In Maldives, The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) oversees all activities and matters related to trade and the economy including the registration of different types of businesses, investments, companies and intellectual properties among other trade related entities.
In its efforts to educate businesses, investors, entrepreneurs, general public, and other stakeholders on all aspects of IP rights, an Intellectual Property Unit within The Ministry of Economic Development was established in 2007.
At present, local resident companies and nationals can secure registration of their trademarks by filing an application before the Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives. But, prior to obtaining the trademark registration, it is a mandatory for the resident companies and nationals to obtain business name registration.
The basic requirements and procedures for successful registration of trademarks in Maldives is as follows:
- Search and Reservation – Prior to registering a business name/trademark a name search has to be carried out. Upon confirmation of availability, the business name is required to be reserved. The said reservation is valid for fourteen (14) days.
- Business name registration
- Trademark Registration.
- Incorporation Certificate
- Power of Attorney (POA) duly notarized
It may be noted that a trademark registration may be registered or renewed for a maximum period of sixty (60) months, upon payment of applicable official fees which is calculated on monthly basis.
In addition, the Copyright and Related Rights Law was passed in October 2010 and became effective on April 2011. With the passage of Copyright Law, literary and artistic works are now protected, and a registration system for these works has been established within the Ministry.
The Ministry is currently working on the key pieces of legislation to protect the other essential part of intellectual property – industrial property rights. Specifically, work is being carried out for the passage of comprehensive Trademarks Law and Geographical Indications Law.