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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jul 14, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 9/22)
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New Law in Force

On 9 May 2022, the Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial (INAPI) announced that the new Law No. 21,355 (Law) entered into force. The new Law was published in the Official Gazette on 5 July 2021, amending the Industrial Property Act 19.039 and Law No 20,254.

The new Law aims to modernize the IP system and provide better protection and enforcement of IP rights, particularly patent and trademark rights. Concerning trademarks, the new regulations introduce the following changes:

- The definition of trademarks is modified to protect distinctive non-traditional signs such as olfactory, 3-D, tactile, positional, and hologram trademarks.
- Commercial and industrial establishments cannot get registered as trademarks any longer. Existing marks of this kind shall be renewed as service marks in classes 35 and 40 to keep the rights acquired by the holders of such registrations.
- The trademark owner is required to make actual and effective use of its sign in the market. The revocation may only be requested by whoever has a legitimate interest and may not be declared ex officio.
- The regulations for collective and certification marks are aligned to international standards.
- Trademark renewals may be requested six months before the end of the term and up to six months after. Renewal fees are due for payment with the renewal application. Renewals requested after the registration’s expiration will be subject to a surcharge of 20% for each month or a fraction of a month.
- Specific legitimate uses of another’s trademark are allowed for names or pseudonyms and generics.
- The offense of trademark counterfeiting is typified and penalized with a prison sentence (currently, there is only a fine for the benefit of the Public Prosecutor).
- The law established a compensation system with pre-established indemnities for trademark infringement.

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