A new Trade Marks Act came into effect in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on 1 September 2015, ending the current dual filing system currently in place for trade marks. It is no longer possible to register marks in the BVI on the basis of an existing UK registration.
Under the new law there is provision for the registration of service marks and specifications drafted in accordance with the latest version of the Nice Classification are now accepted by the Registry. The Registrar also has discretion under the new law to reclassify specifications previously classified in accordance with the outdated system previously in place, after giving notice to the trade mark proprietor.
However, at this early stage it is difficult to predict to what extent this discretion will be exercised. Other changes include the shortening of the 14 year renewal period to 10 years, and the introduction of Paris Convention priority being accepted.