Bahrain joins WIPO treaties


The kingdom of Bahrain has acceded to the Madrid Protocol, the Nice Agreement, the Patent Law Treaty, and the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The treaties entered into force on December 15 2005.

Bahrain has a history of recognizing the importance of intellectual property. Implementing rules for intellectual property in the kingdom were issued in 1955. In 1991 a new trademark law was issued and in 1993 Bahrain issued Legislative Decree 10 with respect to copyright law and neighbouring rights. The country is also party to several international conventions and agreements, namely the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

In December 2003, in order to bring the country's legislation into line with the international agreements and conventions to which it was party at that time, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce drafted six new IP laws, namely:

  • the Geographical Indications Law;

  • the Industrial Designs Law;

  • the Patent and Utility Model Law;

  • the Plant Variety Law;

  • the Trademark Law; and

  • the Trade Secrets Law.

However, none of these laws has yet been implemented. Although the Geographical Indications, the Patent and Utility Model and the Trade Secrets Laws have all been issued and published in the Official Gazette, the implementing regulations for these laws have yet to be issued.

In related news, the Bahraini Trademark Office increased its fees as of January 4 2006. The new fees apply to all new and pending applications.

Samantha Grainger, Rouse & Co International, Dubai

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