Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions?
1. What is a Trademark?

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.

2. What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.

3. Who can apply?

Any person claiming to be an owner of a trade mark, can apply for trade mark registration.

4. Registration Time Frame?

Trade mark registrations typically take up to a year to process although, they can take significantly longer if the application is opposed.

5. Classification System does the Bahamas use?

The Bahamas has its own National Classification systems for goods.  The Bahamian Classification systems covers approximately 50 classifications of goods.  

6. How long does registration remain in effect and what is required to maintain a registration?

Under the currently legislation, the registration of a trade mark shall be for a period of fourteen (14) years but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the 1906 Act.

7. What are the benefits of registration?

Generally, the benefits of trade mark registration include the registration itself serving as constructive notice to a potential infringer that the mark has been registered for trade mark protections and remedies are available to the registered trade mark owner who has exclusive use of that trade mark.  Trade mark registration eliminates a defense to claims of infringement or dilution.  Trade mark registration can also be relied upon to prevent the import of infringing goods; and can prevent the registration of applications that may be confusingly similar to the trade mark.

 Further, the owner of a registered trade mark is entitled to give to such person the exclusive right to the use of such trade mark upon or in connection with the goods in respect of which it is registered.

 Further, in all legal proceedings relating to a registered trade mark, the fact that a person is registered as proprietor of such trade mark shall be prima facie evidence of the validity of the original registration of such trade mark and of all subsequent assignments and transmissions of the same.

8. What is the relevant legislation?

The Copyright Act 1999, Chapter 323 of the Statute Laws of the Bahamas (“the Act”) as amended by The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2015 (“the Amendment Act”) and the related Copyright Regulations are the relevant legislations for copyright provisions in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

9. What types of works are copyrightable?

The Copyright Act 1999 protects literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, choreographic, architectural works, motion pictures and other audio visual and sound recordings.
10. What types of rights are covered by copyright?

Copyright protection under the Act provides the exclusive owner the right to produce, reproduce, distribute by public sale or otherwise, transmit, transfer ownership, license, publicly perform, broadcast or prepare a derivative work of the copy written work.

11. What may not be protected by copyright?

Any idea or creation which is not fixed in space or time will not be eligible for copyright protection under the requirements of the Act.

12. Is there a requirement of copyright notice?

Although a copyright notice is not required where the copyright owner publishes a protected work in The Bahamas or elsewhere, it is a requirement that if such copyright notice appears, it should consist of the Copyright symbol or an abbreviation thereof, the first year of publication of the work and the name or the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be generally recognized. The notice of copyright should be affixed on the work so that it is visually perceptible on all copies.

13. Is copyright registration mandatory?

For the owner of the copyright or of any the exclusive right in the work to claim the copyright protection and the benefits of several related rights, the owners’ exclusive right should be registered.

14. How do you apply for a copyright registration?

Consult with an OuttenIP attorney to customize your copyright application for registration. That attorney will expertly draft your application for your copyright registration.

15. What are the fees to apply for a copyright registration?

The fees government fees associated with applying for copyright registration range from BSD $30.00 filing fees to BSD $50.00 on a per item basis. Legal fees for same, associated with the copyright registration, will be calculated basis on upon consultation and the scope of the work to be performed.

16. Who is the owner of a copyrighted work?
The author of a protected work is the first owner of the any copyright in that work.