Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the expressed creation of the human mind. Examples are a brand, an invention, a design, a song or another intellectual creation.

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FAQs
Tips
Functions
  • What is a Trade Mark?
    A trade mark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders.

    What is a Patent?
    The exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years.

    What is Copyright?
    Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works.

    Learn more

    • Your creative expressions are automatically protected by Copyright.
    • If you invented or created something new, do NOT disclose it to the public. Talk to the IP Office to have it protected before disclosure.
    • Be careful when using intellectual property that belongs to others. 
    • It is always advisable to consult the IP Office regarding the protection and commercialization of your IP.
    • The IP Office provides free information regarding all that was invented before. Check with us to determine whether your creation has already been created.
  • We perform the following functions:

    • Grant Intellectual Property Rights
    • Provide Patent Information Services
    • Conduct Public Education and Awareness Programmes
    • Advise Government on IP Issues
    • Participate in International Forums regarding IP matters

The Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago performs the following functions:

patents

Patents

It is a right granted by the state to the owner to stop others from manufacturing, using, importing and trading the protected technology. In return, the owner gives certain technical information to the public sufficient to manufacture and use the technology.

Learn more

patents

Trade Marks

A trade mark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders.

Learn more

patents

Copyright

Refers to laws that regulate the use of the work of a creator, such as an artist or author. This includes copying, distributing, altering and displaying creative, literary and other types of work.

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patents

Industrial Designs

Any material whether or not associated with lines or colours, is deemed to be an industrial design where such composition, form or material gives a special appearance to a product of industry or handicraft.

Learn more

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All rights reserved.

Criminal penalties for Intellectual Property Rights Infringement

IPR

Maximum Penalty (TT Dollars)

Copyright and Related Rights incl. databases

$250,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Topography of Integrated Circuits

$10,000.00 or 5 years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Trade Mark (incl. company names represented in a special or particular manner)

$10,000.00 or 6 months imprisonment (summary conviction); $40,000.00 or 10 years imprisonment (indictment)

Industrial Design

$10,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Patent and Utility Model

$10,000.00 (summary conviction).

Falsification of patent register: $20,000.00 (summary conviction) or $40,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (indictment)

Geographical Indications

$8,000.00 or three years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Plant Variety

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim of patent rights

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim that a patent has been applied for

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)


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The Copyright Infringement Ship

Piracy Ship

Click here to download image.

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Piracy

Piracy occurs when any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights are violated.

Note 14 of the TRIPS Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) provides the following interpretation:

(a) “counterfeit trademark goods” shall mean any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country of importation;

(b) “pirated copyright goods” shall mean any goods which are copies made without the consent of the right holder or person duly authorized by the right holder in the country of production and which are made directly or indirectly from an article where the making of that copy would have constituted an infringement of a copyright or a related right under the law of the country of importation.

The maximum penalty for copyright infringement is $250,000 or ten years imprisonment. The above pirate ship illustrates some common examples of piracy.


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