04-17-2012 (Newsletter Issue 6/12)
New Trade Name Law
The new Trade Name Law (Law no. 18 of 2012) has been recently issued in Bahrain. This Law was drafted back in February 2011. The salient features of Law no. 18 of 2012 are as follows:
- The new trade name shall be new and innovative.
- The new trade name shall not be identical or similar to a well-known mark nor to any other mark.
- The new trade name shall not include any political, military or religious content.
- The new trade name shall not refer to any regional, Arab or international organization.
- The use of the new trade name shall not create any confusion with other names of company owners or product distributors.
06-13-2011 (Newsletter Issue 8/11)Annuity Payment Reminder for Industrial DesignsWith the Implementing Regulations for the Industrial Designs Law issued in the Official Gazette No. 2936 dated February 25, 2010, payment of design annuities became applicable in Bahrain.
The Patent Office has now started to accept annuities for the existing valid design registrations.
The annuities are counted from the anniversary of the publication date. At present, the Patent Office accepts annuities, which are due for payment after February 25, 2010, which is the issuance date of the implementing regulations of Industrial Designs.
Further, it is noted, that as per the new Industrial Designs Law (2006) in Bahrain, all industrial design registrations are valid for a period of 10 years from the date of registration and renewable for a further period of 5 years.
Source: JAH & CO. IP, Qatar
04-16-2011 (Newsletter Issue 7/11)
PoA Requirements Changed
The Bahraini Industrial Property Office (BIPO) has issued a statement requesting to provide a legalized Power of Attorney (PoA) up to a Bahraini Consulate within three months from the date of filing. Prior to this statement it was requested to submit the legalized PoA at the time of filing.
In case there is no Embassy of Bahrain, then authenticating by any Arab consulate will be accepted.
Source: NJQ & Associates
04-01-2011 (Newsletter Issue 6/11)
Trademark & Patent Office Fully Operational
The Bahraini Trademark and Patent Office is now back to its normal working hours after it had been partially operational due to the unrest in Bahrain.
02-23-2011 (Newsletter Issue 3/11)
Legalized Power of Attorney Requested
The Bahrain Trademark and Patent Office (BTMO) has announced that only powers of attorney that are legalized up to any Arab consulate will be accepted. This means that simply signed powers will no longer be admissible in support of trademark, patent and design applications. The document must be submitted at the time of filing.
This decision will cover all trademark transactions, including renewal, assignment, merger and change of name.
Source: NJQ & Associates
Trademark Protection in Bahrain is governed by Law No. 11 of 2006, issued on May 31, 2006.
Ministerial Decision No. 40 of 2005 raising the Official Trademark Fees in Bahrain was issued on December 26th, 2005, was published in the Official Gazette No 2720 on January 4th, 2006, and became effective on the same date.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. However, a trademark application can be opposed successfully upon producing sufficient proof of prior use of the mark in Bahrain and elsewhere in the world.
Also, well-known trademarks enjoy protection under the provisions of the Paris Convention even if they are not registered in Bahrain.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, holograms, colours, combinations or shades of colours, three-dimensional forms, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging and any combination of the mentioned signs. Protection unter the new law has been expanded to include registration of sounds, smells, and shapes of goods, packaging, colour, combination and photographic elements.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, trade names and titles of establishment.
The application is filed at the Industrial Property Office.
A separate application has to be filed for each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A legalized power of attorney is required.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
In absense of a home registration, registration in any other countries or certified copy of the extract from the Commercial Register of the applicant is sufficient. Otherwise a certified copy of certificate of home or any foreign application or registration is needed.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use or if there is a registration in any country following a substantial examination system.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 14 to 18 months.
Prior to registration, the trademark application is published in the official gazette.
The opposition period is 60 days from publication date of the application.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. The renewal fees should be paid within the last year of the protection.
If the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration, it may be subject to cancellation by any interested party and before the court.
The official fee is approx. EUR 250.00 per class.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In Bahrain a licence agreement has to be in writing. Licensing of unregistered trademarks is not permitted. Licences can only be recorded for registered trademarks. A trademark may be licensed for some or all of the goods or services in respect of which the trademark is registered. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence, unless provided for in the sale agreement or the licence agreement originally executed by the two parties. There are no statutory provisions prescribing the terms of a licence agreement, but the terms and conditions agreed upon between the two parties are regarded as valid.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee. The recordal is not mandatory but may be requested by the parties. A licence agreement will not have any effect against third parties unless registered and published in the Official Gazette. There is no time frame for the recordal of a licence and there is no prescribed form or content for the validity of a licence agreement.
The following documents are required for a recordal:
1. A certified licence agreement signed by the parties and duly legalised up to the Bahraini Consulate
2. A signed power of attorney by the licensee, notarised and legalised up to the Bahraini or any other Arabian Consulate
The licence agreement becomes effective and enforceable against third parties from the date of signature of the agreement, provided that it is recorded in the Trademarks Register and published in the Trademarks Gazette.
There is no evidentiary presumption that use of a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee may join the trademark owner in infringement proceedings and may also call upon the trademark owner to institute infringement proceedings, but he may not institute proceedings in his own name if the proprietor refuses or neglects to do so. The licensee can institute action against infringement only if he is so authorised by the legitimate owner or if this is expressly provided for in the licence agreement.
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
01-10-2012JAH & CO. IP
, Doha, Qatar Licensing
12-15-2011JAH & CO. IP
, Doha, Qatar
NJQ & Associates, Amman, Jordan