than one class, you’ll also need to have an additional copy of your logo for each additional class.N.B Each copy of your logo has to be consistent, i.e you can’t have 5 copies in colored and 1 copy in black and white.
If you’re not the applicant and you’re doing it on someone’s behalf, you’ll need to scan a copy of their identification, have it verified by a Justice of the Peace and bring it when you’re going in.
Wait! The wait is about two months. If your mark is approved or rejected, you’ll be notified via mail ( No email unfortunately).You can view JIPO’s trademark page for more information here
Lovingly made on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 5:42 pm. Filed under Entrepreneurship.