THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS IS EMBARKING ON AN EXCITING JOURNEY TO MODERNIZE THE FRAMEWORK FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION FOR THE BAHAMAS.

 

WE INVITE YOU TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRESSIVE STRATEGY DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF BAHAMIANS AND ALLOW OUR CREATIVES TO PARTICIPATE IN GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS.

Parliament Bahamas

Our Vision

Bahamian creatives have long been major contributors to sustaining the tourism industry in The Bahamas, providing the authentic cultural feel demanded by visitors. Sadly, local creatives have historically been limited in their ability to fully participate and extract value from the local tourism industry. The reforms proposed under this framework are designed to allow Bahamians to participate in ownership of the tourism industry in a meaningful way.

The proposed framework does not stop there. By participating in international treaties and agreements, this expanded framework is designed to allow Bahamians to capitalize on their unique talents in the international marketplace.

Creation of a Modern IP Regulator

We are firm believers in the fact that any successful transformation or reform must begin from the bottom up. The current framework in The Bahamas places regulation of IP under the portfolio of the Registrar General’s Department.

While this framework proved adequate for The Bahamas when originally designed 50 years ago, advances in IP regulation and the proposed expanded remit of this project require the creation of a modern, independent IP regulator designed based on international best practices and standards.

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A Plan for Patents

A patent is best described as a reward granted to the inventor of a device or to the person who discovers a new way of doing something. For a certain period of time, anyone wanting to utilize the invention or process would require permission from and pay compensation to the inventor.

In The Bahamas, we believe there are many sectors with potential to benefit from this protection, such as:

  • Hurricane shutter manufacturing;
  • Salt manufacturing / extraction;
  • Pharmaceutical production;
  • Manufacturing of electronics; etc
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A Plan for Trademarks

A trademark is a sign utilized to distinguish one good or brand from another. Trademarks may be an unique image, wording or a combination of the two. Trademarks are commonly used to distinguish a product from competitors for quality purposes or to demonstrate origin.

The Government believes there are significant trademark opportunities for Bahamian products in the following areas, among other things:

  • Branding of locally produced jams, jellies and pepper sauces;

  • Branding of locally produced salt;

  • Branding of local bone fishing lodges and other residences;

  • Branding of local arthouses / artisans;

  • Branding of locally produced straw bags and jewelry; etc.
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A Plan for Copyrights

A copyright is the right that literary and artistic creators have over their work. It allows creators control over how their work will be utilized and under what conditions. Work covered under this category include: books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

In The Bahamas, this category covers the work of a large group of artisans who produce tangible products (eg. Books or paintings) as well as intangible products (eg. Music or other performances). The Government believes there are significant copyright opportunities for Bahamians in the areas of:

  • Authors and creators of literary work;

  • Works of Playwrights;

  • Musical work (recordings and performances);

  • Broadcasting;

  • And many more.
PM attends Yamacraw Farmer's Market ( Apr 1, 2023 ) MT -9

Support for Plant Breeders and Growers

Similar to the IP rights of a researcher creating an invention being protected, it is also possible to protect the rights of breeders who have developed a new plant variety. Globally, breeders who have demonstrated the novelty and distinctness of a plant variety have been provided protection over control of the produced plants locally and via international treaties.

To protect the rights of persons who have bred or discovered a new plant variety, the following legislation is proposed:

Under the new framework, initially, the Government intends to accede to six (6) international IP treaties / agreements to provide international protection to Bahamian creative work.

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty – to allow for the system of international patent protection utilizing a single patent application;

  • WIPO Copyright Treaty – to allow for copyright protection of IP in the virtual environment;

  • Madrid Agreement – The system makes it possible to protect a mark in a large number of countries by obtaining an international registration;

  • Vienna Agreement – establishes a classification (the Vienna Classification) for marks that consist of, or contain, figurative elements;

  • Singapore Treaty – create a modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonization of administrative trademark registration procedures; and

  • Rome Convention – secures protection in performances for performers, in phonograms for producers of phonograms and in broadcasts for broadcasting organizations.

Over time, the framework is expected to expand to include additional legislation and treaties to allow Bahamian creatives to play a greater role in global markets.

Presentation to the Cabinet of The Bahamas

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Join the Conversation!

Your voice is important in determining the direction of IP regulation in The Bahamas.

This public consultation is open until 15 March 2024. All comments submitted until this point will be compiled and considered for inclusion in the final bills to be tabled in Parliament.

We encourage you to participate in our public consultations, engage with us on social media, and stay informed through regular updates on this page.

Or email us at medicalcannabis@bahamas.gov.bs