Venezuelan trademark rights no longer enforceable in Colombia


Following the withdrawal of Venezuela from the Andean Community, the Colombian Trademark Office has issued a resolution (14583, May 23 2007) establishing that:

  • it is no longer possible to file oppositions in Colombia on the basis of a prior Venezuelan trademark application or registration; and

  • it is no longer possible to avoid a cancellation action for non-use in Colombia by demonstrating use of the mark at issue in Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government withdrew from the Andean Community to which it had belonged for more than 20 years on April 22 2006. Since that date all obligations and rights deriving from the country's membership to the Andean Community have ceased to exist. Thus, the Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime which governs IP matters for the Andean Community countries is no longer applicable in Venezuela, leaving the country's trademark law in a state of flux (see New Industrial Property Law on the horizon). Venezuela joined the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR) in July 2006.

Margarita Castellanos, Castellanos & Co, Bogota

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