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Trademark Renewal
In Bahamas in order to maintain the validity of a trademark registration you must renew it every 14 years. The renewal process is fairly simple, you will need to provide trademark registration details and send us a power of attorney.
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Applications are handled by experienced local Trademark Attorneys to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
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If your trademark application is rejected, our Attorneys will inform you and advise you on the best course of action.
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 8 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Bahamas, do I have protection in other territories?

No. The trademark is protected only within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

The applicant must submit a notarized Power of Attorney.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

Yes. It can be used to demonstrate the distinctive qualities of the mark. Opposition based on non-distinctiveness can be overcome, too.

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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes. Unused trademarks can be attacked by interested parties on the ground of non-use.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Bahamas?

The following signs or marks are registrable:

  • Word
  • Name
  • Slogan
  • Trade dress or get-up
  • Three-dimensional shape
  • Collective marks
  • Well-known marks
  • Certification marks
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Bahamas?

The application process goes through 3 phases in particular order: examination, publication and registration. The application is first examined if it is compliant with all requirements. Next, its details will be made accessible to the public through publication. Once all requirements are fulfilled and oppositions are successfully overcome, the registration is finally granted.

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What type of trademark is not registrable?

The following marks are prohibited for registration:

  • Generic words
  • Marks that lack distinctiveness
  • Names of geographic location
  • Surnames
  • Marks that violate moral principles or public order
  • Name, symbol or flag of a nation, region or state and international organization
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Does Bahamas use the "Nice Classification" system?

No. Bahamas has its own classification system. Nice Classification is not effective in this jurisdiction.

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Does the Community Trademark apply for Bahamas?

No. The Community Trademark is not effective in Bahamas.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Bahamas?

Yes. Priority can be claimed if:

  • The applicant’s home country is a party to the Paris Convention
  • The home application date is within 6 months prior to application in Bahamas
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

The trademark must be used within a period of 5 years from the date when the application was filed. Use must be commercial and must take place within the jurisdiction of Bahamas.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

The registered trademark is initially valid for 14 years calculated from the date of application.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal will take place 14 years from the date the application was filed.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Yes. It is legal to use a mark for goods/services even if it is still unregistered.

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Does having a registered trademark in Bahamas give me any right?

Registration is the only way to obtain rights to a trademark.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

The national trademark office of Bahamas is not available online.

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Intent to use or actual use is a requirement for registration.

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Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Yes. Applications for trademark can be opposed if any of the following is violated:

  • Proprietary right
  • Descriptive mark
  • Non-distinctive mark
  • Misleading or deceptive mark
  • Mark is a personal name
  • Generic mark
  • Mark implies a geographic indication
  • Rights under Article 6bis and Article 8 of the Paris Convention
  • Mark contrary to moral principles or public policy
  • Unauthorized use of national symbols or protected emblems
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Who can contest my trademark application?

Application to a trademark can be opposed by interested parties, aggrieved parties, or rightful owners of an earlier registered mark.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. A trademark’s registration may be cancelled on the following grounds:

  • Descriptive mark
  • Deceptive / misleading mark
  • Non-distinctive mark
  • Generic mark
  • Geographically indicative mark
  • Moral standards or public order are violated
  • Article 6ter of the Paris Convention is violated
  • Inclusion of protected emblems or badges
  • Use of mark in misleading ways
  • Prohibited mark
  • Mark was applied for in bad faith
  • Unsatisfied use requirements under Section VIII.A.
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. A registered trademark secures the owner of the following rights:

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to appeal against later conflicting applications
  • Right to appeal for the cancellation of later conflicting registrations
  • Right to take legal actions against third parties that infringe the mark
  • Right to demand for damages from third parties that infringe the mark
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period starts on the date of Gazette publication and ends one month later.

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Is Bahamas a member of the Madrid System?

No. Bahamas is not a signatory to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

No. Periodic statement of use and similar filings are not required.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Renewals are made every 14 years from the last date when the registration was renewed.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal will take place 14 years from the date the application was filed.

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

Yes. A power of attorney is needed for trademark renewals.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

Yes. A grace period is available depending on the renewal notice of the Registry Office.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a company’s products and services and distinguishes them from those of its competitors in the market. The name (the verbal element) is not the only component of a trademark—figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors, and sounds also create an identity that can be protected by trademark registration.

With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services, and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this trademark symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this service mark symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

You can lay claim to your work in many ways. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection to intellectual property owners. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or services from others in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea alone (otherwise we’d all be doing it). You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to an existing problem.

Copyright protects all types of original published, performed, and printed creative works of art, literature, and music. It prevents people from using, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works without the permission of the artist, author, composer, etc. Types of work covered by copyright protection include:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all examples of ways you can protect your intellectual property. Your rights to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

The symbol of a circled letter R after a trademark name or graphic image means that the preceding trademark has been registered. Various typographic symbols indicate copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but the best practice is to use circle‑R or circle‑C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM or trademark symbol indicates an unregistered trademark for one of 34 different classes of products. Owners use this symbol to claim the preceding name or logo as the Trademark of their product.
  • SM: The SM or service mark symbol is similar to the TM symbol except it indicates a claim to a mark for a service (one of 11 classes of service) rather than a tangible product.
  • ®: Use the ® symbol once you’ve registered your trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to indicate copyrighted material. The copyright notice should appear on the material as Copyright © followed by the date the work was created, the copyright owner’s name, a period, and finally “All Rights Reserved.” Like this: Copyright © 2021, John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Use it whether the copyright has been registered or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe best describe your business activity. 

Countries around the world have standardized 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services) for international use under the Nice International Classification.

These classes group all known products and services. If applicable, you can register the same trademark in more than one class; for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23 and register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is, therefore, possible for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. If you feel that protection should extend to include more than one class, you can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business.

You can search for your trademark class with this Trademark Class Search tool.

Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing whether or not they have the legal right to do so. They organize massive marketing campaigns with names they later find they’re not allowed to use. Performing a comprehensive search before deciding which trademark to register is a wise thing to do, especially when you consider future risks of litigation.  

It is a good idea to carry out some research before starting to do business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  The other company may object to you using the trademark and legally prohibit you from doing so.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you seek professional help. Our company offers a Comprehensive Trademark Study service. The Study gives you details of the classes in which you might want to register your trademark; it also lists identical and similar trademarks, and finally, you get an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you know a little about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend that you hire a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially the trademark search because the process is complex and relatively time consuming.

Please note that if you don’t manage to complete the application process correctly, the registration can drag on for several months and end up costing far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace, given the increasing number of unregistered and common law trademarks. Globalization also raises the question of entering international markets and registering trademarks in foreign countries to protect both your brand and your property rights.

Please note that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not necessarily guarantee your trademark will be accepted and registered. A  Comprehensive Trademark Study includes an extended review process and, more significantly, a formal evaluation of the likelihood that your application will be successful.

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