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Enforcement of IPRs in Bahamas


Enforcement of IPRs
Pharmaceuticals most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Bahamas.
They are as follows:
  • The Geographical Indications, 2015 (Act No. 44 of 2015)
  • The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act No. 2 of 2004)
  • The Trade Marks Act, 1906 (CH.322) (as amended up to Act No. 5 of 1987)
  • The Industrial Property Act, 1965 (CH.324) (as amended up to Act No. 24 of 1994)
  • The Industrial Property (Amendment) Rules, 2004 (S.I. No. 54 of 2004)
  • The Customs Management Act 2011
To this end, in 2015, the Government passed the IPR legislation, which seeks to amend or add to the existing IPR regime. These new laws cover patents, trademarks, copyright, integrated circuits, false trade descriptions act, protection of new plant varieties, and geographical indications. Implementing regulations have not yet been promulgated.
Patent, Copyright and Related Rights, Industrial Designs, Trademarks, and GIs are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Bahamas.
Firstly, it is important to have an overall strategy to protect your IP. Secondly, IP may be protected differently in The Bahamas than any other domestic, which is why it is necessary to have an understanding of every jurisdiction where the right is to be enforced. Thirdly, the rights must be registered and enforced in The Bahamas under local laws.
Yes - The Trademarks Act provides no specific limitation period. However, the Limitations Act, 1995 provides a six-year limitation period for torts (including passing off) and actions to recover a sum by virtue of a written law (including the Trademarks Act).
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Infringement actions, exclusive of any appeal, usually last several years.
The length of the proceedings is a major disadvantage since it adds to the costs and timeline while bringing in ambiguity (or lack of predictability) in the direction of the proceeding.
A) Responsible Authority - Supreme Court, Court of Appeals
B) Imprisonment Term - Copyright: 02 to 04 years; There are no provisions of Law on criminal sanctions for patent infringement in the Industrial Property Act, 1965 (CH.324) as last amended by Act No. 24 of 1994
C) Monetary Fine - Trademarks: B$200; Patents: up to $USD 2,000; Copyright: $25,000.00 - $100,000.00
In The Bahamas, ‘costs follow the event,’ and this requires the losing party to pay the winning party’s reasonable legal fees. The winning party may also collect reasonable costs associated with the conduct of the proceedings. These costs are submitted in a bill of costs and typically are the starting point for the assessment of all reasonable costs to be recovered. There are several factors, including the complexity of the matter along with the reasonableness of these expenses, that will factor into exactly how much of these costs can be recovered by the winning party.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques, including arbitration, mediation, and conciliation, are available to the parties of an IPR dispute. ADR options can and should be considered in any IPR dispute because the settlement of such disputes by means of ADR significantly reduces the costs and time delay in achieving finality of disputes. Furthermore, the parties are typically able to achieve settlement of disputes while preserving their existing commercial relationships and market reputation.
*The Bahamas does not have an IPR recordation system at The Bahamas Customs Department.
Administrative Measures