Bahamas Intellectual Property Registration

The Bahamian government is taking steps to strengthen Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection as part of its WTO accession process.  To this end, in 2015 the Government passed IPR legislation which seeks to amend or add to the existing IPR regime.

These new laws cover patents, trademarks, copyrights, integrated circuits, false trade descriptions act, protection of new plant varieties, and geographical indications.  As of March 2016, implementing regulations have not yet been promulgated.

The Bahamian government anticipates that the new legislation, once implemented, will bring The Bahamas into compliance with the terms of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as well as its obligations under the Economic Partnership Agreement.

The Bahamas’ intellectual property registry is maintained by the Department of the Registrar General Department.

Several general principles are important for effective management of intellectual property (IP) rights in The Bahamas.

  1. First, it is important to have an overall strategy to protect your IP.
  2. Second, IP may be protected differently in The Bahamas than in the United States.
  3. Third, rights must be registered and enforced in The Bahamas, under local laws. For example, your U.S. trademark and patent registrations will not protect you in The Bahamas.  You should consider applying for a trademark and patent protection even before selling your products or services in The Bahamian market.

The Bahamas is not a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

 

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