During a recent administration program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the national industrial property offices of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador signed a new case management protocol for the Andean Opposition.
The purpose of the Protocol is to speed up trademark registration applications that are opposed in the participating countries.
What is the Andean Opposition mechanism?
The Andean Opposition mechanism was first elaborated as part of Decision 486 in the year 2000 (the decision provided a framework for a Common Industrial Property Regime in the Andean Community).
Decision 486 regulates rights concerned with inventions and other technical solutions, distinctive signs, industrial designs and unfair competition linked to intellectual property. It applies to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
In terms of trademarks, the mechanism provides numerous benefits to applicants in any of the CAN countries, including the possibility to file oppositions in other countries in the Andean region, to prevent rights being granted to identical or similar marks in specific circumstances.
In addition, as a result of Decision 486, the use of a trademark by the holder or licensee in one of the CAN countries may be considered effective use in the other participating countries.
What changes will the new Protocol bring?
The Andean Opposition Protocol, seeks to provide faster processing of trademark registration applications, which are subject to opposition in one of the participating Andean countries (in this case, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
Under the Protocol, each national office will designate an official who will be the person charged with providing updated information and documentation on the status of the trademarks in opposition, as required by an interested office.
In addition, the Protocol establishes estimated response times for information requests made by other offices, the use of standardized response formats with minimum information requirements, and periodic monitoring and reporting to interested offices on the relevant procedures and their progress.
When will the Andean Opposition Protocol take effect?
The Andean Opposition Protocol will be in force from March 1, 2023 onwards.
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