A General Licence has been issued by the US government that explicitly authorises the protection of all intellectual property in Venezuela. The move follows significant challenges for US companies seeking to protect their brands in the country.
The Venezuelan Intellectual Property Office has announced that, starting from 27 April 2020 and as long as the national sanitary emergency remains effective, the office will implement a temporary e-filing system for certain IP-related matters, including trademark applications. Read more
The Venezuelan Intellectual Property Office has established a new procedure for protecting local geographical indications based on the Paris Convention, which it published in a bulletin in February 2020. Read more
In a significant development for trademark applicants and owners, as of 10 February 2020 trademarks applications in Venezuela must use only the International Classification of Goods and Services established by the Nice Agreement. Read more
In our latest round-up, we look at a new online service launched by the Swedish IP Office, the Babybel wax-coating trademark being invalidated, scammers filing “fake trademarks” to hijack Instagram accounts, and much more. Read more
Although in recent years the authorities have shown increasing concern over counterfeiting and implemented mechanisms to combat it, these efforts have been largely inadequate, due to increased traffic in these goods worldwide.
A Venezuelan court has granted Babyliss, the well-known French manufacturer of hair care appliances, the possibility to take precautionary measures against a business located in Punto Fijo, one of Venezuela’s free-trade zones. This resulted in the seizure of 588 counterfeit hair straighteners.
An amendment to the Act against Smuggling Crimes has been published in the <i>Official Gazette</i>. The amendment seeks to criminalise and punish acts and omissions that constitute criminal or administrative smuggling acts, and strengthen controls over customs officers and their assistants.
The Venezuelan Patent and Trademark Office has suspended payment of official fees by foreign applicants for the foreseeable future. The situation has been described by one local attorney on the ground as “lacking legal basis” and leaving IP owners “in limbo”.
In Venezuela, exclusive trademark rights are granted only by registration according to the Industrial Property Law. However, the owners of unregistered trademarks may be able to prevent the registration of marks by filing an opposition to the application.
A new law called the "Law on Socialist Cestatickets for Workers”, which concerns food benefits for employees, has set an ominous precedent for the trademark system in Venezuela by using a registered trademark as a generic term, thereby forcing all the competitors of the trademark owner to use that mark.
This chapter outlines the actions that rights holders can take to protect their rights on the Internet and prevent the import, storage and online sale of infringing goods. It also summarises methods of securing compensation for damages.
The Supreme Court has dismissed an action filed by CDS TELECOM CA against CANTV in relation to the alleged infringement of CDS’ rights in the mark LISTO (meaning 'ready' English). Among other things, the court found that there was no graphic, visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity between the marks LISTO and CANTV LISTO and that, in any case, LISTO should not have been registered as a trademark in the first place.
The Supreme Court of Justice has reaffirmed some of the fundamental principles of trademark law - namely those relating to the presumption of ownership of a trademark, the limits of the exclusive rights to use a mark and the impossibility of registering generic signs. The plaintiff in this case sought to prevent the defendants from using the mark VALE based on its rights in the marks VALEVEN and VALEVEN ALIMENTACIÓN.
Tobacco company CA Cigarrera Bigott Sucs, the owner of the well-known mark BELMONT, has successfully obtained the removal of a profile using its trademark as an identifier on the social network Facebook. The unauthorised use of the BELMONT mark on the social network could have exposed Bigott to the possibility of being investigated for failure to comply with the relevant regulations on tobacco advertising.
New IP officials, including a new director of trademarks, have recently been appointed in Venezuela. These appointments come in a climate of great uncertainty, mainly due to the suspension of the payment of official fees by foreign IP owners earlier this year.
Resolution No 004 of the Ministry of the Popular Powers for Health has introduced stricter requirements regarding the health warnings to be featured on cigarette packs. The main change is the obligation to include a warning text covering 30% of the front or back of the package. Together with the other mandatory images and texts, this leaves only 9% of the total package surface available to include information on the brand.
The new Venezuelan Sports Law, which is intended to regulate sponsorship within the Venezuelan sports industry, is expected to have a negative impact on that industry. Problematically, until the implementing regulation is passed, there is a legal void as to what local or foreign companies willing to sponsor athletes should do.
A resolution of the Ministry of Culture prohibiting all advertising and commercial propaganda, or any form of communication that might be perceived as such, at institutions or entities affiliated to the ministry, has been published in the <i>Official Gazette</i>. Lack of compliance with the resolution will result, when necessary, in administrative and/or disciplinary penalties.
The Venezuelan Trademark Office has issued an official communication requesting that trademark owners or applicants which have filed oppositions against third-party applications reaffirm their interest in continuing such proceedings.
The Venezuelan Trademark Office has published an official communication relating to the implementation of the official fees set forth in Article 6 of the new Tax Act in connection with industrial property procedures. The act establishes disproportionately high fees and, compared with other countries in the region, it appears that Venezuela has become the most expensive jurisdiction for trademarks matters.
Although the payment of official fees to the Venezuelan IP office has been suspended temporarily, foreign brand owners should be prepared and ensure that their representatives are nevertheless sent the relevant fees.
However, in April 2006 Venezuela left the Andean Community. On September 17 2008 the Venezuelan Patent and Trademark Office (SAPI) decided that the relevant trademark and patent legislation would be the Industrial Property Law 1956.
In 2008 the Venezuelan Trademark Office issued an opinion stating that the rules of the Andean Community were no longer applicable in the country, referring specifically to the Paris Convention, TRIPS and the Nice Agreement. However, it has recently been discovered that, according to the definition of 'collective marks' provided on the Trademark Office’s official website, collective marks are not governed by national law, but by the Paris Convention.
The Supreme Court has considered whether oppositions under the Venezuelan Industrial Property Act were available during the period when Venezuela was a member of the Andean Community (the country withdrew from the community in 2006). The court concluded that there were two different types of oppositions, which were both valid.
The SAPI has issued notifications that will have important consequences for the trademark prosecution process in Venezuela: pending trademark applications can once again be assigned in certain circumstances, and oppositions must now rely on specific grounds. The notifications were issued in <I>Venezuelan IP Gazette</I> No 546, in force since April 9 2014.
In a significant decision for the IP community, the Second Administrative Court has granted an interim injunction suspending the legal effect of four trademark registrations granted to a Venezuelan entity in violation of the claimant’s IP rights. It is not common - almost unheard of - for the Venezuelan courts to grant interim injunctions in IP disputes.
A court has ordered an advertising company to refrain from using the trademark PUBLICIDAD ALTERNATIVA, which is owned by Publicidad Alternativa 2025 CA, a company offering non-traditional advertising options. The defendant was offering non-traditional advertising services under the mark and had incorporated a company under the name Publicidad Alternativa CA.
The Ministry of Commerce has upheld a decision of the Venezuelan Trademark Office in which the latter had refused to register the trademark KLINTEX on the grounds that there was a likelihood of confusion with the trademark CLITEX. The ministry rejected the argument that both marks could coexist on the market because KLINTEX is used for cleaning products, while CLITEX is used for pharmaceuticals and perfumes.