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02 November 2018

Azerbaijan pledges IP reforms, plain packaging in Singapore, and Ecuador plans mediation center: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the JPO offering a souvenir certificate for long-time rights holders, fashion brands stepping up their tech game, a new director at the Tunisian IP Office, and much more.

27 April 2018

Good news for brands owners: custodial sentences given to owners of stores selling counterfeit goods

Following a significant operation carried out at Ecuador’s largest informal market, the owners of three stores in which counterfeit goods were seized were arrested and given prison sentences.

19 March 2018

Crocs Inc successfully enforces 3D marks in biggest-ever anti-counterfeiting operation

Following a request for an injunction by Crocs Inc, the Ecuadorian IP Office has seized more than 37,000 items during operations carried out simultaneously in three different cities.

15 September 2016

Ecuador issues regulation to control counterfeit, adulterated and altered products

In Ecuador, the National Agency for Health Inspection, Regulation and Monitoring has recently issued a regulation relating to the control of counterfeit, adulterated and altered products.

07 September 2016

Landmark criminal action initiated against counterfeiters

Following an anonymous complaint to the district attorney's office in Quito alerting them to the sale of counterfeit pharmaceutical products, the National Police of Ecuador conducted several raids on various locations resulting in a number of arrests being made.

18 September 2015

Plain packaging: impending hardship for brand owners?

Several Latin American countries have proposed the introduction of plain packaging for products such as cigarettes, replacing packaging bearing the trade dress that differentiates such products. However, strict regulations limiting the use of trade dress by rights holders already apply to such products and the proposals go beyond these regulations.

09 July 2015

New proposals on border measures cause concern

While the current system for dealing with counterfeits is, by and large, very effective, new proposals relating to border measures have been cause for concern. Among other things, Articles 534 to 537 of the Código del Conocimiento apply only to the “counterfeiting of trademarks”, which would exclude all other rights and, importantly, imitations. Moreover, there is no reference to mechanisms for notifying brand owners that a suspected shipment has been detected.

04 April 2007

Hats off to Montecristi as it becomes first denomination of origin

The name Montecristi, which refers to an area of Ecuador synonymous with the production of high-quality, hand-woven Panama hats, has become the first Ecuadorian denomination of origin to be recognized and protected by the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property. It is hoped that protection as a denomination of origin will help to deter foreign competitors from using the name Montecristi on lower-quality hats.

15 November 2006

Packaging trade dress protectable under unfair competition law

The Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Office has for the first time granted protection to unregistered product packaging trade dress against confusingly similar packaging for the same type of product. However, it has emerged recently that an appeal decision in the case may not come out for several years.

05 May 2006

Conference to review definition of 'legitimate interest'

The Ecuadorian IP community has called for a conference to review the definition of 'legitimate interest' used by the Ecuadorian Trademark Office in the context of opposition proceedings. For about a year now, the office has severely limited the scope of what constitutes legitimate interest in oppositions, rejecting any opposition based on grounds other than confusion, association or dilution.

13 December 2005

No award for GRAMMY owner against GRAMMYA mark

The Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute has confirmed the registration of the mark GRAMMYA (and logo) following an opposition action filed by the owner of the famous GRAMMY mark. It seems from this decision that even a famous fantasy word mark such as GRAMMY cannot stop the registration and use of a similar word mark mixed with a logo, if the latter mark protects completely different types of services or products.

06 October 2005

Beer bottle mark registration knocked back

The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property has refused to register the shape of a century-old beer bottle as a trademark. The ruling suggests that due to a lack of "distinctive capacity" the usual form of a container may not be registered, even when it has acquired distinctive or secondary meaning. The decision appears to contrast with a recent ruling by the Peruvian Trademark Office allowing registration of a bottle shape.

06 July 2005

Hierarchy of Andean Community rights explained

The Trademark Office has issued a ruling clarifying that the owner of a mark registered in one Andean Community country and then later registered in a second community country will have exclusive rights against the use of an identical unregistered trade name in the second country, even where the protected first use of the trade name was made before the registration of the trademark in the second country.

27 April 2005

Timeframes change for trademark processes

One of the consequences of the political unrest in Ecuador over the past few months has been a general lengthening of timeframes for trademark processes and proceedings. Practitioners and IP owners used to be able to rely on the reasonably swift conclusion of proceedings but have become increasingly confused as to what to expect.

17 November 2004

Galapagos is an unofficial state emblem, rules IEPI

The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property has refused to register a word mark that contains the name Galapagos. Although the name Galapagos is not one of the three official symbols of the Republic of Ecuador, the institute held that it should be considered as a state symbol or emblem and, therefore, cannot be used as part of a registered trademark.