For business authenticity in Ecuador, it is crucial to register a trademark. Companies initiating commercial activities in Ecuador must not forget the importance of getting legal protections for their intellectual property. This intellectual property could include elements of their brand and/or products, such as distinctive signs – commercial slogans and trade names – or invention patents on software, and other key revenue generators.
Local legislation offers a way for entrepreneurs expanding into Ecuador to protect their commercial ideas and inventions and ensure that they profit from innovations. Read on to learn more about how to register a trademark in Ecuador.
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Register a Trademark in Ecuador: Intellectual Property Rights
According to Ecuadorian legislation, a brand corresponds to a sign that distinguishes a service or product from others of the same class or branch. The sign can be represented by custom characteristics such as words, numbers, symbols, logos, designs, sounds, smells, textures, or a combination of them. In your trademark registration application, you must distinguish the types and classes of marks you want to protect.
If you are about to begin corporate activities in Ecuador, or if you have already established a company, the next step is to understand the process you must follow to register, and protect, your brand’s property rights.
It is important to note that the only public institution authorized with managing the registration process in Ecuador is the National Intellectual Rights Services (SENADI).
Preliminary Trademark Search in Ecuador
As part of the Ecuadorian government’s expansion of online processes in recent years, trademark registration has undergone an evolution. Since 2018, much of the process of registering a brand can been completed online on the SENADI platform.
Before you submit your trademark application, SENADI will verify that there are no similar trademarks in the market to yours. The agency will initiate a ‘búsqueda fonética’, or phonetic trademark search.
Once you have obtained a positive result for the trademark search, you can proceed with your trademark application.
Ecuador Trademark Registration Process
Once the trademark search is complete, you can register a trademark for your chosen design(s). SENADI has helpfully outlined the core steps of the trademark registration process on their website. To register for a trademark in Ecuador online, you must create a username and password and complete your application on the SENADI platform.
The main steps to follow to register your trademark in Ecuador include:
- Creating a ‘virtual locker’ where you will receive all notifications regarding your application and the procedures to follow. This is done online using the account connected with your username.
- Once your virtual locker is up and running, you have to fill out the ‘Online Registration Request’. Fill out all necessary fields in the online form and provide any supplementary documentation requested.
- Pay the fees. Excluding the phonetic search, the application process comes to a cost of US$208. You must pay the registration fee at the Bank of the Pacific.
Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by expert analysts.
Trademark Application Review
SENADI goes through a routine examination of your application form, checking that it meets all the requirements.
Once screened, your trademark is published in the country’s ‘Gaceta de Propiedad Intelectual’ or Intellectual Property Gazette. This publication makes all new trademark registrations public knowledge. The Gaceta gives people or businesses the opportunity to object to any applications before they are approved.
If there is no opposition to your registration request, the process concludes with the issuance of the trademark, granted by SENADI.
From the time of application, the registration process takes approximately 6 months.
Consider how having a registered trademark could protect your intellectual property. With a trademark, you get exclusive rights to the item or brand characteristic, and you mitigate piracy risks. The benefits include:
- Protection of your trademarked item in Ecuadorian territory
- The right of registration priority in the countries of the Andean Community of Nations (Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia), within the first six months of filing the application in Ecuador
- Right to file civil, criminal, and administrative legal actions against those who violate your ownership rights for their commercial gain
- Power to restrict the importation of goods that use trademarks that infringe on your own
- Right to grant licenses to third parties and collect royalties
- Right to franchise your product or service
- Transfer rights of your brand to third parties
- Possibility to guarantee credit with your brand
By registering a trademark for your brand, it becomes an intangible asset, and in many cases becomes the most valuable asset for your company.
Trademarks can face challenges if they are not used in any of the Andean Community countries: Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia. In Ecuador, trademarks can be renewed a decade after the registration date. No periodic declarations of use are mandatory. Additionally, there is a six-month grace period following the expiration date.
Commonly Asked Questions on Trademark Registration in Ecuador
Based on our extensive experience these are some common questions from clients registering a trademark in Ecuador:
– The Applicant`s Contact Information (Business name, business ID number, country of incorporation, phone number, office address, email address, etc.).
– Determine the class of your products/services to be registered in the International (Nice) Classification of Goods and Services.
– A detailed description of the brand, its origin, design, general description, and business activity.
– The date you commenced using your brand commercially.
– If you wish to register your logo along with your brand, we request that you provide the logo in JPG format and a description of the graphic design.
The timeframe to register a trademark is 6 months, provided there is no opposition from third parties.
Get Expert Assistance to Register Your Trademark in Ecuador
If you are interested in registering a brand or a trademark in Ecuador and need assistance to comply with the process, we can help. Our tailored market entry and back-office solutions include expert legal and commercial advice and reputation from our local teams.
Contact our expert trademark and data protection team here at Biz Latin Hub. We will provide the support you need to ensure the long-term success of your business in Latin America.
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