Woman researching how to register a trademark in Guatemala

How to Register a Trademark in Guatemala

Register a trademark in Guatemala to protect your brand and secure your company’s reputation. Plus, learn about the importance of conducting a thorough trademark search in Guatemala in order to ensure your distinctive signs are unique. Additionally, registering a trademark can enhance a company’s reputation and credibility, reassuring consumers of the authenticity and quality of their products or services. Moreover, it will deter competitors from using a similar mark, preserving your market share and ensuring customer loyalty.

When undertaking commercial or corporate activities in Latin America, consider obtaining exclusive rights to your intellectual property assets. This includes elements such as your product and service brands, and distinctive signs (slogans and/or trade names).

Local legislation provides support to business owners and executives in Guatemala who want to protect their intellectual assets and ensure that they profit from their innovations. In 2019, Guatemalan authorities approved over 10,000 trademark applications.

Take advantage of commercial opportunities in Central America and secure your business by registering a trademark in Guatemala.

7 Steps to register a trademark in Guatemala
7 steps to register a trademark in Guatemala

7 Steps to Register a Trademark in Guatemala

There are 7 general steps to follow when registering a trademark in Guatemala for your unique sign. One of the most important steps is conducting a thorough trademark search on Guatemala’s database to ensure your designs are unique.

To register a trademark in Guatemala you must follow these 7 steps:

  • Step 1 – Engage With a Local Trademark Specialist.
  • Step 2 – Conduct a Trademark Search in Guatemala.
  • Step 3 – Complete and Submit Your Trademark Application.
  • Step 4 – Application Evaluation.
  • Step 5 – Publication of Trademark Application.
  • Step 6 – Application Approval.
  • Step 7 – Renewal Process

The public institution in charge of administering the trademark registration process in Guatemala is the Guatemalan Intellectual Property Registry (Registro de Propiedad Intelectual – RPI).

1. Engage With a Local Trademark Specialist

Trademark registration in Guatemala requires the advice of an active Guatemalan Lawyer and Notary. This person is responsible for signing and stamping the trademark registration form.

Connect with a local trademark law specialist who can assist you with your application process. You will want to find a trusted partner who can bridge bureaucratic and cultural gaps between your company and the local institutions. This may mean seeking a bilingual partner.

2. Conduct a Trademark Search in Guatemala

In Guatemala, like in other Latin American jurisdictions, the first step in a trademark registration process is to complete a preliminary trademark search.

The trademark search is necessary as companies must first confirm that the sign(s) they want to trademark are not already registered by another party.

In Guatemala, the trademark search can be completed online on the Intellectual Property Registry’s (RPI) platform. Your legal partner can assist with this process.

3. Complete and Submit Your Trademark Application

Once you have verified that there is no identical or similar brand to the one you want to register, you can complete and submit your application to the RPI. When completing this application, you must outline the appropriate Nice Classification for your trademark.

4. Application Evaluation

Once the application and the supporting documents have been submitted, the PRI will conduct a thorough examination process. The agency will confirm your application abides by Guatemalan trademark criteria.  

5. Publication of Trademark Application

If your application passes the evaluation process, the RPI draws up an edict (publication) outlining the details of your pending trademark registration in Guatemala. This edict, once notified to the applicant, must be published in the country’s Official Gazette. 

The edict will be publicly available for 2 months, in order to allow time for third parties to respond to your proposed trademark. In the case that a third party objects to your trademark registration in Guatemala, the RPI will re-evaluate your application.

6. Application Approval

After 2 months of the publication of the edict, if the RPI has not received any objections to your proposed trademark, it will approve the application. At this point, a payment order is generated.

7. Renewal Process

Renewals for trademark registration in Guatemala occur every 10 years, with a 6-month grace period after the expiration date. During this time, trademarks can be challenged for non-use. The initial renewal is scheduled for 10 years after the registration date. To complete the renewal process, the following documentation is needed:

  • Power of attorney
  • Receipt confirming payment of official fees

Our recommendation: Working with an experienced trademark attorney is crucial to successfully secure the registration process and increase the chances of a favorable outcome. At the same time, it is recommended to monitor the trademark once registered to detect any unauthorized use or infringement, which will allow you to act quickly to safeguard your trademark rights.

What are the Benefits of Registering a Trademark in Guatemala?

By registering a distinctive sign as a trademark in Guatemala, you obtain exclusive rights to the item or its characteristics and can mitigate the risks of piracy. The protections include:

  • Protection of your sign in Guatemalan territory
  • Right to file civil, criminal, and administrative legal actions against those who violate your property rights for their commercial benefit.
  • Ability to restrict the import of goods that use registered trademarks that infringe on yours
  • Right to license third parties and collect royalties
  • Right to offer a franchise of your product or service
  • Ability to transfer the rights of your brand to third parties
  • Possibility of guaranteeing credit with your brand

After registering a trademark in Guatemala, your brand becomes an intangible asset, and in many cases becomes the most valuable asset of your company.

Types of distinctive signs for trademark registration.
Types of distinctive signs for trademark registration. Although similar, the process to register a trademark in Central America differs by country.

What are the Intellectual Property Rights in Guatemala?

According to Guatemalan law, a brand is understood as “any denominative, figurative, mixed, three-dimensional, olfactory, sound or mixed sign that is capable of distinguishing products or services from other similar ones on the market, from an individual or legal person, of those of another and that can be the object of a graphic representation.” For the purpose of trademark registration, you must be able to distinguish between the types and classes of trademarks, and specify the characteristics of the one you want to protect.

If you are about to begin corporate activities in Guatemala, or if you already have an established company, it is important that you understand and comply with all processes outlined above. This will ensure efficiency and allow you to protect your brand’s property rights.

Commonly Asked Questions on Trademark Registration in Guatemala

Based on our extensive experience these are some common questions from clients registering a trademark in Guatemala:

1. What are the requirements to register a trademark in Guatemala?

  • 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, 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.

2. How long does it take to register a trademark in Guatemala?

The timeframe to register a trademark is 8 months, provided there is no opposition from third parties.

3. What are the consequences of not renewing my trademark registration in time?

If you do not renew your trademark registration in time, your trademark may lose its protection. In such cases, you may have to re-apply for registration, which could expose your trademark to possible infringement or misuse during the period of non-protection.

4. Are there any restrictions on the types of trademarks that can be registered in Guatemala?

Trademarks that are contrary to public order, morality or public policy cannot be registered in Guatemala. In addition, trademarks that are misleading, generic or descriptive of the goods or services they represent may face some complications or problems during the registration process.

5. Can foreign persons or companies register trademarks in Guatemala?

Yes, foreign individuals and companies can register trademarks in Guatemala. However, they may need to appoint a local representative for certain administrative purposes or legal procedures related to trademark registration and enforcement.

6. What types of trademarks can be registered in Guatemala?

Trademarks may include words, logos, slogans, colours or sounds, as long as they are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one entity from those of others.

Contact Us for Help With Your Trademark Search and Registration in Guatemala

If you are interested in registering a trademark in Guatemala and need assistance with the process, we can help. At Biz Latin Hub, our customized market entry and back-office solutions provide expert legal and commercial advice for the registration of trademarks. This includes conducting a thorough trademark search in Guatemala.

Contact our expert team on trademarks and data protection here at Biz Latin Hub. We will provide you with the support necessary to guarantee the long-term success of your business in Latin America. 

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

A BLH infogrpahic showing key services offered by the company
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub. Register a trademark in Guatemala.

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.
Team Central America

Team Central America

Team Central America is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Central America. The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, accounting, and changing regulations. Read more about them here. You can contact Team Central America via our "contact us page".

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