The present functions of the Intellectual Property Office include:
- The main statutory function of the IPO is to grant intellectual property rights in the area of industrial property
- In addition, the two other major statutory functions of the Office are:
i. The promotion of inventiveness among citizens of Trinidad and Tobago; and
ii. Making patent information services available to the public.
- Under the Berne Convention (Trinidad and Tobago has been party to it since 1988), it is not necessary to require formal procedures to obtain copyright and related rights. Therefore the IPO has no statutory responsibility for copyright and related rights. However, the Minister with responsibility for intellectual property may charge the Office with certain responsibilities relative to copyright and related rights and has been doing so over the years.
The other responsibilities of the IPO include:
- The determination of Opposition Hearings;
- Making Intellectual Property information available to the public;
- Receiving international-applications under the Patent Corporation Treaty (PCT);
- Advising the Government on Intellectual Property matters, e.g. for negotiation in the trade agreements;
- Raising public awareness, inclusive of schools and institutions of higher learning;
- Participating in the development of International Treaties in the area of intellectual property; and
- Participating in the development of International Instruments dealing with new and evolving areas of Intellectual Property.