There have been some significant and perhaps slightly concerning disturbing developments in Haiti.

Trade mark renewals and declarations of use – grace periods scrapped

The registry in Haiti has, without notice, scrapped its practice of allowing a six-month grace period for both trade mark renewals and declarations of use – this change has seemingly been in effect since January 2021 for declarations of use and January 2022 for renewals but, as there was no publication of the changes, they have only recently come to light. Both are now being strictly enforced.

Our understanding is that, despite these changes, renewals can still be filed within a period of three months from lapse.

Fee increases

On 19 April 2022 the authorities announced a 25% increase in official fees for trade mark matters, to come into effect on 2 May 2022. This followed a 10% increase in official fees the previous month.

Local lawyers point out that, whereas examination fees are paid to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI), publication fees are paid to the Haitian National Press (HNP). The two agencies are apparently not co-ordinating on fee increases.

Local lawyers advise that these changes are valid. But they do fear that they may cause a certain amount reputational damage.

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