Applicants must wait minimum of six months for decision


On October 16 2008 the Colombian Trademark Office held that it will wait a minimum of six months as of the filing date of an application for the registration of a trademark before deciding on the application. This six-month period represents the term granted to third parties to file applications for registration claiming priority from applications filed in another country.

The office stated that it will wait for a minimum of six months even where the application has been published and no opposition has been filed.
This new approach results from the office's interpretation of Article 9 of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime. This provision states as follows:
The first application for an invention or utility model patent or for the registration of an industrial design or a trademark that is validly filed in another member country or with a national, regional or international authority to which the member country is linked by a treaty establishing an analogous right of priority to that established in this decision, shall confer on the applicant or the applicant’s assignee the right of priority in filing for a patent or registration on the same subject matter in the member country. The scope and effects of the right of priority shall be those provided in the Paris Convention […].
In order to qualify for that right, an application claiming priority shall be filed within the following unextendible periods to be counted as of the filing date of the application whose priority is claimed:
(b) six months for registrations of industrial designs and trademarks."
Although the office is not obliged to wait for six months, it is hoped that this new approach will help prevent the registration of trademarks which may have been opposed based on prior applications filed in another country.
Margarita Castellanos, Castellanos & Co, Bogotá

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