Belize IP Development

IP Overview on Belize
Belize is a stable and democratic member State of the British Commonwealth, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. Belize has fulfilled its obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to implement the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (the TRIPS Agreement).
A patent may be granted only for an invention that is new, involves an inventive step and be capable of industrial application.
    The date of grant of a patent is the date of publication of a notice of the grant of the patent and the patent shall expire twenty years after the filing of the application.
    A patent is maintained in advance by payment of annual fees before the anniversary date of filing. Failure to pay late payment fee within six months after the anniversary of filing will cause the patent to lapse.
    Belize 's Intellectual Property Office may process international applications in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Regulations and Administrative Instructions made thereunder.
In Belize, an application for registration of a trademark must contain a request for registration of the trademark, the name and address of the applicant, a statement of the goods or services in relation to which it is sought to register the trademark, and a representation of the trademark.
    An applicant can claim priority from an earlier application filed in a country that is a party to the Paris Convention. Prior use in Belize is not mandatory but the application must state that the trademark is being used, by the applicant or with his consent, in relation to those goods or services, or that he has a bona fide intention that it should be so used. The duration of protection of a registered mark is 10 years from date of filing with further terms of renewal (of 10 years) subject to continued use and a statement of specific use to be submitted upon filing of the renewal application. A renewal grace period of 6 months after the expiration date is possible and a further 6 months is allowed for re-registration.
The categories of works in which copyright may subsist are:
    l       Original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
    l       Sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programs
    Typographical arrangements of published editions.
    A literary, dramatic or musical work shall not be eligible for copyright protection unless it is written down, recorded or fixed in a material form and the storage of the work in a computer is regarded as a recording of the work in a material form.
    A broadcast qualifies for copyright protection if made in Belize by a licensed transmitting station or in a specified country. Similarly, a cable programme qualifies for copyright protection if it is sent from a place in Belize or in a specified country.
    Copyright in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work expires at the end of fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. Copyright in sound recording or film expires at end of fifty years from end of calendar year in which the work was made or made available to the public. Copyright in broadcast or cable programme expires at end of fifty years from end of calendar year when made or included in a cable programme service. Copyright in typographical arrangement of a published edition expires at end of twenty-five years from end of calendar year in which edition was first published.

Source: International IP Law Firms

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