Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 15 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
If I register my trademark in Bahrain, do I have protection in other territories?
No. Protection of trademark is limited in Bahrain only.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
Applicants are required to present a signed Power of Attorney.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
Yes. The applicant may benefit from pre-filing use. It can be used to demonstrate the mark’s distinctiveness and overcome oppositions based on non-distinctiveness.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Yes. A registered trademark that is not being used is prone to cancellation.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Bahrain?
The following marks are accepted for registration:
- Trade dress or get-up
- Shapes having 3 dimensions
- Certification marks
- Collective marks
- Service marks
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Bahrain?
The order of trademark application in Bahrain is as follows: Examination, Publication and Registration. The application is examined based on requirements, i.e., formalities and classification. Details about the application will be published and made available to the public, i.e., applicant’s name, address, citizenship, etc. Once requirements are satisfied and oppositions are won, the registration will be granted.
What type of trademark is not registrable?
The following marks are not registrable:
- Generic words
- Marks without distinctive qualities
- Marks that include name, symbol or flag of a nation, state or region including international organizations
- Names of geographic locations
- Marks that resemble Red Cross or Red Crescent
- Use of picture, emblem or symbols of third parties without obtaining proper consent
- Use of honorary distinction without proofs of legal entitlement
- Use of religious symbols or signs
Does Bahrain use the "Nice Classification" system?
Yes. The Nice Classification is followed in Bahrain.
Does the Community Trademark apply for Bahrain?
The Community Trademark is not effective in Bahrain.
Is there any possibility to claim priority in Bahrain?
Yes. Applicants may claim priority if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The home country of the applicant is a Paris Convention member
- Home application was filed within 6 months prior to filing in Bahrain
- The home country of the applicant is a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization)
- International registration is based on the application in Bahrain’s jurisdiction
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?
Use the trademark within the jurisdiction of Bahrain and for commercial purposes. An unused trademark for 5 consecutive years will result to removal from the registry office.
Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
A registered trademark’s validity in Bahrain lasts for 10 years.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date the application was filed.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
It is legal to use an unregistered mark for goods and services.
How many applications should I file?
The answer to this question depends on the characteristics of your mark, your budget and the scope of protection that you would like to have in Bahrain.
If your trademark contains distinctive verbal elements (text) as well as design elements (graphics or logos) and you wish both to be protected, our recommendation is to file two trademark applications; one to protect just the verbal elements (the application will be filed as “Word Mark”) and another to protect just the design elements (the application will be filed as “Combined Mark”).
In this case, proceeding with two trademark applications has the following advantages:
Broader and stronger protection. If a third party files a “Combined Mark” with very similar text to yours but different design, their “Combined Mark” could be accepted for registration if you only filed a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” because in its entirety the third party’s mark is still considered different from yours.
You will be protected if your logo evolves. It is common for companies to change the design of their logo with time. If you file a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” your new logo will not be protected. You must use your trademark exactly as registered; if you don’t, your trademark may be subject to cancellation.
Effective verbal and graphics protection. Filing a “Word Mark” application provides greater flexibility to use your mark in different ways, whether it is presenting it in stylized text or presenting it with different designs (as long as they are not too similar to registered trademarks that belong to third parties). At the same time, filing a “Combined Mark” allows you to protect the design elements of your mark.
If your trademark also contains a slogan or a distinctive design symbol, we suggest you file a specific application for each, as this will give you additional protection.
Does having a registered trademark in Bahrain give me any right?
The “first to file” principle is applicable in Bahrain. Registration is mandatory in order to secure trademark rights.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
The national office for trademark registration is not accessible online.
Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?
No. The applicant is not required to use the mark or to have intention to use the mark prior to filing of application.
Can a Trademark Application be opposed?
Yes. Opposition to trademark application is available based on the following reasons:
- Earlier registered right or proprietary right
- Descriptive, misleading, functional, deceptive, or generic mark
- Use of religious symbols
- Non-distinctive mark
- Violation of right to a personal name
- Violation of rights under Article 6bis, Article 6ter, Article 6septies, and Article 8 of the Paris Convention
- Marks that are against moral principles
- Marks that are contrary to public order
- Use of degree of honour without proof of eligibility
- Use of third party photos, names or logos without written consent
- Use of geographic indication
- Application in bad faith
Who can contest my trademark registration?
Any interested party or aggrieved person may oppose an application or registration.
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
Yes. Registration for a trademark can be cancelled on these grounds:
- Proprietary rights
- Personal name rights
- Article 6ter of the Paris Convention
- Article 6septies of the Paris Convention
- Article 8 of the Paris Convention
- Generic mark
- Non-distinctive mark
- Misleading or deceptive mark
- Functional mark
- Descriptive mark
- Mark with geographical indication
- Marks that are against principles of morality
- Marks that contradict public order
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?
Yes. The following rights are obtained by the trademark owner after registration:
- Exclusive right to use the mark
- Right to appeal against subsequent conflicting applications
- Right to appeal for the cancellation of later conflicting registrations
- Right to file a legal case against third parties for infringement
- Right to demand for compensation from third parties for infringing the mark
- Right to appeal for seizure of counterfeit goods
How long is the opposition period?
The opposition period starts on the Gazette publication date and will end 60 days after that date.
Is Bahrain a member of the Madrid System?
Yes. Bahrain is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
No. Period statements of use and other similar documentations are not required.
When should I renew my trademark?
Renewals are done every 10 years from the last date the trademark was renewed.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date the application was filed.
Should I present any documents when renewing a trademark?
You will need a power of attorney to renew a trademark registration.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
You have 6 months grace period to retrieve an expired trademark.
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.
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.
A 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:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.