A trademark search in Bangladesh can be for both word and device marks. It is advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to filing a trademark application to ascertain the availability of trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc., so as to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the mark. Although a search is not mandatory for filing the application, it is advisable to conduct a preliminary search for the proposed trademark before filing the application in order to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the trademark later on.
Trademark searches in Bangladesh can be conducted for word mark, numerals, labels and device mark. Device mark searches can be conducted through Vienna code.
Trademark searches can be classified into the following categories:
a) Word Mark Search
Trademark word search edition of Bangladesh follows the Nice Classification and trademark applications can be filed for goods in classes 1-34 and services in classes 35-45. Trademark searches in Bangladesh can be conducted for the desired class and associated classes.
It is advisable to conduct comprehensive trademark clearance search in Bangladesh to ascertain availability of the proposed mark and also to overcome any objection and opposition with respect to mark later on.
Along with trademark search, it is also advisable to do a comprehensive company search and domain search of the proposed trademark in Bangladesh.
b) Device Mark Search
It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive search for a figuration trademark. The device marks include individual marks such as stylized letters, numerals, shapes, plants, celestial bodies, living creatures etc. or combination of marks containing device marks. A device mark search in Bangladesh can be conducted amongst the marks filed and registered as per the Vienna code classification.
a) Ordinary Trademark Application
Ordinary trademark applications filed in Bangladesh are applications without claiming any priority. Ordinarily a trademark application is filed on form TM-1. Multi class trademark applications cannot be filed in Bangladesh. However, the Trademarks Act also lays down provisions regarding the filing of priority applications, wherein priority of the mark can be claimed in the said mark filed in a convention country.
b) Convention Trademark Application (Priority Trademark Application)
A priority trademark application should be filed in Bangladesh within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country. A certified copy of the priority documents needs to be filed within 3 months from the date of filing of the convention application in Bangladesh.
Being a signatory of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, one can file convention applications claiming priority in Bangladesh. A certified copy of the priority document is necessary for claiming priority. The same can be filed within 3 months from the date of filing the application in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh a trademark application can be filed in 45 classes: Classes 1 to 34 for goods and classes 35 to 45 is for service marks.
The Trademarks Rules, 1963 were published in exercise of the powers conferred by section 84 of the Trademarks Act, 1940 and the Rules came into effect from April 02, 2004. The Trademarks Act, 2009 has been amended and a notification was issued by the Trademarks Registering Wing, Bangladesh vide Notification S. R. O. No.211-Law/2008 dated June 30, 2008 whereby the classification of goods and services was extended to 1 to 45. Therefore, service mark applications are now being filed and prosecuted in additional service classes i.e. 43 to 45.
(a) which comprises or consists of any scandalous or obscene matter; or
(b) the use of which would be contrary to any law for the being in force; or
(c) the use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion; or
(d) which contains any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class of the citizens of Bangladesh;
(e) which is identical with, or is an imitation of, or contains as an element, an armorial bearing, flag or other emblem, a name or abbreviation or initials of the name of, or official sign or hallmark adopted by, any state or international organization created by an international convention, charter or other instruments, unless authorized by the competent authority of that state or organization; or
(f) which would otherwise be disentitled to protection in a court;
(g) the application is made in bad intention and faith;
The procedure for filing a Trademark in Bangladesh is as follows:
1. Filing of a Trademark
A trademark application in Bangladesh can be filed for a single class only. Multi class trademark applications cannot be filed in Bangladesh. Application for a Trademark or a Priority Trademark Application claiming priority from a convention country can also be filed in Bangladesh within 6 months from the priority date.
2. Official Examination of a Trademark/ Issuance of Office Action
After an application is filed, it is examined by the Registrar with regard to the distinctiveness, possibility of deceptiveness and conflicting trademarks. If an objection to a registration is raised, an official examination report will be issued by the Registrar within 6 months to 1 year, depending on the back log at the Registry.
The Registrar may accept or refuse the application subject to the provisions of the ordinance. A trademark application in Bangladesh can be refused/ objected by the Registrar on the following grounds :
- The mark is similar/ identical to an earlier trademark for the same or similar goods/ services.
- The mark is similar/identical to an earlier trademark in respect of different goods/services.
- The mark is a commonly used and accepted name of any single chemical element or single chemical compound.
The above categories of marks may however be registered if the proprietor of the earlier trademark consents to it or there has been an honest concurrent use of the later mark.
Further, the objections raised by the Registrar with regard to an application are forwarded to the applicant and the applicant has to file an appropriate reply with the supporting documents to the official objections within 90 days. The Registrar may accept the application on the basis of the reply and documents filed or may list the application for hearing.
An appeal against the decision of registrar at the hearing or without the hearing can be filed by the applicant within 1 month from the date of such communication to the Registrar, requiring him to state in writing the grounds of, and the materials used by him in arriving at his decision.
When an application for registration of a trademark is accepted, the Registrar advertises it in the official Trademarks Journal which is published and available on the Registry’s website.
3. Publication / Advertisement of a Trademark
After examination and upon acceptance of the response by the Registrar, the application is ordered for advertisement /publication in the Trademarks Journal. An application is advertised in the Trademarks Journal so as to invite the public for filing opposition against the registration of a mark.
4. Opposition of Published Trademark
Upon publication of the trademark in the Trademarks Journal, any person can oppose the registration of the said trademark by filing a notice of opposition within the prescribed period of 2 months from the date the Trademarks Journal is made available to the public. The period to file the notice of opposition can be extended by a maximum period of 3 months upon filing a specified request for extension of thrice for a period of 1 month each along with the prescribed fee.
5. Registration & Renewal of a Trademark
The application shall proceed to registration where there is no opposition or where the opposition was filed and was decided in favor of the applicant. The mark is then registered for a period of 7 years from the date of filing of the application and the registration certificate is issued. The trademark can be renewed from to for an unlimited period by payment of renewal fees, failing which the mark becomes liable to be removed from the Register on account of non-renewal. Each renewal term is for a period of 10 years.
Upon publication of a trademark in the Trademarks Journal, any person can file an opposition against registration of the said trademark in Bangladesh by filing a notice of opposition within the prescribed period of 2 months from the date the Trademarks Journal is made available to the public. The period to file the notice of opposition can be extended by a maximum period of 3 months upon filing a specified request for extension of thrice for a period of one month, each along with the prescribed fee.
A trademark application can be opposed in Bangladesh on grounds given under Sections 8, 9 and 10 of the Trademarks Act 2009.
Once an opposition is filed against a trademark in Bangladesh a copy of notice of opposition so filed is served to the applicant by the Trademarks Registry and the applicant is then required to file a counter-statement within 2 months of receipt of the notice forwarded by the Registry, failing which the application shall be treated as abandoned.
Thereafter, the Registrar will request evidence in writing from both parties. If the dispute is not settled by the parties, then hearing is fixed in the matter.
The Registrar decides the case made in the opposition proceedings. In the absence of an opposition, a trademark is registered, and the certificate of registration is issued.
A trademark can be renewed in Bangladesh from to for an unlimited period upon payment of the renewal fees, failing which the mark becomes liable to be removed from the Register on account of non-renewal. Each renewal term is for a period of 10 years.
The procedure for filing for a renewal of a trademark in Bangladesh is as follows: Request to renew a trademark in Bangladesh can be filed within 6 months BEFORE THE EXPIRY of the registration/ renewal term if accompanied by the requisite renewal fees on the prescribed form.
Request to renew a trademark in Bangladesh can be filed within 6 months AFTER THE EXPIRY of the registration/ renewal term if accompanied by the requisite renewal fees on the prescribed form.
Restoration of Trademarks
If a trademark has been removed from the Register on grounds of non-renewal then the same can be restored by filing an application in the prescribed form for restoration of the mark within 1 year from the expiration of the last registration of the trademark.
Procedure for Removal of a Registered Trademark on grounds of non-use
Section 42 of the Bangladesh Trademarks Act provides for the removal of the trademark from the register of trademarks on the ground of continuous non-use of the mark for a period of 5 years from the date of registration i.e. application.
Procedure for filing an application for Rectification of a Trademark
Section 51 of the Bangladesh Trademarks Act provides for the rectification of a trademark in Bangladesh in case of contravention or failure to observe a condition entered in the registry in relation thereto on an application made by an aggrieved person.
Details regarding the Trademark forms can be accessed here
Details regarding the Trademark Filings fees can be accessed here