It is necessary to register one’s trademarks in Belize in order to protect it and obtain recognized trademark rights. Only in the case of famous or well-known trademarks might it be possible to take actions against infringement even if the trademark is not registered.
Prior use of the trademark is not required in order to file or register a trademark in Belize.
Trademark in Belize are registered through the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO).
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Belize, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
In order to oppose the registration of a trademark, opposition actions must be presented within four (4) months after the date on which the application to be opposed is published in the Intellectual Property Journal of Belize.
A registered trademark in Belize will have a validity period of ten (10) years from the date on which it was applied for. Trademarks in Belize may be renewed for a further period of ten (10) years. There is no limit to how many times a trademark may be renewed. A trademark in Belize may be renewed up to six (6) months prior to the date of expiration. If a trademark is not renewed before its date of expiration a grace period of six (6) months exists. In this case an extra fee will have to be paid.
Although use of a trademark is not required in order to register it, once registered, if the trademark is not effectively used in Belize for a period of five (5) years, third parties may present cancellation actions against the trademark.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Belize (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.