Requirements for well-known status marked out


The Andean Community Court of Justice has issued guidelines on what is required for a mark to achieve well-known trademark status within the Andean Community (Process 115-IP-2003).

The court first noted that pursuant to Andean Community legislation, a trademark cannot be considered well-known from the moment of its creation. Well-known trademark status can only be conferred on to a mark that has acquired a high level of distinctiveness by virtue of the quality of the goods or services distinguished by the trademark and the strong position of those goods or services in the marketplace. The mark must also be known, on a general level, to consumers in the Andean Community.

Taking the above factors into account, the court established that in order to attain well-known mark status a trademark must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The mark must have been widely advertised in the Andean Community, which is evidence that it is well-known to consumers.

  • The mark owner must demonstrate continuous and widespread use of the mark within the relevant market segment.

  • The mark must have a commercial or industrial significance.

  • There must be evidence that consumers directly associate the mark with the relevant product or service.

Luz Helena Adarve, Cárdenas & Cárdenas, Bogota

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