English

Belize

Searches

Trademark availability searches are made according to the international nomenclature of the Nice Agreement; such search applications may target one class or multiclass trademarks. Device marks cannot be searched. The approximate time frame to receive results is within 24 hours.

Application

Trademark filing applications require a Power of Attorney executed by the applicant, address for services and trademark application executed by the agent; also is required the statement of use (including list of goods and services), and logo. The application number is assigned upon payment. At filing the application statement of use needs to be submitted to the agent. Priority can be claimed on trademarks.

The criteria applied by the Examiner at the moment of examining the applications may be for relative or absolute causes. Likewise the application can be refused on the basis of a registered or applied trademark owned by a third party.

Once a refusal to register a mark is received, the only way they will consider registration of a mark is if before the application date, the mark had acquired a distinctive character through use.

The application is published in the Trademark Office’s IP Journal after examination. Then the application can be subject of an opposition. The time frame to oppose an application is 12 weeks from the date of publication. The time limit to answer a notice of opposition is 30 days from the publication of the notice in the IP Journal. The certificate is issued 3 months after publication if not faced by an opposition.

Registration

Granted the registration there are no maintenance fees due to keep the registration alive. The first renewal due is 10 years on the anniversary date of the registration.

Cancellation

The registration can be cancelled for non-use. Once the applicant cannot show that the mark has been used in relation to the goods/services, the Registrar may cancel the mark. Marks are also cancelled if not renewed. A mark becomes vulnerable for cancellation after 5 years.

Nullity

If a petition to remove the mark from the register is submitted, the agents by virtue of a Power of Attorney executed by the applicants can respond to the action. The prescribed time to submit an answer to the action is 30 days usually via letter stating reasons for answering the nullity action. The nullity can be lodged on absolute and relative grounds before the Trademark Office. If the mark is rejected by the TMO then the applicant may appeal directly to the Supreme Court. The time frame to obtain a decision is not specified in the Law, this is dependent on the TMO.

Assignments

In order to record an assignment, the applicant executes a Power of Attorney and provides same along with a Deed of Assignment or document showing transfer of mark to the agents who then prepare the application forms. The time frame to receive the assignment certificate is within 30 days.

Renewals

In the case of renewals of trademark registrations it is required Power of Attorney and provides same to the agent. The time frame to obtain the renewal certificate is approximately 60 days.