Divine child refused registration

Colombia

The Colombian Trademark Office has rejected an application to register the words 'divino niño' (meaning 'divine child') as a trademark in relation to alcoholic beverages on the grounds that the mark would damage the interests of the Roman Catholic Church (Resolution 2503).

The Trademark Office reasoned that the trademark would damage the beliefs of thousands of people as:

  • the trademark evokes the son of God, who is venerated by Roman Catholics as himself but also as a member of the sacred trilogy;

  • 95% of the Colombian population is Roman Catholic; and

  • it is a constitutional mandate in Colombia to respect all cultures.

The Trademark Office also found that the fact that the application was for alcoholic beverages would be considered as further evidence of disrespect as the abuse of such beverages, even though not immoral, can cause serious social and health problems. Accordingly, it rejected the application under Article 135(p) of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Intellectual Property Regime.

Laura Michelsen, Triana Uribe & Michelsen, Bogota

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