Registering a trademark in the Maldives involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the Ministry of Economic Development, and waiting for the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will give you exclusive rights to use it in the Maldives for 10 years, renewable indefinitely. By following this guide and using the resources provided, you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand in the Maldives. Make sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
The first step in the process is to conduct a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. The Ministry of Economic Development in the Maldives provides a database that you can use for this search. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Ministry was in the process of digitalizing its trademark database, and the link to the database was not yet available.
Step 2: Application
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the Ministry of Economic Development. The application must include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
Step 3: Examination by the Ministry of Economic Development
Upon receiving the application, the Ministry will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Maldivian Trademark Law. The Ministry will also determine whether the trademark can be registered or if it infringes upon any existing trademarks.
Step 4: Publication
Once the application passes the examination, the Ministry will publish the application in the Government Gazette. This is to give third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for 60 days from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, the Ministry will proceed with the registration of the trademark. The applicant will then receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application is approximately MVR 2,000 (as of 2022). If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. Please note that these fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the Ministry's website.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 6 to 8 months, provided that there are no objections or oppositions.
Website Links: Ministry of Economic Development: https://www.trade.gov.mv/