Trademark your brand in Argentina through a thorough trademark search and registration process. When operating commercially, it is very common to use a brand, a logo and/or slogan to help identify your business and its products. Your brand sets you apart from others, builds trust and loyalty among customers, and as your business grows, engages new customer markets with your story.
Protecting and maintaining exclusive use of your brand, logo or slogan with a trademark is therefore crucial to commercial success. In Latin America, intellectual property protection regulations are ramping up to support the migration of tech-based businesses from foreign markets into this developing region. Argentina recently bolstered its support for innovative industries by introducing the Knowledge Economy Law.
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Read on to learn about how you can trademark your brand in Argentina, and keep your business protected and profitable in the foreseeable future.
Definition: Trademarks for Brands in Argentina
In Argentina, a brand is a sign with a distinctive capacity that differentiates a group of products or services owned by one individual or company from others.
Registering a brand with local authorities formally grants a business the title deed and exclusive right over it. The National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) is the local authority responsible for managing brand applications and the brand registration process.
Why Trademark Your Brand?
Registering your trademark in Argentina with INPI enables you to legally undertake any necessary activities to prevent third parties from marketing identical products or services with the same brand as yours. Situations like this can be confusing for the public and may dilute the message you are trying to send to customers. Being granted the right to protect your brand allows you to keep your story clear and mitigate risk to your company’s credibility.
Brand registration also protects against partial imitations; either of names, words, signs or advertising phrases, as well as their drawings and colors. The owner of a registered brand may authorize its use by third parties through License Agreements, both exclusive and non-exclusive. They can also sell their brand or elements of it, and may offer brand elements or design as collateral with pledge records.
Trademark your brand with an associated design and slogan protected under trademark by Argentinian law, to build customer loyalty, and send a strong message about your products or services, and the story of your company.
What are the Requirements and Steps to Register a Trademark in Argentina?
Any person, whether physical or legal, who meets the following requirements may register a trademark in Argentina:
- Be over 18 years old (the legal age for natural persons)
- Have a legal address declared in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
- Possess a unique tax identification key, known as a CUIT
- When using proxies: have legal capability/ authorization from the legal entity (company) to carry out the application on its behalf (for legal persons)
- For legal persons: a sworn statement by the powers of the signatory detailing the corporate instruments that possess the power to register and share information about the brand (this could include meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, for example).
The registration approval process takes approximately 12 months from the beginning of the application until formal acknowledgment of your trademark. This is provided there is no public opposition to your application, in which case any clarification or supplementary information required may push the timeline out.
Once successfully registered, the protection of the trademark lasts 10 years. In Argentina, you can renew your trademark before it expires.
A trademark is renewable indefinitely for equal periods, provided that the trademark has been in use for the corresponding product or service during the last five years. The renewal process must be carried out before the expiration date. Some key information on the trademark renewal process:
- You must make an affidavit of use for the five (5) years prior to the expiration date. This is completed within the renewal application form in the INPI portal.
- The mid-term affidavit must be made within the first five (5) years from the date on which the trademark was granted.
- The renewal procedure lasts approximately sixteen (16) months.
What is the Difference Between the Affidavit of Use and the Affidavit of Medium-term Use?
On the one hand, the affidavit of use refers to the last five (5) years of validity of the registration and is submitted at the time of applying for renewal. On the other hand, the mid-term affidavit refers to the first five (5) years of validity of the trademark and must be filed during the sixth year. The presentation of this affidavit in due time and form will be verified by the analysts of the renewals area at the time of examining the application for renewal of the registration.
1. Before Applying: Do Your Research
To trademark your brand in Argentina, the first step will be to check that the brand you want, or a similar one, does not already exist.
For this step, you can consult the online INPI trademark consultation system and conduct your own research into what has already been registered.
Once you have confirmed that the trademark you want is not already registered to another company, you will then need to classify your products/services according to local regulation.
2. Classify Your Goods and/or Services
Classes are determined by an international classification system, used to determine the scope of the brand to be registered. Some examples of classes are chemical products, tools, furniture, and others.
You can use INPI’s international classification page to help you identify the class of your goods and/or services.
3. Start Your Online Trademark Application
After confirming your application is unique and determining the class your business outputs belong to, you can initiate the application to trademark your brand online with INPI. Alternatively, you can deliver your application in person to their physical address, or post it.
Requirements for this step include:
- Indicate what type of trademark it is: denominative, figurative, mixed, etc.
- If the trademark has images, you will have to upload an image in .jpg format, whose size cannot exceed 2MB.
- If necessary, detail the colours and size of the image/s.
- Indicate the international class to which the trademark belongs: this is represented from a number from 1 to 45, depending on the product to be commercialized under that trademark. Only one class corresponds to each application. If you wish to register the trademark under more than one class, you will have to file one application for each one.
- Inform the ownership of the trademark: who are going to be the owners and what percentage will correspond to each one.
After completing the required information and determining the characteristics and properties of the brand to be registered (words, designs, images, names, etc), you can submit your application.
4. Application Review by INPI
Within 30 days of submitting the application, INPI staff will conduct a formal review of compliance with the requirements, including the fee payment.
After 70 days, the application is published in the country’s Trademark Bulletin for third parties to comment on. This step gives third parties a chance to object if they believe theirs or another design, logo or slogan is too similar to yours.
If a Third Party Opposes Your Trademark in Argentina
If there is opposition, you can select one of the following approaches to resolve the issue:
- Try to reach an agreement between the parties.
- Start an administrative mediation process to reach an agreement.
- Initiate a lawsuit before the corresponding courts.
- Alter your brand application so the designs or slogans are no longer conflicting.
You must complete the approach you decide to take within one year of receiving an objection from a third party.
5. Trademark Approval and Publication
If 12 months have elapsed since the public consultation phase without opposition, the INPI will communicate the approval of your application by email and it will be published in the Official Gazette. At this point you have succesfully registered a trademark for your brand in Argentina.
Commonly Asked Questions About Trademark Registration in Argentina
Based on our extensive experience these are the common questions and doubts from our clients who trademark their brand in Argentina.
– Applicant’s contact information (business name, business identification number, country of incorporation, telephone number, office address, e-mail address, etc.).
– Determine the class of your goods/services to be registered in the International (Nice) Classification of Goods and Services.
– A detailed description of the mark, origin, design, general description, and business activity.
– The date on which you started using your trademark commercially.
– If you wish to register your logo together with your trademark, we ask you to provide the logo in JPG format.
The term to register a trademark is approximately 12 months, as long as there is no opposition from third parties.
Trademark Your Brand in Argentina with the Help of Local Business Specialists
The Argentinian government aims to create a secure commercial environment for foreign businesses by supporting intellectual property protection mechanisms. The formation and incorporation process for companies looking to start up or expand into the country can however still be complex for foreign actors to navigate.
If you are interested in registering a trademark for you brand in Argentina, be sure to engage with a legal services provider you can trust. At Biz Latin Hub, our team of local and expatriate professionals offers a wealth of experience in market entry and back-office processes to our clients across all of Latin America, including Argentina.
We’ve been working with businesses in a wide range of industries who are moving into the country and wider region since 2014. Contact the Biz Latin Hub team, a global legal expert with a local perspective to learn more about our tailored business solutions, and how we can support your business success.
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