Trademarks in Haiti are governed by the Law of July 17, 1954, as amended by Law of July 15, 1956; the Decree of August 28, 1960; the Decree of September 13, 1965, adopting the (8) eight classes of services (see Note on Nice Agreement below); the Decree of September 24, 1970.
Others references of interest: Decree of July 31, 1956 et al adopting the Paris Convention; Decree of December 13, 1960 adopting the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration; Decree of June 18, 1964 relative to the mandatory registration at the Chamber of Commerce; TRIPS should become effective in 2013, as a less advanced country, the Agreement that was supposed to take effect ten (10) years after its adoption, i.e. in 2005, but was further reported for 8 years later.
Haiti is not a member of the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
The international classification of goods and services (Nice Classification) consisting of 45 classes has not been adopted. Although Haiti is not party to the Nice Agreement, it is currently using the Nice classification.
Registration is mandatory for pharmaceutical products (class 5). They cannot be sold if the trademark is not registered.
Registrable as a trademark are : names in a distinctive form, emblems, impressions, stamps, cachets, vignettes, relief’s, letters, ciphers, monograms, labels, particular combinations of colors, signatures, ornamental designs, fabricated words or names, portraits in general, all special signs or appellations adopted or applied by said manufacturers, industrialists, merchants or companies to their products with the object of indicating their industrial, commercial, or agricultural activity, and of distinguishing it from others of the same kind.
Non-traditional marks (like sound marks, olfactory marks or three-dimensional forms) are registrable, but there is no precedent of any registration of sound and olfactory marks in Haiti, although they’re not expressly excluded by the law. Three-dimensional marks have been registered.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks and collective marks. Tradenames can also be registered.
The application is filed at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
A separate application has to be filed for each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney (simply signed) is needed.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration of the corporation or entity proprietor of the mark.
The processing time from first filing to registration is 8 to 12 months, if there are no oppositions. Prior to registration, trademark applications are published in the National Gazette “LE MONITEUR” for opposition purposes.
The opposition period is 2 months from publication date of the application.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of expiration of opposition period. Proof of use or Affidavit of Non-Use should be provided at the end of fifth (5th) year from granting. If a Declaration of use or legitimate excuse for non-use has not been filed within the time limit indicated above, the registration becomes invalid. However, after the registration has lapsed, the owner of the lapsed registration has a period of priority of three months for refilling the same mark.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months starting from the expiration date.
The law does not provide a specific timeframe for use. However, the mark must be used and in good faith during the period of five years preceding.
Cancellation action is based on prior use and will not be heard if it is filed more than five years after registration.
The official application fee for is USD 6.25 (approx. EUR 4.00) per class.
Country Index is a free service of S.M.D. Markeur, an international IP searching and monitoring firm.
Publication fee is USD 50.00 (approx. EUR 35.00) for a design mark and USD 24.00 (approx. EUR 17.00) for a word mark.
Registration fee is and additional USD 15.00 (approx. EUR 11.00) - only final registration taxes.
We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
Cabinet de Lespinasse, Paot-au-Prince, Haiti