(Formerly:  ELLICE ISLANDS)

(WIPO code: TV) (latest review March 2021)

by PHILLIPS ORMONDE FITZPATRICK – Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, Melbourne, Australia

General Information

Area

26 sq. km (being 9 coral atolls).

Population

11,342 (estimated July 2020).

Capital

Funafuti.

Languages

Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati.

Currency

Australian dollar (AUD); 1 dollar = 0.77 U.S. dollar (January 2021).

General Remarks

On October 1, 1975, by Constitutional Order, the Ellice Islands were formally separated from the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands, thus forming the new colony of Tuvalu. The remaining islands in the former Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony are now named Kiribati. The new colony of Tuvalu includes the islands of Nanumanga, Nanumea, Nui, Niutao, Vaitupu, and the four islands of the Tuvalu group formerly claimed by the United States: Funafuti, Nukufetau, Nukulailai (Nukulaelae), and Nurakita (Niulakita).

Tuvalu became independent on October 1, 1978 and is now a constitutional monarchy.

Since 1999, Tuvalu has been profitable in contract leasing its Internet domain name through the American company VeriSign, Inc. Tuvalu’s unique suffix, “.TV”, attracts interest from many individuals, entities and television companies around the world. It is now the largest source of income for the Nation.

Tuvalu has experienced rising sea levels which threaten the country’s underground water table. The Government of Tuvalu has appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary. Tuvalu hosted the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in August 2019 where Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, appealed to the leaders to endorse the Tuvalu Declaration to take action against climate change.