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Dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles – Trademarks in Curaçao, Saint Maarten and BES Islands

On October 10, 2010, the Netherlands Antilles formerly comprised of Curaçao, Saint Maarten, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, and Saba, was dissolved. Curaçao and Saint Maarten (as differentiated from the French territory of Saint Martin, located on the same island) have become autonomous territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, and Saba, collectively known as the “BES” islands, have become municipalities of the Netherlands.

Curaçao and Saint Maarten

1. The governments of the above jurisdictions will convert former Netherlands Antilles trademark registrations into Curacao and St. Maarten registrations and no re-validation is required by trademark owners.

2. Trademark applications pending in the Netherlands Antilles as of October 10, 2010 do not require revalidation or re-filing.

3. Post dissolution, trademark applications must be filed before each of the Trademark Offices of these two jurisdictions to obtain protection in both.

The BES Islands

1. All trademarks registered in the Netherlands Antilles must be revalidated before October 10, 2011 with the Benelux Bureau of Intellectual Property to retain their validity.

2. All trademark applications pending in the Netherlands Antilles as of October 10, 2010 require revalidation in the BES Islands in order to maintain validity.

3. Post-dissolution, new trademark applications should be filed in the Benelux Trademark Office to cover the BES Islands.

International Registrations

1. For International trademark registrations designating the Netherlands Antilles as of October 10, 2010, no action is needed and the current international trademark rights in the former Netherlands Antilles will be converted into national extensions for the BES-islands, Curacao and St. Maarten.

2. International applications containing a designation of the Netherlands Antilles which were pending prior to October 10, 2010, and which were registered, will be recorded with respect to the three new jurisdictions.

3. Where an international registration designating the Netherlands Antilles has been notified, prior to October 10, 2010, to the Trademark Office of the former Netherlands Antilles, the Offices of the new territorial entities will abide by the refusal period provided for by Article 5(2)(a) of the Madrid Protocol, namely, one year from the date of the aforesaid notification.

4. The International Bureau of WIPO will undertake the necessary steps to record the changes in the International Register.

5. The holder or the applicant of the international registration or international application will not be required to file any request or to remit any additional payment to the International Bureau of WIPO.

6. Post-dissolution, holders of International registrations must separately designate the territories of Curacao, St. Maarten and/or the BES islands.

We have been advised that there is no new law in the above jurisdictions and the trademark law implemented in the Netherlands Antilles in 2001 will be applied in all three jurisdictions.

If you have any questions regarding this development and/or need assistance with your IP portfolio(s) affected by these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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