What We Do

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.





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.