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HM the King issues trade names law No.: (18) for the year 2012.

Manama: April 9 -- (BNA) His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Monarch of the Kingdom of Bahrain issued Law No.: (18) for the year 2012 regarding trade names after its endorsement from the Shura Council and the House of Representatives, stipulating as follows: Article (1): In compliance with the provisions of this Law, the following words and expressions shall have the same meanings shown opposite them unless deemed otherwise by the context thereof.

Minister: Minister concerned with commercial affairs.

Ministry: Ministry concerned with commercial affairs.

Relevant directorate: directorate concerned with registering trade names in the Ministry.

Registry: Register of trade names.

Trade name: name used by a merchant in carrying out his commercial business in order to define his shop from other commercial shops and on behalf of which he signs his transactions and whose trade name he inserts in his letterheads so as to announce to his customers or others that it emanates from so-and-so trader.

Commercial shop: venue where a merchant practices his trade whether it is a single person or corporate entity.

Person: natural or corporate person.

ARTICLE (2): Whilst observant to the names of overseas companies registered outside the Kingdom and famous international companies, each person who owns a commercial registration (CR) and carries out a commercial business shall have his own trade name which defines him from other commercial shops.

A trade name may be comprised of an invented name or from the name of the person, his title or both and may include details pertinent to the type of activity he carries out or a trademark he owns or which is registered by him in accordance with the trademarks law.

A trade name shall enjoy legal protection once it has been registered unless assigned or written off administratively or upon a conclusive court verdict.

ARTICLE (3): A book or electronic record shall be created (which shall be called the Registry of Trade Names) in the relevant directorate in order to enter all pertinent data for trade names and the names of proprietors, their addresses and certificates issued to them unless legal actions such as mortgage or retention orders occur against a trade name or any restriction against its use or assigning or franchise for its usage from its proprietor to any third party.

The electronic database of a registry may include all the aforesaid details in addition to a Query Service regarding availability of a trade name or possibility to book it for a period not exceeding three (3) months in accordance with the conditions for which a resolution shall be issued from the Minister.

Article (4): Whilst observant to the provisions of the Commercial Companies' Law, in order to register a trade name, the following conditions should be satisfied: -That the name is new and should not have been used or registered previously for anybody else for the same type of commercial activity or a similar type which may mislead the public but it could be an assigned trade name.

-It should be invented, uncommonly used for the type of commercial activity for which it is used, unless it comprises the name and title of the applicant.

-The trade name should not be in breach of public order and morals.

-A trade name should be in the Arabic language but may also be registered in any acceptable foreign language accompanied with its translation into Arabic if its capital is fully or partially owned by foreign person9s) provided that such foreign trade name should be transliterated into Arabic characters or meanings as per circumstances.

ARTICLE (5): Whilst observant to the fact that some trade names for commercial activities were applicable before the enforcement of the provisions of this law, a trade name cannot be registered for any commercial establishment or company if the name features any of the following descriptions: -Typical to a trade name of a well-known international company.

-Typical to a trade name owned by another person for the same type of commercial activity or similar as to confuse or mislead the public.

-If a trade name has any political, military or religious connotations or contexts.

-If a trade name is akin to a name, badge, insignia, or special symbol or logo of any regional, Arab or international organization or its affiliates.

-If a trade name is similar to the name of any local, regional or international social or charity organization for example: (the Red Crescent Society, the Red Cross Society or any other similar names.).

-If a trade name when used leads to confusion unless such trade name has familial relationship in terms of a family name, company name or other establishment owned by the applicant or in whose title he has a stake or distributes its products or services , -If a trade name leads others to believe that its proprietor has an official capacity or enjoys a special welfare.

-If a trade name consists of an imitation trademark or similar trademark registered or well-known in the Kingdom.

-Trade names that constitute a reproduction, imitation or translation of a well-known trademark or entirely or partially owned by others whether the name is used for the same activity of the famous trademark or any other activity.

-If the use of such trade name is prohibited or restricted to specific parties under legislation.

ARTICLE (6): Priority for registering trade names, in the instance of application by more than one person requesting the registering of the same name, shall be decided according to their precedence in submitting the application.

ARTICLE (7): An application requesting the registering of a trade name should be submitted to the competent directorate on the form prepared by the Ministry for this purpose attached with all particulars and documents required by the Ministry and the competent directorate shall issue to the applicant proof of receiving his application and the date of receiving the application.

The competent directorate shall consider an application whether by accepting or rejecting it via a registered-mail letter with acknowledgeable delivery notification through electronic instruments within not more than ten (10) workdays from the date of receiving the application provided that a decision in favor of rejection should be appropriately justified.

In the event of acceptance of an application it should be registered immediately and published in the Official Gazette and in one of the local daily newspapers issued in Arabic and on the Ministry's website.

In case the competent directorate fails to reply within the above specified duration, this should be deemed as an acceptance by the competent directorate of the application and the applicant may act on such presumption at the Ministry's responsibility.

An applicant whose application has been denied may complaint to the Minister within thirty (30) days from the date he has been notified in writing about the rejection decision and the Minister shall issue a resolution regarding such complaint within fifteen (15) workdays.

In the event of rejection of a complaint or failure to receive a reply within the specified duration, the applicant may impugn against the rejection decision before the competent court within thirty (30) days from the date of notification.

ARTICLE (8): A trade name shall enjoy protection in compliance with the provisions of this law once his trade name has been incorporated into the registry of trade names and the proprietor of a trade name shall have the right to block third parties from using his trade name or any similar sign which could mislead or confuse the public as regards the products or services associated with his trade name.

ARTICLE (9): A merchant may use more than one trade name in order to define the type of various commercial activities he carries out in accordance with legislations and regulations issued by the Minister.

ARTICLE (10): The title to a trade name may be transferred, assigned, mortgaged or retained without transferring or assigning or mortgaging or retaining the ownership of the commercial shop,.

If the ownership of a commercial shop has been transferred without transferring its trade name, the proprietor of the name may continue to use it.

The transferring of the title to a trade name or its mortgaging or dispensing with it does not become argumentative against third parties unless from the date of proving such act of dispensing with the CR or publishing it on the Ministry's electronic website and in one of the local daily newspapers issued in Arabic language.

The ownership of a trade name may be transferred through inheritance as well as all its relevant rights and obligations.

-The procedures of registering the ownership of a trade name or its mortgaging or retention as well as all other legal actions in regard thereof are definable upon a resolution issuable from the Minister and publishable in the Official Gazette.

ARTICLE (11): -Whilst observant to the provisions of this law, the competent directorate shall automatically - or upon request submitted to the relevant directorate by an entitled party of the trade name -- the interest of a trade name shall be written off the Commercial Registration (CR) in any of the following instances: -If the trade name was registered in contravention of the provisions of this law or if it turns out that the proprietor has continuously failed to carry out business over a period of three (3) years in implementation of a conclusive verdict from a competent court.

-A decision issued in favor of writing off a trade name in either cases (A or B) shall be objectionable before the competent court within thirty (30) days from the date of notification thereof.

ARTICLE (12): A proprietor of a trade name whose trade name has been written off in compliance with the provisions of the preceding Article shall have to remove the signboard of his trade name and advertising and other promotional materials as well as any traces of using such trade name and shall be held accountable for all contracts and engagements arising out of such trade name within thirty (30) days from the date of writing off unless the court has not ordered otherwise.

ARTICLE (13) After the elapse of three (3) years from writing off a trade name any third party may apply to register the trade name which had been written off. The proprietor of a trade name which had been written off may also apply to register the same trade name at any time unless it has been registered in favor of a third party.

ARTICLE (14): anyone who carries out a commercial services activity shall inscribe his trade name conspicuously on the faE*ade of his commercial shop and on all of his printed materials and correspondence..

ARTICLE (15): The proprietor of a trade name shall change, modify or replace his trade name in such a manner as not to contravene the provisions of the fifty (5th) Article of this law after publishing it in one of the local daily newspapers issued in Arabic language and in the event of failure to receive any objection at the competent directorate within fifteen (15) days from the date of publishing, the same facts should be indicated on the registry.

ARTICLE (16): The assignee of a trade name affiliated with a commercial shop shall become entitled to all the rights and obligations accrued earlier for this trade name however the assignee shall be jointly responsible with his predecessor for implementation of such liabilities and no court hearing shall be entertained claiming any liability accrued since the predecessor against the successor with the elapsing of five (5) years from the date of transferring the ownership of a Commercial Registration (CR).

ARTICLE (17) In the event of transferred ownership title of a trade name without transferring the trade name itself, the predecessor shall be liable for previous obligations before the transferring of the shop ownership unless there is an agreement which decides co-liability of a successor towards such liabilities.

ARTICLE (18) A proprietor of a trade name may franchise a third party to use the trade name under an official contract registered in the competent directorate for this purpose.

ARTICLE (19) If a trade name has been used by someone other than its legal proprietor or used by the proprietor in any manner which violates the law, the concerned parties may request the competent directorate to block the use of the trade name or write it off from the registry and may also seek collateral damage at the courts whenever justifiable.

ARTICLE (20): Anyone who owns a commercial shop may write his trade name and commercial registration number (CR No.) conspicuously on the face of his commercial shop as well as on all his publications and correspondence in such a way as to be compatible with the licensed trade name as per the licensing certificate. A resolution is issuable from the Minister which stipulates the requisite conditions and technical specifications of a signboard for the trade name.

ARTICLE (21) All owners of commercial registration (all CR owners) shall have to adjust their status in compliance with this law within six (6) months from the date of its enforcement.

ARTICLE (22): Judicial Control Officers appointed by the Minister shall verify the implementing of the provisions of this law and the resolutions issued in implementation thereof shall have the power to access the relevant commercial shops. The officers who shall be named in a ministerial resolution by the Minister of Justice upon agreement with the Minister shall be vested with powers of judicial control officers as regards crimes which occur under their jurisdiction and pertaining to the scope of their job.

Records garnered regarding such crimes shall be referred to the Public Prosecution upon a resolution issued by the Minister or anyone he delegates.

Notwithstanding any stricter or harsher penalty stipulated in any other law, anyone who commits any of the following violations shall be punishable with a fine of not less than (BD 500) five hundred Bahraini dinars and not exceeding (BD 1000) one thousand Bahraini dinars: -Anyone who deliberately uses a trade name owned by another person in contravention of the provisions of this law.

-Anyone who deliberately uses a trade name in any manner which misleads or confuses the public or which violates the provisions of this law.

-Anyone who deliberately uses a trade name which has not been registered in compliance with this law; and, in the event of recurrence, the penalty shall be doubled.

(IY)

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Publication:Bahrain News Agency
Date:Apr 9, 2012
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