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.
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