Local News

Sep 5, 2016


A brief overview of the activities being undertaken by the Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs regarding its ‘Building Respect for Intellectual Property and Tourism’ Programme

Building Respect for Intellectual Property Booth

The Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (IPO) requested and obtained technical assistance from the Building Respect for Intellectual Property Division of the World Intellectual Property Office to enable it to design and implement a ‘Building Respect for Intellectual Property’ (BRIP) programme in Trinidad and Tobago.

The programme’s main objective is to reduce the levels of piracy and counterfeit activities among tourists and locals in Trinidad and Tobago. To achieve its goals, the IPO established a BRIP function and assigned an officer dedicated to manage the programme. It involves an education, information and training strategy. A minibus, ICT equipment and communication materials as well as seven hundred thousand dollars (TT$700,000.00) from the Public Sector Investment Programme budget have been assigned to this programme.

The programme activities and associated multimedia campaign are packaged as a roving Intellectual Property (IP) exhibition and clinic labelled “IP-MOBILE”. IP-MOBILE provides a facility to meet and talk IP with the various publics. IP-MOBILE hardware comprises a colourful minivan, two outdoor tents fitted with tables and chairs to host visitors and house the exhibits, complemented by ICT equipment for accessing the Internet and playing videos and other presentations.

IP-MOBILE journeys throughout the country, reaching many publics: primary and secondary school and university students, academia, industry, business, government and the general public at their organizations and event locations including tourist hot spots. The services provided range from the distribution of IP-related flyers and posters, audiovisual presentations and discussions on IP issues.

The IPO also introduced the “Building Respect for Intellectual Property and Tourism” poster competition for secondary school students in Tobago. The competition serves to create awareness of the harmful effects of piracy and counterfeiting among the Tobago youth. With an increasing demand for its services, the IPO will continue to raise awareness of IP on a sustainable basis.





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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.