Find out how to register a trademark in Bolivia, including how to conduct a trademark search to confirm your distinctive signs for the brand are unique. When operating commercially, it is common to use a brand, logo, and/or slogan to help identify your company and its products. This distinguishes your brand from others and helps generate trust and loyalty among customers. As your business grows, and attracts new customers, it will become identified by a few distinctive signs.
Protecting and maintaining the exclusive use of your brand, logo or slogan with a 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 and keep your business, and its distinctive signs, protected and profitable in the future.
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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 and symbols
- Mixed: Words and graphic symbols
- Three-dimensional: Containers, wrappers and bottles
- Auditory: corporate music and jingles
These signs help create 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 advertising 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 the owner’s 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 another distinctive sign that makes it possible to differentiate a company’s business activity. A commercial name or slogan can include the company name, or any other designation by which the firm is identified. The commercial name is independent of the name of the legal entity, although both can coincide.
For brands and commercial names, the trademark registration is valid in Bolivia 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 trademark’s expiration date. However, the SENAPI does offer companies a 6-month ‘grace period’ to renew a trademark even after its expiration.
Registering a ‘Collective Trademark’
Finally, there is the possibility of registering a ‘collective trademark’ in Bolivia. A collective trademark includes any sign that serves to distinguish the origin or another 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, and figurative or three-dimensional 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 follow 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 in Bolivia is approximately 6-8 months, provided there is no opposition from third parties.
1. Conduct a Trademark Search in Bolivia
To start the process of registering a trademark in Bolivia, you must conduct a thorough trademark search. Companies and/or their legal representatives can carry out this search using 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 then submit the following documents to complete their trademark search as specified by the Bolivian authorities:
- The completed Background Search for Distinctive Signs form, available on the SENAPI website
- A 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. For company’s requesting the 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 apply for a 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, include 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 as characterized by the Nice International Classification
- For legal entities: attach the power of attorney of the legal representative in the original or a legalized copy
- 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 opposition against the registration.
4. Approval and Official Registration
Subsequently, if there is no opposition to your proposed trademark, SENAPI completes a final merits assessment. This assessment determines if the application meets the legal requirements for registering a trademark in Bolivia. SENAPI will then grant you ownership of that trademark.
Frequently Asked Questions on Trademark Registration in Bolivia
Based on our extensive experience these are some common questions from clients who are registering a trademark.
– 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 at which 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.
The timeframe to register a trademark is 8 months, provided there is no opposition from third parties.
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 at Biz Latin Hub to learn more about our customized business solutions and how we can support your business in registering a trademark in Bolivia.
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The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.