About Us

About the Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office was created on the 1st December, 1997 (Section 3 of the Patents Act, 1996) and is situated at 3rd Floor, Capital Plaza, 11 – 13 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad. A department within the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, the department is the local government agency responsible for handling the registration and conflict resolution of intellectual property rights.

The Intellectual Property Office presently operates under the following legislation:

  1. The Patents Act, 1996 (Act No. 21 of 1996), the Patent Validation Act, 1999 (Act No. 5 of 1999) and the Patents Amendment Act, 2000 (Act No. 54 of 2000) 
  2. The Trade Marks Act (Chapter 82:81) and Amendments (Act No. 17 of 1994, No. 25 of 1996, No. 31 of 1997)
  3. The Geographical Indications Act, 1996 (Act No. 20 of 1996)
  4. The Industrial Designs Act, 1996 (Act No. 18 of 1996)
  5. The Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 1996 (Act No. 19 of 1996)
  6. The Protection of New Plant Varieties Act, 1997 (Act No. 7 of 1997)
  7. The Copyright Act, 1997 (Act No. 8 of 1997) and the Copyright Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No.5 of 2008)
  8. The Protection Against Unfair Competition Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996)
  9. The Miscellaneous Amendments Act, 2000 (Act No. 18 of 2000)


  1. National IP policy that promotes Trinidad & Tobago competitiveness and growth;
  2. A society that regards intellectual property systems as a tool for economic development
  3. A more inventive society
  4. To maintain lead as the model IPO for the Caribbean;
  5. Accession to other International Treaties so as to be compliant with WIPO/WTO best practices to be able to ably respond to new and emerging global IP issues
  6. To provide greater education, information and training programs


  1. To increase the human resource capacity of the Office through the implementation of the revised staff structure;
  2. To position the IPO in an optimal trade or business environment
  3. Provide patent information services
  4. Establish an Intellectual Property Academy in the IPO
  5. To foster greater inventiveness in the society
  6. To provide greater education, information and training programs
  7. Host the Headquarters for the Regional Patent Administration in the Caribbean;
  8. Establish a Copyright Tribunal and a designated Industrial Property Court





Copyright © Intellectual Property Office 2016.
All rights reserved.

Criminal penalties for Intellectual Property Rights Infringement


Maximum Penalty (TT Dollars)

Copyright and Related Rights incl. databases

$250,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Topography of Integrated Circuits

$10,000.00 or 5 years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Trade Mark (incl. company names represented in a special or particular manner)

$10,000.00 or 6 months imprisonment (summary conviction); $40,000.00 or 10 years imprisonment (indictment)

Industrial Design

$10,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Patent and Utility Model

$10,000.00 (summary conviction).

Falsification of patent register: $20,000.00 (summary conviction) or $40,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (indictment)

Geographical Indications

$8,000.00 or three years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Plant Variety

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim of patent rights

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim that a patent has been applied for

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)


The Copyright Infringement Ship

Piracy Ship

Click here to download image.



Piracy occurs when any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights are violated.

Note 14 of the TRIPS Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) provides the following interpretation:

(a) “counterfeit trademark goods” shall mean any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country of importation;

(b) “pirated copyright goods” shall mean any goods which are copies made without the consent of the right holder or person duly authorized by the right holder in the country of production and which are made directly or indirectly from an article where the making of that copy would have constituted an infringement of a copyright or a related right under the law of the country of importation.

The maximum penalty for copyright infringement is $250,000 or ten years imprisonment. The above pirate ship illustrates some common examples of piracy.