by Ms. Sarmin Akther
A trademark is an intellectual property that consists of a distinctive sign that identifies goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company. It helps consumers to identify and purchase a product or service based on its characteristics and quality. Trademarks can be words, signs and drawings exhibiting various features of the product, service or entity.
Trademark protection is essential as it promotes initiative and enterprise worldwide by rewarding the proprietors or owners of the goods and services with recognition and financial profit. It ensures the owners or the proprietors of the trademarks the exclusive right to use them wisely to trade goods and services. Trademark protection effortlessly reduces the unfair competition initiated by the counterfeiters, and hinders the distribution of low-graded goods or services as a result of which, such protection facilitates fairness and proper trading of quality products or services of the proprietors in the markets.
In Bangladesh, registration of trademarks are not compulsory however, registering the trademark would provide exclusive statutory right, protection from duplication and security to the owner or proprietor under the provisions of Trademark Act, 2009 that governs the registration procedure of Trademarks and is administered by the Department of Trademarks, Designs and Patents (DPDT). The application and registration forms are prescribed by the Trademark Rules, 2015.
The procedure begins with the ‘search’ for similar trademarks with the DPDT in the Registrar’s database by filing a search application (Form TM-4). The applicant then must file an application for authorization (Form TM- 10) if needed and submit an application for registration to the registrar fulfilling the requirements of the FormTM-1. Upon submission, the trademark along with application will be checked by the deputy registrar for conflict with other trademarks and inspection. At this stage, the registrar may either accept or reject the application. In case of acceptance, the registrar shall issue an Official Filing Receipt containing all relevant details of the trademark and will provide a Journal Notification for opposition of the mark to the applicant for the advertisement of the mark upon the payment of prescribed fees. If no objection is received by the registrar considering a trademark within 2 (two) months, then the applicant may submit Form TM-11 for the issuance of trademark certificate subject to the payment of recommended fees.