Registrations cancelled due to lack of genuine use

The Colombian Trademark Office has decided to cancel trademark registrations for E.S.P.N., which covered goods and services in Classes 18, 25 and 42 of the Nice Classification. The marks were not registered in the name of ESPN Inc, but had been appropriated by a Colombian citizen, Rafael Eduardo Gomez, in 2000 and 2001. 
The evidence filed by the trademark owner to prove genuine use of his mark did not relate to the relevant period - that is, the three-year period preceding the date on which the action for the cancellation of the mark was filed before the Trademark Office. Other evidence submitted by Gomez did not provide information regarding sales, advertising investment or other relevant data concerning the use of the mark. Therefore, the evidence did not allow the Trademark Office to conclude that the products identified by the trademark E.S.P.N. were available on the market in the manner required by the Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime, which is the applicable law in industrial property matters.
Consequently, after carrying out an overall evaluation of the evidence, the Trademark Office concluded that there was no real, serious and effective use of the trademark E.S.P.N. by Gomez. The evidence did not demonstrate that the products and services covered by the mark in Classes 18, 25 and 42 were available on the market. It was thus necessary to cancel the registrations in their entirety.
Following the decision, ESPN Inc now has the option to apply for the registration of the mark and obtain protection within the Colombian territory.

Fernando Triana and Paula Osorio, Triana Uribe & Michelsen, Bogota

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