Category: Bangladesh Laws

Trademark Registration Bangladesh

Trademark Registration Bangladesh: Things You Should Know About Trademark Registration Process in Bangladesh

Introduction:

In general “trademark” is any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner. (Source: dictionary.com).

Why trademark a name or brand?

Here, I mean why you should trademark your business name or brand. Well, if you do trademark registration in Bangladesh in the name of your business, then you can protect your brand or name as an exclusive owner in future from intellectual property theft or exploitation whiles your business will grow big.

So trademark your business name will create brand recognition.

It notifies legal issues. It denotes that, a business without trademark registration vulnerable to lawsuits from trademark registered companies with same or similar name, sign logo etc. so trademark registration holds power in favour of your company as well as force against other companies in any misuse against your business brand. Thus by registration you can save a potential legal costs of the company by not getting sued from others and you can easily win a legal battle if your brand infringed by others. You will always be a win-win situation.

Moreover, Trademark registration of your business make your business as a valuable asset while it grows and until the company lives.

When do I need to register a trademark or when to register trademark?

Well, when you or any person owns a business or brand which is already doing business or providing services or soon to/ proposed to do business or services can formally apply for trademark registration. The Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) can only does Trademark Registration in Bangladesh. The application of “Trademark registration Bangladesh” should be done offline using various forms starting with TM-1. Though recently DPDT started to receive online application but I will not recommend using that way, yet since there are still some ambiguities in the process.

What can be registered as a trademark?

When you have a business, to recognise your business you must name your business. It can be done by Words, creating a Logo or Slogans. All of this words, symbols, logos and slogans can be trademarked. Though it is uncommon in Bangladesh but you will be surprised to know that even colour schemes, Smells and Sounds can also be trademarked. So in short, if something that differentiates the products or services of your company or business from others, which can be registered. Remember, trademark protection can only be obtained if you are in trade or business.

Trademark Registration Process in Bangladesh

So, How to register trademark in Bangladesh or What is the procedure to register trademark?
Any individual or any company (local or international) is affirming or claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark or business can apply for trademark registration. If the applicants are foreign nationals or companies then they must hire a local lawyer or representative agent who can complete the registration process and achieve the certificate of registration for them.

Trademark Search in Bangladesh

To figure out the attainability of particular trademark in compare to previous identical or similar trademark, a search may run in DPDT office
So, is a trademark search necessary? Well it is not mandatory to do trademark registration check before trademark application but it is recommended. A trademark search can help you to block coming objection or claim against your future application.

Trademark application in Bangladesh can be filed in two ways:

  • General/ typical Applications
  • Priority claim applications by members (individuals or companies) of Paris Convention countries or World Trade Organization.

How to Do Trademark Registration

The following trademark registration details will surely help you understand and guide you about trademark registration:

  • Fill out TM-1 Form (Trademark Application Form) accurately by mentioning applicant’s details (like name, address, designation etc.), describing mark/ brand/ label etc. perfectly
  • Specifically describe applicant’s goods/service and concern NICE class(s),
  • If you are planning for priority claim, you must provide supporting documentation regarding your previous application filed in convention country.
  • Fill out TM-10 if you filing through a lawyer or representative.
  • Payment of Up to date Government prescribed Application Fees.
  • The concerned trademark registrar or concern DPDT officials will inspect and evaluate applied Trademarks .
  • If there is no objection from the registrar or DPDT, then they will issue TMR-5 for Journal publication.
  • After journal publication, if there is no objection or no claim of trademark violation from anyone, then the trademark will be registered and certificate will be issued subject to payment of registration fees.

Trademark Class in Bangladesh

In accordance with International Classification of Goods and Services (also known as the Nice Classification) , in Bangladesh, there are 45 classes. So a trade mark application can be lodged in Classes 1 to 34 for goods category marks and Classes 35 to 45 for service category marks.

Trademark relevant laws in Bangladesh:
The Trade Marks Act, 2009
Trade Mark Rules, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: How can I get trademark license in Bangladesh?

Answer: Please read above the “Trademark registration process in Bangladesh” paragraph. It explains the process in detail.

Question: How can I register my product in Bangladesh?

Answer: You can register your product name or logo by trademark registration. You can file for trademark registration in Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT)

Question: Who can apply the trademark?

Answer: Any individual person or business company can apply for trademark to protect their product or service. The application has to be filed stating the trademark name, type of business , business address of the applicant including other various information along with trademark lawyer’s details (if applicant prefers). An individual or business organisation not performing any business yet can also file a trademark application and get trademark registration for a logo or slogan . So, can anyone register a trademark? Well, apparently they can.

Question: Can I register a trademark myself?

Answer: Yes, you can register a trademark by yourself as an individual .But you must know the application steps or procedures before you apply, or to be safe you may get professional legal help.

Question: Can I use TM without registering?

Answer: YES, even if you didn’t apply for trademark registration, you can use TM sign over your mark. There is no law forbids you from mentioning small TM over your mark, in Bangladesh. The use of the term TM doesn’t provide any legal protection rather give an impression or awareness to people that he/she using this trademark for his/her business. So it is no way related to whether a trademark is registered or not.

Question: Are trademarks valid worldwide?

Answer: No, a trademark can be valid for many countries at a time but it cannot be valid worldwide. Because all the countries in the world did not became the members of Madrid Protocol. For example, Bangladesh is not a signatory member of Madrid Protocol (An international system of getting trademark protection for many countries by filing one application). So if someone in U.S. registered his trademark nationally, after that, he can apply for trademark application as many countries as he likes as long as that countries are the signatory member of Madrid Protocol. But if he wants to register his trademark in Bangladesh, he must file it in Bangladesh DPDT since Bangladesh is not a member.

Question: Can I register a trademark in a different country?

Answer: Yes, you can register a trademark in any or every country where you would like to do your business. The reason behind this is trademark registration of a company or business is territorial in nature. So for example if you register a mark (i.e. generally your business or company name) in Bangladesh then your mark is protected only in Bangladesh but it is not protected in other countries like U.K., Germany etc. To get protection of your trademark you have to apply every single country where you would like to protect your business or mark.

In many countries you can apply for trademark registration into multiple countries by single application through Madrid Protocol/ System. But in Bangladesh you cannot apply through Madrid Protocol because Bangladesh is not a signatory member of that protocol.

Question: What is the government fee for trademark registration?

Answer: We sometimes face this question: Is registering trademark is free? Well, no, it is not.
The prescribed Government trademark registration fee in Bangladesh (last updated 28.12.2021) can be found here
Note: Trademark registration government fees can be revised at any time when the DPDT authority thinks fit.

Question: Trademark registration cost in Bangladesh?

Answer: In order to register your trademark you have to pay the government fees and lawyer fees (if you consult one). If you do not get a lawyer (though I highly recommend), then you may have some miscellaneous cost to spare. Generally if you hire a lawyer, he/she take care of the miscellaneous fees.

Question: How do I register my brand name?

Answer: First you have to introduce your brand name to the world and you can do that by “trade marking. So you can register your brand name by trade marking. Trademark registration procedure in Bangladesh mentioned above.

Question: How long does it take to register a trademark in Bangladesh?

Answer: It is very difficult to answer this question since it depends on various circumstances, for example, availability of DPDT concern officials, pending large volume of trademark application in DPDT, time to time application follow ups, postal service, trademark application opposed by others and so on.

Question: How long is a trademark valid for?

Answer: According to section 22 of Trademark Act 2009, a registered trademark in Bangladesh is valid for 7 years from the date of registration. Later on that trademark registration can also be renewed for another 10 years from the date of expiry of the registration or the last renewal of the registration.

Question: Can a registered trademark be challenged?

Answer: Yes, it can be challenged in various stages in trademark application. Firstly, after revering the trademark application, the registrar can deny or ask for written statement or a hearing by lawyer regarding the similarity of a trademark application in compare to already registered trademark(s). Secondly, when the registrar allows journal publication of the applied trademark, after the journal publication, anyone can oppose by claiming that the applied trademark infringed his trademark protections.

Conclusion:

The above features show the list of possibilities (not an exhaustive list) can be achieved only by accepting the opportunity available under the laws of Bangladesh. Implementation of Patent, Design, copyright and Trademark registration in Bangladesh became important aspect in the business community from last decade. But still we have a long journey ahead.
Important link – Various forms regarding trademark application:

The content of this blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only and may not be relied on as legal advice. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib
Advocate

Hindu Muslim Marriage in Bangladesh

Things You Should Know About Hindu-Muslim Marriage, Other Interreligious Marriage, Court Marriage In Bangladesh

Introduction:

Being a secular country with regard to religious beliefs the marriage system in Bangladesh is far from encumbrances. When it comes from a Muslim perspective it poses different problems and misconceptions about the process as well as the existing law being not well defined. So people suffer from broken marriages to different lawsuits ranging from child custody to inheritance. With regard to Hindu marriage system, one thing can be said is that the system is naive since only in 2012 the Government of Bangladesh has formulated the Hindu marriage Registration Act even where the criterion for registration is kept optional.

The law related to Cross religion marriages in Bangladesh or some say mixed marriages in Bangladesh are nothing but far reaching and the issues are far more complicated. Thus a simplified approach in understanding the law of Marriage in Bangladesh is attempted in this article so that any layperson can divulge what’s in it or not. To know more let’s dive in.

Procedure for Hindu Muslim Marriage & other Interreligious Marriage in Bangladesh

We are familiar with questions like can a Hindu boy marry a Muslim girl legally in Bangladesh or Is Hindu Muslim marriage legal in Bangladesh? The answer is yes they can. Let me explain it to you.

In Bangladesh, family laws are personal, meaning that such matters are governed by the religious laws of the individual concerned. If someone is Muslim then Muslim law will regulate his/her marriage related issues.

There is neither specific Hindu Muslim marriage law in Bangladesh nor Hindu Muslim marriage act in Bangladesh. But that doesn’t stop people from a Hindu Muslim marriage or a Hindu Muslim wedding in Bangladesh. According to the Special Marriage Act of 1872, mixed religion marriage in Bangladesh is possible among persons professing certain specified different religions namely Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain as well as among persons declaring themselves as non-believers (atheists).

There will be a different scenario if any of the parties to the marriage is a Muslim. That is, under the Muslim law, a Muslim girl cannot get married to a boy possessing any other religion. Though, a Muslim male can marry any girl, who is a follower of any Kitaab, e.g. a Christian or a Jews only. Hence, a girl cannot get married under the Special Marriage Act 1872 if she declare herself as a Muslim and the boy declares himself as a Christian.

However, the option of marriages among non – believers (atheists) under the Special Marriage Act 1872 still remains open for a Muslim girl. When a marriage is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act 1872, the bride and the bridegroom have to sign a Declaration which states as: “I do not profess the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion” or (as the case may be) “I profess the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion”.


Interpreting the words of the aforesaid Declaration, it seems that a Muslim girl may either declare herself a non-believer i.e. professing none of the religions or she may declare to profess any one of the religions listed there in i.e. she professes the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion. Marriage is only allowed between persons declaring to profess any one of the religions specifically mentioned in the second part of the Declaration.

Hindu Muslim Marriage in Bangladesh

The Problem in Special Marriage Act of 1872

The above scenario reveals some lacuna or problem in The Special Marriage Act of 1872. According to  the analysis of the above scenario under the Act  it is safe to opine that a Hindu and a Muslim – or a Buddhist and a Muslim, etc. – cannot marry under any law in Bangladesh, and hence are denied their constitutional right to equal treatment. The Special Marriage Act further contradicts Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “[m]en and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family”.

Moreover, The Special Marriage Act of 1872 does not provide sufficient protection to those married under it. For example, the Act doesn’t contain the clear provisions on maintenance of wife and children, the legitimacy of children, custody of children, guardianship of children, and also the Act reflects certain disadvantages in the rights of inheritance.

Marriage Registration under Special Marriage Act of 1872 in Bangladesh

If the parties of marriage are from different religion then the “Special Marriage Act-III of 1872” is applicable to them. In that case, they have to contact different marriage registrar like Kazi in Muslim Marriage. Here, Marriage Certificate is the principal document like other marriages.

Since there is no specific governmental instruction in Bangladesh regarding Hindu/Buddhist/Christian marriage registrations, the applicant should contact the City Corporation relevant department for Marriage registration, the priest who solemnized the marriage or the administration of the Church/Temple where the marriage was solemnized.

Court Marriage in Bangladesh- Some Clarification:

Court Marriage in Bangladesh is a well-known and accepted concept or idea that someone can be married through Judicial Court and such marriage in that court is legally valid. But an idea like Court Marriage in Bangladesh greatly accepted among lay people is incorrect. Jurisdiction of such courts or locally, in popular name, known as Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all, rather a declaration or permission from such judicial court.

Even after acquiring such permission marriage will only be completed and legally valid when someone pays certain marriage registration fee to Kazi and fills out and sign the marriage registration form and completes the marriage registration under Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Act 1974 and Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Rules 1975.

According to Bangladeshi Civil Law, all marriages in Bangladesh entail proper Marriage Registration and later that leads to acquiring marriage certificate which is the principal document of marriage. It should be noted that the document and relevant procedures are known as “Court Marriage” is the supplementary document which has no significance without a marriage certificate.

Note: Authorization of a marriage in the name of Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all. Hence, the concerned parties/ couple must participate in their religion formalities and legal formalities (i.e.  registration procedure) to solemnize a valid marriage. Notary public authenticated documents have little worth to prove a legal claim regarding the validity of a marriage. It basically ensures originality of a document or certifies a formal declaration.

Interfaith Marriage in Islam

So people are wondering, how does Islam feel about interfaith marriage? Interfaith marriage in Islam is allowed that means a Muslim man wed a non Muslim women as long as she is follower of any Kitaab or people of the book ( as per Quranic rulings, a chaste woman received scripture before you). It means, as greatly accepted in Muslim community, a Muslim man can marry a Jews or Christian woman but no other non-Muslim. So for example, is it allowed to marry a Hindu in Islam? The answer is “no”. On the other hand a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man.

The laws on interfaith marriage in Bangladesh is in well fitted with Islamic law and customs since Bangladesh is country of Muslim majority.  But a Muslim woman is allowed to marry a non-Muslim man in here under Special Marriage Act. In such case, the marriage will be legal but won’t be ethically and socially accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: What is Special Marriage Act in Bangladesh?

Answer: Special Marriage Act is a law enacted in Bangladesh Parliament. Generally speaking, the reason behind creating this law was to legalise marriages among the brides and grooms whose religion is different from one another.  If a marriage is not legal then there will be social and legal complication will arise in couple’s life. For example, if a wedding is invalid due to different religion of the couple then the couple’s consummated children will face trouble in inheritance of their parent’s property as successor.   

Question: Can a Hindu marry a Muslim in Bangladesh? Or, Can a Muslim marry a non-Muslim in Bangladesh? Or, Can different religions get married in Bangladesh?

Answer: Well, all the three questions beg the similar answer.  In Bangladeshi social and religious custom, they are not allowed to. Though in some case a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman but not Hindu woman since in Islamic law of Bangladesh and Islamic Shariah law (based on Quran and Hadith) only allowed Muslim man to marry the follower of Kitaab i.e. Christian or Jews. However, a Hindu can marry a Muslim legally under Special Marriage Act. Thus a Hindu marry a non Hindu in Bangladesh.

Question: Can a Bangladeshi man marry a Foreigner?

Answer: Yes a Bangladeshi man and even a woman can marry a Foreigner. So it doesn’t matter about your spouse’s citizenship rather his/her religion in regard to marriage and it’s procedure.  For example, if your would be wife is Muslim or Christan or Jews and she is from USA then you can marry her in Bangladesh in Islamic law.

Final Words:

Do you know what the marriage age is in Bangladesh?  The legal age for marriage is 21 for boys and 18 for girls. So in Bangladesh any boy of 21 and girl of 18 can marry legally irrespective of their religion.

Was the above information was helpful? You can always SHARE, and make people aware about law and rights.

Did I miss anything about the above topic?  You can inform me by leaving a comment below or making a comment in our Facebook page.  

The above blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Advocate

+8801753178887 (Whatsapp)