A business name and/or logo is used in the course of trade to identify your goods/services offered. Once you’ve started to use the business name/logo, you’re developing a common law trademark protection for them. To give more grounded protection to your trademarks, you must register them with the Brunei Darussalam trademark office, i.e. Intellectual Property Office Brunei Darussalam (BruIPO).
Trade Mark means any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations or individuals.
According to BruIPO, signs eligible for being registered as Trade Marks must be visible ones in the form of:
“letters, numerals, words, pictures, images, including three-dimensional images or their combinations, presented in one or several given colors”
The steps for you to register a trademark in Brunei Darussalam are as simple as do a Brunei trademark search, file an application, to follow-up, regular monitoring, etc. The outline of the steps you need to take to secure and maintain your trademark is as follows: –
#1 Do a Brunei Darussalam Trademark Search
The BruIPO will not allow your trademark to be registered if the mark lacks of capacity to distinguish the goods/services of one entity from those of others; mark is devoid of distinctive character and/or descriptive to the goods/services; that the mark is contrary to public order or morality; that the mark is likely to mislead the public as to, inter alia, geographical origin; that the mark is identical with, or is an imitation of or contains as an element, an armorial bearing, flag and/or other emblem; or prior conflicting rights.
To minimize the chance that your application to be rejected, for these reason, you must conduct a comprehensive Brunei trademark search before applying for a trademark in Brunei Darussalam. A comprehensive search will include searches for Brunei trademarks that are registered with BruIPO.
#2 Apply Trademark in Brunei Darussalam
If your Brunei trademark search doesn’t reveal any conflicts with pending or registered trademarks, the next step is to file a trademark application with the Brunei trademark office, BruIPO. Representation of your mark is required to be provided as it appears by itself. You must also identify the types of goods or services that you use your mark for. It’s important to be accurate because the extent of your trademark protection is very dependent on the types of goods or services you listed in your application.
#3 Respond Promptly to Office Actions or Oppositions
Once your trademark application has been submitted, it will be then assigned to a BruIPO Registrar who will peruse and review it. If the BruIPO Registrar has any questions or concerns regarding your trademark application, he/she will send you an official letter called an “Office action”. Office actions are not unusual, and it’s important to take them seriously and respond by the stipulated deadline. If you miss the deadline, your application might be considered abandoned. To respond to an Office action, you must address the problems/concerns to the satisfaction of the BruIPO Registrar. Once all issues/concerns have been resolved, your trademark will proceed to be published in the Official Gazette and anyone who objects to the trademark registration may file an opposition.
#4 Monitor Your Trademark
Once your trademark has successfully been registered, you can start using the registered trademark symbol, ® on your trademark. But your efforts to protect your trademark shouldn’t end there. The BruIPO registers trademarks, but it does not enforce them—that’s up to you.
One way to protect your trademark is to monitor BruIPO filings and oppose any applications to register trademarks that are similar or identical to yours. You may also be assertive if you have the knowledge or are aware of another individual/company is using a name or logo that’s similar to your registered trademark in the course of trade by issuing a simple cease and desist letter to stop the infringer. But, if that does not work, you may consider filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement with the court in Brunei Darussalam.
#5 Maintain Your Trademark
Trademark registrations will last for 10 years and are renewable perpetually for every 10 years.
Once your trademark is registered, be sure to monitor it to ensure that your hard-earned trademark protection lasts as long as your business.
#6 Continued Use of the Trademark
Additionally, you must also continue to use your trademark or it may be revoked after 5 years of not being used in good faith in Brunei Darussalam.
#7 Register Your Trademark Overseas
Registering your trademark in Brunei Darussalam will also allow you to register it in other jurisdictions overseas via the Madrid Protocol which is a system for registering trademarks in multiple countries with a single application.
Madrid Protocol process would be useful if you intend to expand your business overseas, as it is a much simpler and more cost-effective process than registering your trademark in multiple jurisdictions individually.
A thoughtful trademark strategy adds value and prevents misuse of your brand/trademark by others. Keeping the above steps in mind while formulating your trademark strategy will help you to build a dynamic brand that aligns with your current and future business goals.
Ready to protect your trademark? Pintas Brunei is here to help. Pintas Brunei offers a wide range of IP services including filing your trademark, responding to office actions, monitoring, and maintaining your trademark portfolio.
You can get in touch with us at https://pintas-ip.com/brunei/