The legislation that deals with trademark registration in Bermuda is the Trade Marks Act 1974 (as amended) (1974 Act).
Overview of Trademark Registration in Bermuda
Trade and Service Marks are the most popular form of registered intellectual property in Bermuda. Bermuda is a member of the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association and is considered to be part of the Caribbean and Latin American region for intellectual property matters. Considering the importance a trade mark bears for a company, this is no surprise given that Bermuda is one of the Caribbean's largest offshore economies. In Bermuda, trademarks are regulated and are registered under the Trade Marks Act 1974 and the Trade Marks (Modification and Amendment) Act 1991.
Under the Classification of Trademark, there are 45 classes, the first 34 classes covering goods and classes 35-45 embracing services. When making a trade mark application, it is important to choose the class(es) which are appropriate to cover the goods/services the trade mark covers.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in Bermuda
Trademark registration in Bermuda entails the following benefits –
Internationally Recognised Systems
Registration of a trade mark gives the registered owner exclusive rights to use the mark on the goods/services covered by the application, referred to a classes. Bermuda uses the International Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (1957) (Nice Classification).
Unlike some British Overseas Territories, Bermuda operates an independent Register, and it is not possible to simply "extend" a UK registration. The 1974 Act provides for the filing of single-class applications using the WIPO international.
Straightforward Application Procedure
The application procedure for trademark registration in Bermuda is quite straightforward, and this attracts most entrepreneurs to get their trademarks registered in Bermuda.
Recognition of the Value of Trademark Registration
Bermuda recognises the value of protecting intellectual property rights and strives to be at par with internationally recognised standards and developments.
Eligible Marks for Trademark Registration in Bermuda
The eligible and ineligible marks in respect of trademark registration in Bermuda are enlisted below -
The trademark must be unique and can include the following –
- A combination of these
The trademark cannot be
- offensive, e.g. containing swear words or pornographic images
- describing the goods or services it will relate to, e.g. the word cotton can’t be a trade mark for a cotton textile company
- misleading, e.g. use of the word organic for goods that are not organic
- a 3-dimensional shape associated with the trade mark, e.g. use the shape of an egg for eggs
- too common and non-distinctive, e.g. A simple statement like we lead the way
- looking too similar to state symbols like flags or hallmarks
necessary papers Required for Trademark Registration in Bermuda
The below-mentioned necessary papers must be submitted by the applicant along with the application form
- Name of the trade mark
- One copy of the mark (unless the mark is a word only)
- Class(es) and specification of goods and/or services
- Applicant’s name and address
- Authorisation of Agent (Form TM13)
Procedure for Trademark Registration in Bermuda
The below-mentioned procedure must be followed for trademark registration in Bermuda –
Filling the Application
The applicant must file the application after ensuring that the proposed trademark is unique. The requisite necessary papers must be attached to the application at the time of filing.
Issue of Application Acknowledgement
Subsequent to the filling of the application with the registry, the registry shall issue an Application Acknowledgement, which is an official filing receipt, confirming the filing particulars and allocating an application number.
The application number will eventually mature into the registration number. This filing receipt is important when it comes to proving the priority of a registered mark if an objection or infringement arises.
Examination of Application
The application shall be examined, followed by the issue of the examination report, which tends to be issued within six months of the initial filing.
Acceptance / Rejection of Application
The application will either be accepted unconditionally, given a conditional acceptance or rejected; a conditional acceptance may include the mark being registered on Part B of the Register or contain a disclaimer. Applicants are given six months to respond to the examination report; however, time extensions are available in 2-month blocks.
Advertisement of Mark
If a mark is accepted, the mark will be advertised for allowing any opposition to the registration of the mark to be filed.
Issuance of Registration Certificate
If no third-party opposition is filed within the statutory 2-month period, an application is made for entry of the mark on the Register and a request for issuing of the certificate of registration. The application for entry must be filed within twelve months of the advertisement.
Validity of the Trademark Registration in Bermuda
The registration of the trademark in Bermuda shall be valid for a period of seven years. After which it can be renewed further for 14 years. The Registry General shall send a reminder at the address for service if the entrepreneur doesn’t apply for renewal within three months prior to the date of expiration.
Under the Nice Classification, there are 45 classes, the first 34 classes covering goods and classes 35-45 embracing services. An objection can be filed within 2 months from the date of the advertisement of the trademark. The trademark must be unique and can include the following – Words,Sounds,Logos,Colours or a combination of these. The benefits of trademark registration in Bermuda are – Internationally Recognised Systems, Independent register, Straightforward Application Procedure, Recognition of the Value of Trademark Registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Under the Nice Classification, there are 45 classes, the first 34 classes covering goods and classes 35-45 embracing services.
An objection can be filed within 2 months from the date of the advertisement of the trademark.
The trademark must be unique and can include the following – Words,Sounds,Logos,Colours or a combination of these.
The benefits of trademark registration in Bermuda are – Internationally Recognised Systems, Independent register, Straightforward Application Procedure, Recognition of the Value of Trademark Registration.