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05 March 2019

What brand owners need to know about the serious trademark issues and risks in Venezuela

In this exclusive guest post, experts from Venezuelan firm Antequera expand on recent “major setbacks” for international brand owners seeking IP protection in the Latin American country.

24 July 2018

New IP officials appointed against backdrop of great uncertainty

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.

27 March 2018

Suspension of official fees payable by foreign entities: brand owners should stay alert

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.

15 March 2018

“A situation of uncertainty” – fees debacle at Venezuelan IP office leaves brand owners “in limbo”

​​​​​​​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”.

29 March 2017

Trademark procedures and strategies: Venezuela

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.

06 December 2016

TMO requires ratification of oppositions

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.

18 September 2015

Venezuela

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.

08 September 2015

Disproportionate increase in official fees comes into force

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.

24 April 2015

Uncertainty regarding applicability of international IP-related treaties

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.

17 October 2014

Supreme Court considers registrability of descriptive terms

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.

24 July 2014

Supreme Court: two types of oppositions were available when country was part of Andean Community

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.

14 May 2014

SAPI introduces significant changes to trademark prosecution process

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 Venezuelan IP Gazette No 546, in force since April 9 2014.

01 November 2013

Court grants rare interim injunction in IP dispute

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.

11 July 2013

Supreme Court of Justice reaffirms fundamental principles of trademark law

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.

02 September 2011

Court confirms protection of IP rights despite deficient legal framework

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.