Trademark Protection in Latin America
September 26, 2018
In the field of intellectual property protection, there isn't any "international trademark" or "worldwide patent" that applies in all Latin American countries. This is a popular belief that is completely wrong; even though the laws related to IP protection are very similar in the region, each country has its own registration process, requirements, and regulations.
Nowadays, it is vital for any business to safeguard their IP, whether using the trademark for brands, the copyright for authorship, or patent for inventions and innovative procedures; these policies ensure the successful performance of the company in a competitive market and stand out from the large list of competitors. It is also important to consider the international protection as well, for this a trademark attorney has two ways to do it, registering the IP before each country or using the any of the WIPO international registration systems, which are: Madrid System for trademarks, Patent Cooperation Treaty for patents and Hague System for designs.
Latin America: A Step Forward Against Piracy
For many years, Latin American manufacturers were considered responsible (unfairly, in many cases) of a great number of name-brand copying in U.S. due to the few regulations there were in the field of IP protection, however, the region has taken great steps on applying a common law that rules in most of the countries when it comes to IP rights and software piracy.
It is hard to cleanse that reputation, gained throughout many years and certainly, it has been a tough task, but the region has joined forces to lower the rate of piracy still existing, as is the case of Colombia and Brazil, two countries that have developed strong standards against technology companies that seek the enrichment through IP rights violations (software piracy). Mexico is also joining efforts to the anti-piracy cause by involving local tax authorities who check that the use of a software is declared as a tangible asset. Small countries of the regions such as Costa Rica and Chile have also recently improved their IP protection laws as a contribution to the big antipiracy offender.
Despite the increasing piracy issues due to today's size of the market, Latin America is working together as a region to enforce their technology development bases, holding the hope that in a few years this terrible issue will be significantly better.
Benefits of Having a Trademark Protection in Latin America
- Your brand will be protected from others to use same or similar marks by making an availability search in order to prevent plagiarism issues.
- The owner receives exclusive nationwide rights on the mark.
- The owner has the licensee rights to open a legal procedure in the event of infringement.
- Once the trademark is registered, the owner has the right to use the symbol , "R" or the word "Registered" on the goods or services included in the registration.
- A registered mark can be used to request registration in foreign countries, this will facilitate the process while the business expands.
Adopting the Madrid System in Latin America
According to the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), "the Madrid System is the one-stop solution for trademark holders to obtain and maintain protection in multiple markets. Whether you are a small start-up or a large multinational exporter, the Madrid System can help you manage your brand efficiently".
Through the Madrid System, you can make a single registration and the payment of one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 117 countries around the world. However, the Madrid System only has three Latin American countries among its members so far: Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico; but it is expected to add more countries in the near future.
International Intellectual Property organizations around the world have been developing a campaign to encourage Latin America countries to join the Madrid Protocol. The organizations that are part of this initiative are the International Trademark Association (INTA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), among others.
Some of the main advantages of the Madrid System are:
- The registration can be made in a single language (English, French or Spanish), with no need of translations.
- Applicants only make one application proceeding instead of filling different applications for each country.
- With a Single payment in a single currency, you can pay several application fees.
- If any modification, renewal or transfer need to be done, the applicant can do it directly before WIPO with effects in all Designated Parties.
- For better results, it is necessary to have a representative on each Designated Party.
- It's a time-and-cost-effective registration system.
- The Madrid System coexists with national trademark systems and offers an alternative route for registering marks.
In conclusion, trademarks are considered a marketing strategy for any business in order to take a stand in the marketplace as they provide companies' goods or services identification, promotion and license to be distinguished from those of their competitors thus achieve customers loyalty.
In today's increasingly electronic marketplace is getting harder and harder for customers to identify genuine products or services, however, trademark protection offers the promise of authentic companies in which you can rely on, having the support of international association like the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.
Whether you are a creative inventor or a business owner, who want to safeguard their intellectual property in Latin American countries and needs the advice of a trademark attorney, AGT Attorneys is the place where you will find it. We provide you with a well-trained staff of trademark attorneys that will give you the counseling you need on intellectual property protection in Latin America. Contact us by calling at +57 1 702-3671
or leave a message in our contact
form below. Take the first step today and begin to enjoy multiple benefits from your unique work. We will be glad to assist you!
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