Saint Kitts y Nevis
3. We understand that legislation on trademarks, patents and copyright have been passed by your Parliament, but that they are not yet in force. (a) When is such legislation likely to be effectively implemented? (b) What are the key improvements introduced by such legislation in respect of TRIPS obligations?
The Marks, Collective Marks and Trade Names Act came into force on 28th July 2000. The Copyright Act and Patents Act came into force on 1 June 2002. Notifications of all legislation related to IPRs have been sent to the WTO and WIPO. Trademarks The prior legislation was passed in 1887 and whilst adequate at the time, did not have the benefit of the application of contemporary standards. There was no definition of a "mark" and the aspect of a mark being refused as being indistinguishable from the goods or services of one enterprise from that of another was not adequately captured. The eligibility of certain trade names has been expanded and clarified in the existing legislation. Greater specificity on infringement and offences generally under the Act has been included in the new Act. Recognition and distinction of well- known marks is provided for in the existing legislation as well as the applicability of the Nice Agreement and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Patents The previous Patents Act dated from 1906. This earlier legislation failed to provide adequately for the protection of the product as opposed to the process. The patent had a maximum duration of fourteen years and more contemporary considerations such as the applicability of the Patent Cooperation Treaty were not taken account of. The prior Act failed to provide appropriately for the concept of novelty of invention and was overall very thin on procedural aspects. The various aspects and nuances of infringement were not comprehensively dealt with. All of these areas have since been remedied by the existing Patents Act. Copyright The previous legislation in this area was the Copyright Act Chapter 336 of 1919. In addition, the 1956 U.K. Act was largely applicable within the then colony (Saint Kitts and Nevis became an independent nation in 1983). The 1919 Act consisted of three sections which therefore demonstrates how extremely limited it was in scope and how ineffectual it would be in this current regime. The previous legislation created an offence for the infringement of a copyrighted work, however the kinds of work that was contemplated, the extent of the protection, the actual remedies for infringement – outside of the criminal penalty, were not provided for. The current legislation sets out a wide range of concerns in comprehensive detail, including protection for works in electronic form, licensing schemes and licensing bodies, recognizing through the creation of exceptions, the need to balance the exclusive rights of the owner against the rights of the State and certain public purposes that derive therefrom. Some of these rights include fair dealing with a performance or recording for the purpose of criticism or review or reporting on current events, parliamentary proceedings, library use and the playing of certain types of recording for charitable purposes.