Capital: Port Villa

Population: 250,000(Est. 2012)

Languages: Bislama, English, French

Area: 12,200 km2

Currency: Vatu (VUV)

Legal System: Combined common law system, incorporating British, French and customary law

Protection of IP Rights in Vanuatu

The first intellectual property legislation was introduced into Vanuatu in 2000 and by 2011, laws covering patents, trade marks, designs, copyright, geographical indications and circuit layouts were passed. The majority, with the exception of trade marks and designs, are yet to come into force.

Registration and Protection of Patents in Vanuatu

The filing of patent applications in Vanuatu is currently in a transitional phase. A new Patents Act Bill has been passed in the Parliament. However, it has not yet been implemented. The new Act will likely remove re-registration of UK (EP) patents.

Registration and Protection of Trade Marks in Vanuatu

Following introduction of the new Trademarks Act in February 2011, trade mark registration in Vanuatu is now independent, that is, it is not based on a corresponding European Member State registration as was the case previously. Multi-class applications are permitted and service marks are registrable.

Spruson & Ferguson is able to lodge trade mark applications in Vanuatu on behalf of our clients. Please contact us for further information.




  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • World Intellectual Property Organization

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