European Union
Saint Kitts and Nevis
9. Please give the definition of a sign under your national legislation and explain under what conditions it is protectable.
A "sign" is not specifically defined in the Marks, Collective Marks and Trade Names Act but s. 2 defines a "mark" as "any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods ("trademark") or services ("service mark") of an enterprise" and a collective mark as a visible sign designated as such in the application for registration and capable of distinguishing the origin or other common characteristic, such as the quality, of goods or services of different enterprises which use the sign under the control of the registered owner of that sign. By law, a mark must satisfy the following characteristics: (a) be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises; (b) not be contrary to public order or morality; (c) not be likely to mislead the public or trade circles, in particular, as regards the geographical origin of goods or services concerned or their nature or characteristics; (d) not be identical to, or an imitation of, or contain as an element, an armorial bearing, flag or other emblem, a name or abbreviation or initials of the name of or official sign or hallmark adopted by, any State, inter-governmental Organisation or Organisation created by an international convention, unless authorised by the competent authority of that State or Organisation; (e) not be identical to, nor confusingly similar to, nor constitute a translation of, a mark or trade name which is well known in Saint Christopher and Nevis for identical or similar goods or services of another enterprise, or if it is well-known and registered in Saint Christopher for goods or services which are not identical, or similar to those in respect of which registration is applied for, provided, in the latter case, that (i) use of the mark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection between those goods or services and the owner of the well-known mark; and (ii) the interests of the owner of the well-known mark are likely to be prejudiced by such use; or (f) not be identical to a mark belonging to a different owner and already on the Register, nor identical to a mark that has been filed earlier or given a priority date, in respect of the same goods or services or closely related goods or services, provided that the mark does not closely resemble such a mark so as to likely deceive or cause confusion.