Industrial Designs

– Industrial Property Act, 1965, as amended.
– Industrial Property Rules, 1967, as amended.

Membership in International Conventions

– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since July 10, 1973.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Lisbon Act, since 1973, Stockholm Act since 1977, Art. 13 to 30.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since January 4, 1977.

Filing

Applicant: (who may be) anyone claiming to be the proprietor of a design. 

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: these may apply in the Bahamas. 

Kinds of designs: features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applicable to articles, which appeal to and are judged solely by the eye. 

Not registrable: any features of an article in so far as these are dictated solely by the function which the article is intended to perform or in any method or principle of construction.

Novelty (originality): in so far only as it is the original work of the author. Subject to the right of Convention priority, a similar or the same design by same author or any other must not have been previously published or deposited in the Bahamas or elsewhere.

Priorities: to gain Convention priority, the deposit must be made within six months from the date of deposit for protection in the Convention country.

Exceptions to protection: portraits of Her Majesty or any member of the Royal Family, reproduction of emblems, portraits of living or dead persons are not accepted without the relevant consent.

Series applications: not provided for. 

Territory covered: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Application, on prescribed form, signed by the proprietor;
2. 3 identical representations or specimens of the design, on paper of approx. 13 x 8 inches;
3. In Convention cases:
(a) number, date and country of the basic foreign application;
(b) a certified copy of the basic application; may be filed within three months; if not in English, it must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Examination

Amendment of application: any clerical error in a claim for design, in the representation of a design or any other matter may be corrected on request to the Registrar General. Correction must be published if it would alter the scope or meaning of the document. 

Application kept secret: not possible. 

Opposition: possible, to the Registrar General on advertisement of a request for correction of a clerical error in claim for design or in the representation of the design; by application for cancellation to The Supreme Court.

Provisional registration: not provided for. 

Registration: a Deposit List for designs is maintained rather than a Register. After examination and publication by the Registrar General, a certificate of deposit is granted to the proprietor. 

Corrections: clerical errors in a claim to design copyright or in the representation of the design may be corrected on request made to Registrar General. 

Publication: a representation of the design must be made available for public inspection at the Industrial Property Section of the Department on and after the 28th day after the date of deposit of the claim to the design. A notice to this effect is published in The Journal.

Granting

Delivery of documents (and usual duration after filing): may take several years from filing date.

Beginning of protection: from date of application (deposit) in the Bahamas or date of earlier Convention application. 

Duration – extension: five years from filing date, renewable for two further terms of five years each.

Annuities – latest term of payment: design copyright remains in force for five years from the date of deposit, and is extendible for two further periods of five years. 

Annuity grace period: six-month grace is allowed for payment of extension fee.

Assignments: possible. Application and proof of title to the Registrar General. An official or certified copy of the document must be produced. 

Licenses: application by licensee to Registrar General to register the license accompanied by a certified copy of the license contract.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Rights of prior user: a prior user may apply to the court. 

Opposition: possible, to the Registrar General to oppose correction of clerical errors or to the Supreme Court.

Annulment of registration: upon request of proprietor to Registrar General or application to the court by interested person.

Compulsory licenses: none.

Expropriation: not provided for. 

Validation: not possible. 

Infringement and penalties: judicial action in Equity Side of the Supreme Court. Offenses such as making a false entry on deposit list are criminally punishable.

Particularities

A claim for Convention priority in a design deposit may be based on a utility model or “petty patent” application in a Convention country. Such models are inventions of a very minor nature.