Intellectual property legislation includes the patents, designs and trademarks law of July 1955 as amended by Decree No. 22 September, 1977. However, the draft law on patents and utility models is not yet in force. The legislation also includes copyright law of June 1993. The industrial Property Office, under the administration of the Ministry of Commerce is responsible for industrial property matters. The copyright Office, Directorate of Publications, under the administration of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information is responsible for copyright matters. Bahrain has ratified the Paris Convention-Stockholm 1967-as of October 29, 1997 and Berne Convention as of March 2, 1997 and the WIPO Convention as of June 22, 1995.
Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Its member states are: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. Creation of the GCC Patent Office, as a regional office, was approved by the Supreme Council of the GCC states at its summit meeting held in Abu Dhabi, on September 21, 1992. Its headquarters are at Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Please click on GCC Patent Office to see filing requirements.
A design application will be examined on the basis of home or basic registration to the effect that specification must strictly conform to the earlier registration. Once formal requirements are satisfied, the design application will be published in the Official Gazette. Opposition may be triggered within a period of 30 days from the date of publication. In the absence of opposition the Certificate of Registration shall be issued in due course. The term of validity shall be 5 years, renewable for two similar periods of 5 years each. An assignment may be executed and recorded within a period not exceeding six months. The design owner may institute infringement proceeding, in the event, his rights in the design has been violated in any manner. Infringement proceedings may be initiated before a criminal or a civil courts as the situation requires.
Formal filing requirements.
Bahrain Industrial Property Office will examine application to ensure formal compliance. Once formal compliance is secured, the application will be published in the Official Gazette, and hence the Certificate of Registration will be issued. The International Classification of Goods and Services is followed (Nice Classification). Collective marks could be registered subject to prior approval of the Ministry of Commerce. The term of validity for a duly registered trademark is 10years as from the date of filing, and is renewable for similar periods subject to payment of the prescribed fee; nonetheless a period of 3 months grace is allowed. A trademark may be assigned with or without goodwill; however an assignment must be recorded as provided for under the law. A trademark may be cancelled, if an interested third party established cogent grounds showing non-use for a period of five consecutive years as from the date of registration. Infringements proceedings may be raised to the competent court as the situation dictates. Infringement actions of a criminal nature shall be presided over by a criminal court where confiscation and destruction of the infringed goods is required. On the other hand, civil actions are raised before a civil court where a claim for compensation for losses and damages is required.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
Copyrights are governed by copyright law No. 10 of June 1991.The moral rights are granted to the author, irrespective of the owner whether a legal entity or a natural person. Registration is affected at the Copyright Office, Directorate of Publications, administered by the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information. Registration is not obligatory; however registration shall be looked upon as a reliable reference to copyright information. The copyright law provides protection, among other things, for original intellectual works in arts; literature and science whatsoever their value, the underlying purposes behind their creation or the manner of expression, insofar, as the prescribed provisions called for under the law have been observed. The protection embraces a wide spectrum including, inter alia, written literal works, computer software and translations of original works.
Protection under the copyright law ends fifty years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the fifty years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to the prescribed terms and conditions.
The law provides for permitted use in a clearly defined situations such as using the work of art for the user’s private or personal purposes, utilizing the works for illustration or explication purposes including quoting paragraphs from the work, and reproduction of the work for academic purposes by public libraries, universities, and other educational institutions, and non-commercial documentation centers, and cultural and scientific institutions, provided however that the copies reproduced shall not exceed reasonable needs. The Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information has the right to publish the copyrighted work, if the author or his heirs failed to publish the copyrighted work within one year after being notified thereof, however a fair compensation shall be paid to the author or his heirs.
The author has exclusive wide latitude to commercially utilize his work within the bounds prescribed by law. Again, he has the right to maintain his copyrighted works by means of infringement actions to deter others from encroachment as to his rights. He may trigger a criminal action or a civil action as the facts of the infringement act warrant.
Formal filing requirements are as follows: