Local News

Apr 3, 2017

MOU between the UTT and the IPO 


The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), as an academic institution, has prioritized the discovery and development of entrepreneurs and the commercialization of research and development to spawn companies for wealth generation and the enhancement of life in our nation. In this regard, the University engaged in exploratory discussions with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs seeking beneficial joint ventures that would benefit our entrepreneurs, academics and student body.

The IPO is responsible for the grant of intellectual property rights and the administration of all IP laws in Trinidad and Tobago. One of its prime mandates is the promotion of inventiveness among citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Toward that end, the IPO is seeking to establish an Intellectual Property Academy within the IPO with the assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The synergy with UTT’s function is very close as Intellectual property is seen as a key asset of the University. UTT via its business accelerator uSTART is actively developing opportunities for students to become entrepreneurs based on the full lifecycle from development of idea, business plan, proof of concept, incubation and introduction into the marketplace and production and sales. Intellectual property is created by most companies, whatever business they are involved in. For many of these organisations, intellectual property is even their most important asset. Safeguarding this possession is therefore vital and can offer SMEs many opportunities.

Each year WIPO designates April 26th as World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. The UTT through its Entrepreneurship and Business Development Office has supported the local IPO by hosting the celebrations of this event for the past two (2) years. The theme for 2017 is “Innovation – Improving Lives”.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UTT and the IPO will promote continued cooperation between the two institutions in the field of intellectual property; and the national development of IP via training programmes and public outreach, which ultimately will improve the lives of creators and those who consume creative works.





Copyright © Intellectual Property Office 2016.
All rights reserved.

Criminal penalties for Intellectual Property Rights Infringement


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)


The Copyright Infringement Ship

Piracy Ship

Click here to download image.



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.