Application without signature not invalid

Argentina

In Dallant SA v Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial (Case 2021/05, October 2 2007), the Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters has upheld a first instance ruling which revoked a decision of the Argentine Patent and Trademark Office finding that a trademark application was invalid on the grounds that the signature of the applicant's agent was missing.

Dallant SA filed an application for the registration of a trademark on February 13 2001. The Patent and Trademark Office considered that the application met the formal requirements set forth by law and ordered its publication. In September 2003, upon noticing that the application had not been signed by Dallant's agent, the office declared the application to be null and void on the grounds that an application without a signature is invalid under the Law of Administrative Proceedings. The first instance court revoked the decision of the office.

In upholding the first instance ruling, the Federal Court of Appeals stated that the laws in force when the application was filed did not prescribe that an application without a signature should be deemed to be invalid. The court recognized that a motion filed with a public agency without a signature is null and void under the Law of Administrative Proceedings. However, the court held that the office should have ordered that Dallant ratify its application, as set forth by the law.

Consequently, the office's decision was contrary to the regulations in force.

Fernando Noetinger, Noetinger & Armando, Buenos Aires

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