Coinciding with the World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, 2019, the Hon’ble Tengye Lyonpo launched “Bhutan Online Intellectual Property (IP) Search” website. As a part of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) technical assistance for the development of Intellectual Property Offices’ business services, the WIPO in collaboration with the Department of Intellectual Property (DoIP) developed this online search system using the WIPO software “WIPO PUBLISH”.
At the moment, the website provides online access to all the trademarks filed in Bhutan by both Bhutanese and foreign applicants. However, in the near future, the website will also provide information on other IP titles viz. Industrial Designs, Patents and Copyright applications. The website provides bibliographic information encompassing graphical representation of the trademarks, applicant details, application filing no. and date, class of goods and services, registration date, legal status among others. The user can also undertake advanced search by adding or deleting the required fields provided on the website.
In addition, the website also has several benefits, such as:
- Of late, some cases relating to conflicts between trademarks and tradenames (business/establishment names) have been reported. The website will enable pre-search of the existing trademarks and reduce such conflicts between trademarks and trade names. The concerned offices like the Regional Trade and Industry Offices (RTIOs), the Department of Cottage and Small Industry, the Department of Trade and the Company Registry and the Foreign Direct Investment Divisions under the Department of Industry which register trade names can cross-check uncommon or distinctive trade names through this website for similarity and conflicts with the existing trademarks using the keywords search before registering those trade names.
- New trademark applicants can search for prior filed or registered trademarks and avoid refusal of their applications on the grounds of similarity. Further, they can also check the status of their trademarks filed.
- The IP agents can also check the status of their client’s filed trademarks and other related
The institution of the online IP search website, will also allow and facilitate Bhutan to join with other member countries in the “WIPO’s initiative of Global Dissemination of IP data” that encourages and supports the exchange of IP data among different IP offices and WIPO.
The WIPO is a specialized UN agency dedicated to lead the development of a balanced and effective IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Bhutan became a signatory to the Convention Establishing the WIPO in 1994.