Registering a trademark in the Bahamas involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the BIPO, and weathering the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will grant you exclusive rights to use it in the Bahamas for 14 years, with the possibility of renewal. This guide and the resources provided can assist you in taking the necessary steps to protect your brand in the Bahamas. Adherence to the requirements and guidelines is essential to ensure a successful registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
Your first step in this process should be a preliminary search to confirm that your proposed trademark is not identical or similar to an existing one. The Bahamas Intellectual Property Office (BIPO) provides an online database for this purpose. Access the database via this link: https://www.bipo.gov.bs
Step 2: Application
If your preliminary search reveals no conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the BIPO. The application should include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services that the trademark will cover.
Step 3: Examination by BIPO
Upon receiving your application, BIPO will scrutinize it to ensure compliance with the Trademark Act's requirements. They will also verify if the proposed trademark can be registered or if it conflicts with any existing registered trademarks.
Step 4: Publication
If the application passes the examination stage, BIPO will then publish the application in the Official Gazette. This publication serves to provide third parties an opportunity to oppose the trademark's registration. The opposition period lasts for 60 days from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed within the given timeframe, or if any opposition is resolved in your favor, BIPO will proceed with the trademark's registration. Upon successful registration, you will receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application in the Bahamas is approximately BSD 500 (as of 2023). There is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate upon successful application. Note that these fees are subject to change, and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the BIPO website.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 12 to 18 months, provided there are no objections or oppositions.
Bahamas Intellectual Property Office (BIPO): https://www.bipo.gov.bs