During April, the Chilean Congress approved a bill that seeks to modernize the national Intellectual Property system and create greater harmonization with international law. The changes include more efficient procedures for the registration and enforcement of patents and trademarks, including for expedited proceedings.
One highlight of the new law is that it allows for the grant of ‘provisional patents,’ allowing inventors from universities, R&D institutions, and companies to establish an early filing date. Under the new law, applicants may be given 12 months to gather all the necessary information, during which period the viability of the invention may be evaluated without the threat of losing priority (Chile is the first Latam country to include such a provision, already established in the US, Australia, and Portugal).
In addition, new rules for trademarks are provided through a broader definition, which now excludes the requirement of graphic representation. For example, under the new law “three-dimensional trademarks” can now qualify for brand protection.
Other impacts of the new law include the criminalization of trademark counterfeiting, a simplified system for registration of industrial designs, an updated legal definition of trade secrets and improvements on the regulation applicable to geographical indications and appellations of origin, amongst others.
With a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, the new law represents a big step for the Chilean IPO (INAPI) in positioning itself among modern global IP systems. The next step is for the Chilean Government to publish new regulations in relation to the law. This should be done within six months of approval by Congress.
If you would like to find out more about these recent changes and what it means for your Intellectual Property interests in Latin America, please contact us.