Find out the key steps to register a trademark in Bolivia, including conducting a trademark search in Bolivia to confirm your distinctive signs are unique. When operating commercially, it is common to use a brand, logo, or slogan to help identify your company and products. Your brand is distinguished from others; it generates trust and loyalty among customers. As your business grows, it attracts new customers, and it becomes custom to identify your company by its distinctive signs.
Protecting and maintaining the exclusive use of your brand, logo or slogan with your registered trademark is crucial for commercial success. In Latin America, intellectual property protection regulations are developing to support the migration of companies from the region to foreign markets.
Below, we describe the steps to follow to register a trademark in Bolivia for your distinctive signs, and also keep your business protected and profitable in the future.
Types of distinctive signs for trademark registration in Bolivia
In Bolivia, a ‘distinctive sign’ serves to identify products or services on the market.
There are several types of distinctive signs that companies can consider to register their trademark in Bolivia:
- Denominative: letters and words
- Figurative: Image, symbols
- Mixed: Words and graphic symbols
- Three-dimensional: Containers, wrappers, bottles
- Auditory: corporate music, jingles.
These signs develop perceptions of a certain quality or other attractive element that influences consumers’ purchasing decisions when choosing a product or contracting a service.
A distinctive sign constitutes an important tool for the company by leveraging the positioning of their products or services, and clearly advertise it within the market.
Registering a trademark in Bolivia grants the holder the exclusive right of use in the market and prevents third parties from using it without their authorization.
These distinctive signs can be used to establish a brand, commercial name, and commercial slogan.
A brand is a sign used to distinguish and differentiate products or services in the market. It has two main characteristics: graphic representation and distinctiveness.
The registration of a trademark in Bolivia grants the rights of use, transfers and licenses of use of the brand.
The trademark prevents third parties from using the brand without consent, and gives the trademark owner the right to oppose identical or similar trademark registrations.
Commercial name and/or slogan
A commercial name and/or slogan is that distinctive sign that makes it possible to differentiate the business activity of a company. It can constitute the commercial name of a company or establishment, among others, its company name, company name or other designation by which the consumer is identified. The names are independent of the names or company names of the legal entities, both of which can coincide.
In both cases, both the registration of a commercial name and trademark in Bolivia are valid for 10 years. In the case of the brand, it can be renewed indefinitely for 10-year terms. Renewal must be requested 6 months before the expiration date of the registration. However, the SENAPI does offer companies a 6-month ‘grace period’ to renew a trademark after its expiration.
Registering a ‘collective trademark’
Finally, there is the possibility of registering a ‘collective trademark’ in Bolivia. This includes any sign that serves to distinguish the origin or any other common characteristic of products or services belonging to several different companies that use it under the control of a proprietor.
A collective trademark can be made up of words, drawings, letters, numbers, packaging, objects, emblems, figurative, three-dimensional and other elements. Legally established associations, organizations, and groups can register this trademark in Bolivia.
Steps to register a trademark in Bolivia
There are 4 key steps to register your trademark in Bolivia.
The National Intellectual Property Service (SENAPI) is the local authority responsible for managing trademark registration applications in Bolivia. The process is carried out online through the SENAPI website.
The timeframe to register a trademark is approximately between 6-8 months, provided there are no oppositions from third parties.
1. Conduct a trademark search in Bolivia
Firstly, you must conduct a thorough trademark search in Bolivia. Companies and/or their legal representatives can carry out this search in the Distinctive Signs database of the National Intellectual Property Service (SENAPI).
Applicants must verify the availability of their distinctive signs by confirming no identical or similar distinctive signs already exist as registered trademarks.
Companies must submit the following documents to conduct their trademark search in Bolivia:
- Completed Background Search for Distinctive Signs form, available on the SENAPI website
- Letter addressed to the Director of Industrial Property, requesting the search for distinctive signs, products and/or services according to the NICE International Classification System.
- Receipt of payment for the trademark search, paid to the SENAPI account.
Any natural and/or national or foreign legal person can make this request. In the case of a company requesting a trademark search, the request must include a photocopy of the power of attorney of the legal representative.
After 8 business days, SENAPI will confirm whether the requested distinctive sign is available or not.
2. Prepare and submit your trademark application
To register your trademark in Bolivia, you must submit the following documentation to SENAPI:
- A copy of Form PI-100 Request for Distinctive Sign
- If the brand has a design, add a 4×4 cm image in JPG-RGB format and print the form in color
- Provide a description and pantone code of the distinctive sign (optional)
- Indicate the product or service according to the Nice International Classification
- For legal entities: attach the power of attorney in original or legalized copy of the legal representative
- Original proof and photocopy of payment to the Gazette of Bolivia
- Original receipt and photocopy of the payment to SENAPI.
If you have registered the same trademark previously in another country, you have ‘priority claim’ over your trademark in Bolivia. To get priority claim, attach a certified copy of the document granting the trademark in the overseas country from the relevant institution.
3. SENAPI Review and publication
Once the application is received, it goes through a formal examination process to confirm the trademark meets all the formal requirements under Bolivian law. The application is then published in the Official Gazette of Bolivia. This publication allows third parties to review and voice concerns on any proposed trademarks.
Once published, third parties have 30 days to file any oppositions against the registration.
4. Approval and official registration
Subsequently, if there are no oppositions to your proposed trademark, SENAPI completes a final merits assessment. This assessment determine if it meets the legal requirements for registering trademarks in Bolivia. SENAPI will then grant you ownership of that trademark.
Register your trademark in Bolivia with the help of local bilingual experts
The Bolivian government aims to create a secure business environment for foreign companies by supporting intellectual property protection rights. However, the training and incorporation process for companies seeking to start or expand in the country can be complex to navigate.
Building alliances with a trusted legal service provider can help your business comply with local regulations. At Biz Latin Hub, our team of local and foreign professionals offers extensive experience in market entry and administrative processes to our clients throughout Latin America, including Bolivia.
We have been working with companies in a wide range of industries since 2014. Contact the Biz Latin Hub team here to learn more about our customized business solutions and how we can support your business success.
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