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Trademark registration in Belize

Belize possesses many location advantages that offer great development potential for this country. In terms of strategic location, Belize is located in Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, which is considered the “Strategic Backdoor of the United States” and the “Little America Nation”. Due to being a neighbor to large consumer markets such as the United States and Mexico, creating favorable conditions for exports and attracting investment. Belize has a modern seaport, international airport, and well-connected transportation network that facilitates international trade and attracts tourism. The Government of Belize is committed to creating a transparent, safe and stable business environment for investors, so there are many preferential policies, tax exemptions, and simple processes. With its attractive investment environment, diversified economy and strategic location, Belize can attract foreign investment, boost its economy and improve people’s lives. To be able to develop the brand of the business here, the registration of a trademark is extremely important. Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily through the procedure for trademark registration in Belize through the article below.

Intellectual Property Belize

Legal basis

  • Trademark Law (Chapter 257, Act No. 17 of 2000, Amended in 2020);
  • Trademark (Amendment) Regulations, 2023 (Official Gazette No. 63 of 2023)

Trademark definition in Belize

A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one business from those of other businesses, and is also capable of being represented as an image. This sign may include wording (including proper names), design images, letters, numbers, or the shape of goods or their packaging. The definition of a trademark also includes collective marks and certification marks.

Collective marks are used to distinguish the goods or services of members of an association from the goods or services of non-members.

A certification mark is used to distinguish goods or services certified by the trademark owner for quality or some other characteristic.

Advantages of trademark registration: A trademark helps protect the owner by securing the exclusive right to use the trademark to identify goods or services, or allowing others to use it for a fee. The Supreme Court of Belize is responsible for enforcing this protection. Trademark protection promotes business by preventing unfair competition, such as counterfeiting, the use of similar markings to sell inferior or differentiated products or services

Trademark registration documents in Belize

  • Application form: Download and complete the official application form (form 03) via the link below: https://www.belipo.bz/trademarks/trademark-forms/ and make sure all sections are filled out correctly and clearly.
  • If applying through an intellectual property representative, a Power of Attorney should be submitted.
  • Trademark sample: Clearly shows the trademark you want to register.
  • List of goods and services: Identify the international group of goods/services intended to apply for protection by the applicant using the Nice International Classification system. The applicant should provide a detailed description of the specific goods or services protected by the trademark.
  • Additional documents (if applicable): If filing an application and claiming priority rights based on a foreign trademark application, the applicant should submit a certified copy of the application and certificate of foreign registration.

How to file a trademark application in Belize

To file for trademark protection in Belize, you can file using the following filing methods:

  • Direct submission: You can visit the office of the Belize Intellectual Property Office at 6129 Brown Street P.O. Box 592 Belmopan Cayo District Belize to submit the application and related documents.
  • By Post: You may send your application and all required documents via postal service or courier service to the address of the Belize Intellectual Property Office at 6129 Brown Street P.O. Box 592 Belmopan Cayo District Belize.

Trademark registration processing process in Belize

After submitting the trademark registration dossier, the Belize Intellectual Property Office proceeds to process the dossier

Verification of trademark registration

Step 1: Check the profile:

Check whether the application meets the provisions of the law. Search for previously registered trademarks to see if the new trademark is confusing or deceptive.

Step 2: Troubleshoot errors:

If the application is unsatisfactory, the applicant has the right to make corrections and additions according to the instructions of the registrar. The registry may request removal of content that does not qualify for exclusivity.

Step 3: Decide to register:

If the application is valid, the registry will accept it. Conversely, if the error cannot be corrected, the application will be rejected.

Disclosures, objection procedures and opinions on trademark registration

Proclaim 

An accepted application will be published in the Register, Journal of Intellectual Property and other regulatory methods.

Objection procedure 

Anyone wishing to object to the registration of a trademark may submit a notice of counter-protest to the registrar within the stipulated time limit after publication of the application. The notice of objection must be written in accordance with regulations and clearly state the reasons for the objection.

Comments

After announcing the application, anyone can submit a written opinion to the registrar on the pros and cons of the application. The Registrar shall inform the litigant of these comments.

Issue

Qualification requirements

  • No counter-notices for applications are accepted.
  • The objection procedure is abbreviated or ruled in favor of the applicant.
  • The registrar found no errors in the application acceptance process.

If the trademark application satisfies the above conditions, the registrar proceeds to register the trademark after satisfying the conditions.

Trademark Licensing Fees in Belize

Procedure State fees
Filing a trademark application $475 (includes a group of goods/services)
Each additional group (up to 4 groups) $100 per group
File a Counter-Notice of Trademark Application $225
File a response to a counter notification $175

Trademark registration in Belize through the Madrid System

Belize is new to the Madrid System so some things that have arisen may not be fixed.

Positive points:

  • Accessibility: Belize joins the Madrid System in 2023, allowing citizens and businesses to file international trademark applications through the system. This simplifies the process of obtaining trademark protection in many countries, including those outside Belize.
  • Cost-effective: Filing an international application can be cheaper than filing alone in each target country.
  • Centralized Management: Managing a portfolio of brands across multiple countries is easier with the Madrid System.
  • Enhanced Protection: Getting international registration strengthens your trademark protection and minimizes the risk of infringement in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Expanding Market Access: Effective trademark protection can spur expansion into new markets, thereby boosting trade and investment.

Challenge:

  • Limited Awareness: As a new member, Belize may experience limited perception of potential users of the Madrid System. It is important to educate businesses and legal professionals about the benefits of the system.
  • Administrative Capacity: The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BOIP) may need to adjust processes and resources to handle the increased workload associated with the Madrid System.
  • Legal complexities: Interpretation and application of international trademark law can be complex, requiring great expertise.
  • Possibility of Objection: Other countries may object to the registration of the Belize trademark, resulting in the risk of delays and costs.

Overall, Belize’s recent accession to the Madrid System opens up new opportunities for the country’s business. However, it is important to address potential challenges to ensure effective system implementation and maximize benefits for Belize.

Trademark registration service in Belize of Viet An Law Firm

  • Perform the search and notify customers in writing the results of trademark search in Belize;
  • Draft the dossier and file directly on behalf of the trademark owner and monitor the status of the filing of the trademark application in Belize;
  • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring trademark applications in Belize;
  • Assist in monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and responding to intellectual property representatives performing procedures in Belize.
  • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

If you need to file a trademark application in Belize, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

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