Trade and Service Marks

– Trademarks Act for the BES Islands, in force since October 10, 2010.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act of 1967.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since January 1, 1986.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement (1994), since January 1, 1995.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since April 28, 2003.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, since May 21, 2012 (NLC 11-2019 and NLC 11-2020).
– Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks, since May 21, 2012.
– Trademark Law Treaty, since August 11, 2012.


Notes: the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), operating under the authority of the Department of Caribbean Netherlands (Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland) is responsible for trademark registration in the BES Islands and for the implementation of the Trademarks Act for Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba. The Office’s Internet site is Searches in the online Register will no longer be limited to national trademarks valid in Caribbean Netherlands. They will include international trademarks with validity on the BES islands. It will therefore no longer be necessary to search the WIPO database to find all potentially conflicting trademarks. The complete trademark data of international registrations however hasn’t been included in the CaribIE database. You will be directly linked to all relevant and specific trademark data available at WIPO by clicking the international trademark found in a CaribIE search. It is also possible now to perform an image search. The Vienna codes have been added to all figurative and combined word/figurative marks with validity in Caribbean Netherlands. The option for a search based upon Vienna codes has been added to the advanced search menu. This is the same functionality that is already available in the Benelux online Register.

Electronic filing: the BES Islands Register of Marks is a full electronic register where all filing and correspondence takes place by e-mail. Payments can only be made by electronic means.

Applicant: any natural person or legal entity claiming the right to a trademark. 

Service marks and collective marks: may be registered.

Colors and family names: may be registered. 

Not registrable: (1) shapes, determined by the nature of the goods, that influence the actual value of the goods, or that yield a result in the industrial field, cannot be registered as marks; (2) signs that may deceive or mislead the public; (3) marks that infringe upon the public order. 

Priority: based upon Article 4 of the Paris Convention, priority may be claimed within six months of the filing date in any Convention country. 

Multi-class applications: possible.

Territory covered: Caribbean Netherlands: the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Filing requirements:
1. Power of attorney (no legalization);
2. Exact name and address of the applicant;
3. Electrotype (8 x 8 cm), not required for ordinary word marks;
4. For logos, 1 print in black and white; 1 print in color if color is claimed;
5. The classes and specification of goods and/or services (in English);
6. Priority document; a certified copy of home registration (not older than six months) with certified translation into Dutch, if not in English or Spanish.


Examination: as to formality of the documents, registrability of the mark, existence of prior registrations or applications or marks known in Caribbean Netherlands. 

Disclaimers: not available.  

Letters of consent: are not accepted. 

Publication: on the CaribIE Internet site ( 

Delivery of document: provided that no complications occur, a typical application takes between one and two months from filing to registration. 

Effect of registration: there is a presumption of exclusive rights to use the mark. 

Use: compulsory; non-use for a period of more than five years may be claimed as defense by an infringer. Use by a licensee is deemed use by the proprietor. 

Tolerated use: after five years of tolerated use of a mark subsequently registered, the holder of the exclusive right to a mark can no longer invoke the nullity of the subsequent registration. 

Nullification/cancellation: on the grounds mentioned in Article 25 of the BES Trademark Act 2011, any interested party may request the Court of First Instance (“Gerecht in Eerste Aanleg”) to nullify and cancel the registration of a mark. 

Appeal: may be filed at the Common Court of Justice (“Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie”) and at the Supreme Court of Justice (“Hoge Raad”). 

Marking: no provision. 

Duration: ten years as of the date the application was filed. 

Renewal: for periods of ten years. An application for renewal must be filed within six months prior to expiration. 

Late renewal: renewal within six months after expiration is possible against additional duties to be paid. 

Documents for renewal: same as for original application. 

Assignment: possible, with or without the business. It must be recorded. 

License: registration is not compulsory. 

Infringement/opposition: based on the exclusive right of first registration, the mark holder can oppose against: (a) any use, made in economic traffic, of the mark for the goods or services for which the mark has been registered; (b) any use of similar goods or services, if the possibility exists for the public to make an association between the marks; (c) any use, made without valid reason, of goods or services not similar, if the use of the mark can cause unjustified benefit or can harm the reputation of the mark. 

Penalties: the mark holder may claim damages for any loss and can institute a suit for payment of any profit earned in consequence of the unjustified use.