Trade and Service Marks

– Law No. 6 of 2014, issued on February 27, 2014, superseding the Trademarks Law No. 11 of 2006, issued on May 31, 2006.
– Ministerial Decree No. 65 of 2016, issued on May 26, 2016, issuing the Implementing Regulations for the Trade Mark Law of the Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCC), approved by Law No. 6 of 2014.

Note: Bahrain has joined the Madrid Protocol for International Trademark Registrations on September 15, 2005 and it entered into force on December 15, 2005. However, the IPO has not started accepting international trademark applications since the necessary procedures have not been implemented as yet.

Membership in International Conventions

– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since June 22, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since October 29, 1997.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since December 15, 2005.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, since December 15, 2005.
– Trademark Law Treaty, since March 18, 2007.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since December 31, 2013.

Filing

Applicant: any person who is the proprietor of a trade or a service mark according to the implication of Article 4 of the Trade Marks Law or any person deriving his right from such registered proprietor by assignment or other mode of transfer, may apply for registration in the territory.

Collective trademarks: registrable only with the permission of the Minister of Commerce and Agriculture.

Sound and smell marks are accepted.

Exceptions to protection: the following are not permitted to be registered as per law: marks which are free of any distinctive features; immoral or contrary to public order; public slogans, flags, military emblems and other insignia belonging to the State, Arab or international organizations; symbols of a purely religious nature; geographical names; name, surname, photograph or logo of a third party; honorary or academic degrees; marks which are likely to mislead the public or contain a false indication of source or origin of the products, services or other descriptions; marks owned by natural or corporate persons with whom dealing is banned or signs that are identical or similar to a mark previously registered by others.

Registered user: possible.

Novelty: not provided for.

Priority: applicable under the new Law.

Classification: International Classification of Goods and Services (the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification). A separate application must be filed for each class.

Territory covered: Kingdom of Bahrain.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. A certified and legalized copy of the priority document (if priority is to be claimed). Otherwise, a certified and legalized copy of a corresponding trademark/service mark registration from any country, or a certified and legalized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, or a certified and legalized extract from the Commercial Register, or a certified and legalized certificate from the Chamber of Commerce (with an English translation, if necessary) indicating the nature of business of the applicant’s company;
2. Application Form No. 1, prepared and signed by the agent;
3. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille;
4. A clear representation of the trademark/service mark, if the mark is a device (max. size: 10 x 10 cm).

Note: all documents not in Arabic must be accompanied by an Arabic translation. A general power of attorney is acceptable.

Electronic filing: available.

Electronic signatures: are accepted, provided they are notarized and legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille.

For renewals:
1. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille;
2. For the first renewal, a simple copy of the original registration certificate;
3. For subsequent renewals, a simple copy of the last renewal certificate.

For a change of name or address:
1. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille;
2. Change of name or address document, legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille.

Examination, Protection

Rights of prior user: no provision.

Examination: on formal, absolute and relative grounds.

Opposition: any interested person who can show that he has a better right, title or priority than the applicant, may give notice of opposition to the registration, within sixty days (not extendible) from the date of publication of the application. Counterstatements to oppositions and responses to rejection decisions should be submitted within sixty days from the date the notification is received.

Disclaimers: available. 

Letters of consent: can be accepted, must be legalized up to a Bahraini Consulate or by Apostille.

Delivery of document: the registration certificate is issued in digital format only.

Duration – renewal: registration in Bahrain is valid for a period of ten years from the date of filing, renewable for further periods of ten years. A registration can be renewed within the last year of the protection term.

Renewal grace period: six months.

Use: not compulsory, neither for filing applications for registration nor for maintaining registrations in force. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation for non-use and can be cancelled through a court order by any interested third party who can establish that the mark was not seriously used for five years in a particular class, unless the owner can provide justification for the non-use.

Assignment: possible, only with the goodwill and the manufacturing facilities. A deed of assignment (or license agreement) made between the parties and duly legalized up to any Arab Consulate or authenticated by Apostille. 

License: possible; recordal is recommended. The validity of the license expires with the validity of the trademark, and it has to be renewed simultaneously with the renewal of the trademark.

Marking: no provision.

Time within which a mark cannot be registered by another: a cancelled mark cannot be registered in favor of a third party until after the lapse of three years from the date of cancellation.

Abandonment: on request of the registered proprietor of a trademark/service mark, or through non-payment of renewal fees within the prescribed period.

Infringement and penalties: unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law or an imitation of such trademark applied on goods of the same class, or sale, storing for the purpose of sale, or exhibiting for sale of goods bearing a counterfeit mark, or using a mark duly registered under the law by another person to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods of the same class are offenses penalized under the law. Infringements are prosecuted before the Civil Court of Bahrain. If convicted, the court can impose a period of imprisonment or a fine or both.

New border measures for customs authorities have been introduced (Law No. 11 of 2006) as summarized hereafter: (a) at the request of the owner of a registered trademark, customs authorities can suspend entry into Bahrain of alleged counterfeit products bearing identical or similar trademarks; (b) the request for suspension is valid for one year and should be supported by adequate evidence and information that the registered rights were violated and the imported goods are counterfeit; (c) legal proceedings should be instituted by the rights holder within ten days from the date of suspension; otherwise, the seizure measure will be lifted; (d) customs authorities are allowed to provide the trademark owner with available information on the source of export and the importer of the fake goods; (e) customs authorities are also entitled to suspend products that are suspected to be counterfeit and to immediately inform the rights holder and the importer; (f) if the suspended goods are declared counterfeit by a final court decision, they will be destroyed.