Innovation at the Ecuador Institute of IP: spotlight on non-core tools and services

In exclusive insights, the general director of the Ecuadorian National Service of Intellectual Rights (SENADI) reveals the innovative non-core tools and services the registry offers for trademark users – and some of those planned for the future.

Over the past few years, WTR has ranked the leading 50 IP offices across the world by the non-core tools and services that they offer. Those range from their implementation of digital services to assist trademark professionals, to the offering of services include dispute mediation and legal advice workshops.

Today, the general director of SENADI, Santiago Cevallos Mena, shares insights with WTR on the innovative services that the agency offers. Below, he exclusively reveal the cutting edge tools on offer at the registry – and some of the upcoming offering it has in the pipeline.

Innovation insights from SENADI:

IT and digital tools

Has the office made any significant changes to its website to improve functionality and user experience in the past 12 months?

Our services are fully available online through our portal, and the fees can be paid online with a credit card. To make the user experience easier, users can now verify the status of their trademark cases online.

We have also implemented a covid-19 web page to keep our users informed about the evolution of the pandemic, and a Marrakech Treaty website about the implementation of this international agreement to promote rights of visually impaired people. 

Does the registry offer online filing of trademarks?

SENADI has filing services available through our portal, with the possibility of online payment. At the end of a successful application process, users receive a digital resolution and then a digital certificate that their brand is registered.

Does the registry offer a searchable database of trademark applications/registrations on its own web platform?

SENADI offers a payable phonetic search service at a cost of $16 through our website and also offers a free trademark application database to check on the progress of your application. The technical department is working on the implementation of new online service tools in the near future. 

Beyond trademark filings and search, are there other services that can be managed and completed on the registry’s web platform?

SENADI´s web platform allows the filling of copyright, plant varieties, patents, licenses, renovations and transfers of applications. It also allows users to check the status of a trademark application, online training, the checking of appeals and objections to trademarks, review gazettes, among others. Users are also encouraged to use our emails for their applications and requests (eg, ‘[email protected]’, ‘[email protected]’, and ‘[email protected]’).

Has the office introduced any online services that use artificial intelligence?

SENADI currently works with a chatbot to inform users about covid-19, but we don’t currently work with an IP chatbot for our services.

Value add propositions

Does the office offer trademark dispute mediation services?

In accordance with our laws (Article 262 COESCCI), SENADI stipulates the option to have a mediation service available for users. As the office is currently in transition, this service has not yet been implemented.

Does the office host IP legal advice information/workshops for SMEs?

SENADI offers free consultation services for all its users with our IP experts, and implements a training website with constant programs on intellectual property basics.

Does the office partner with enforcement agencies (including customs, trading standards) or directly help companies/law firms enforce against counterfeit goods? If so, how has it been effective?

SENADI partners with enforcement agencies such as Ecuadorian customs (SENAE) and the police nationally and internationally to help prevent counterfeiting. This process has allowed SENADI and its partners to give faster services to our stakeholders.

Public outreach

Does the office host any trademark education/awareness events aimed at the general public?

To keep our users up-to-date with various IP advances, we have implemented a webinars and training section containing videos about the most asked about topics and the possibility to request training on specific topics or attend a live training every Friday to learn about the basics of IP in Ecuador. To reach our little ones, we have also implemented a section of videos on IP and activities that teachers and parents can use free-of-charge to promote their use of IP.

Does the IP office use social media to spread awareness of IP?

SENADI uses YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to post about IP awareness.

Does the office conduct and publicly release research/studies about trademarks or brands?

Every month, SENADI releases a magazine as part of its registration gazette which includes articles on current topics in the IP sphere and current events in the office. Stakeholders can read this and other magazines free of charge.

SENADI also has publicly available statistics on intellectual property that are updated monthly, so our users can be up-to-date with the office’s growth and IP’s evolution through the years.

Does the office attend non-IP specific events in an effort to spread awareness of IP to non-legal audiences?

SENADI participates in various events as co-sponsors with diverse national and international organisations in its efforts to promote and encourage people to learn about IP rights.

Does the registry collaborate with other national IP offices on the development of innovative tools/services?

SENADI does work with various IP offices as part of PROSUR and IBEPI to develop tools such as universal applications and patent research services, both projects are currently in progress. Our latest IP partner is Paraguay’s IP Office to promote the development of IP tools and services.

Finally, are there any other developments planned at the office over the next 12 months?

SENADI has a lot of projects in the works to improve customer experience. If we have to mention one upcoming development, we are currently working on an online phonetic search option so that users may do a pre-check before submitting their trademark application. Furthermore, we are also working on more thorough online search options for stakeholders.

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