For entrepreneurs registering a business in Paraguay, safeguarding intellectual property is a critical step that ensures companies gain a competitive edge in the market. One of the complimentary services Biz Latin Hub can offer you is help conducting a trademark search using Paraguay’s trademark office database. This is the first step in the trademark registration process.
If you would like us to perform a free search in the Paraguay trademark office database, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Paraguay’s trademark office database is administrated by the National Directorate of Intellectual Property (DINAPI), based in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital city. All DINAPI proceedings are conducted in Spanish, one of the country’s two official languages (the other is Guaraní). Thus, depending on your levels of Spanish, you might require assistance navigating the trademark search and registration processes.
Read on to learn more about the Paraguayan market as an investment destination, and for information on how to register a trademark in Paraguay.
Paraguay Trademark – ‘An Attractive Investment Destination in Latin America’
While Paraguay is not the trendiest investment destination in Latin America and the Caribbean, the country has experienced steady growth and enjoyed prolonged economic and political stability. Paraguay’s economic situation makes it an excellent place to conduct business. Before delving into the trademark registration process, let’s take a further look at its economic landscape.
Paraguay’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased nearly five-fold from 2002 to 2020, despite facing recent challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paraguay has several characteristics that are favorable to investment, including a youthful and urbanizing workforce, a thriving real estate market, a low-tax regime, and a simplified residency process for foreign investors.
These factors have led Inter-American Development Bank President Mauricio Claver-Carone to remark that “all the chips for success are on the table.” Adding that if he were running a foreign company aiming to enter the region, “one of [his] first destinations would be Paraguay.” This underscores the importance of having readily accessible information on how to conduct a Paraguay trademark search in the national database for companies initiating a brand or product.
Paraguay hosts multiple free trade zones (FTZs), primarily situated around Ciudad del Este in the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay tri-border area, that offer attractive financial incentives to foreign investors.
The government is deliberately trying to promote investment and trade. It established transfer pricing norms for the first time in 2019 and is currently involved in negotiations with Chile about a free trade agreement (FTA). This would be the country’s first bilateral FTA.
Furthermore, Paraguay is a founding member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), a 30-year-old economic association that includes Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Through Mercosur, Paraguay enjoys free trade access to several key markets.
All these factors combined make Paraguay an appealing investment destination. But before introducing a brand or product into the country, you must ensure that your intellectual property is protected by registering a trademark. And the first step in the process is initiating a search in the Paraguay trademark office database.
Legal considerations to register a trademark in Paraguay
The validity of a trademark in Paraguay extends for a period of 10 years, commencing from the date of grant. It is possible to renew the trademark indefinitely for consecutive 10-year periods. The National Intellectual Property Directorate (DINAPI) is the responsible entity for safeguarding intellectual property rights and overseeing those who register a trademark in Paraguay, upon request from interested parties.
Similar to a property deed, a trademarked brand can be sold. This process involves executing a public deed, which must subsequently be registered with DINAPI. The trademark holder also has the option to grant a license for the use of the registered trademark, in which case the license agreement needs to be registered with DINAPI. These measures ensure the proper documentation and legal protection of companies and individuals that register a trademark in Paraguay.
What constitutes a trademark in Paraguay?
Trademarks are registered with accordance to the International Classification of Products and Services administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. This classification – also known as the Nice Classification – distinguishes 34 kinds of products and 11 services regarding how to register a trademark in Paraguay and support that businesses can request to protect their intellectual property. Despite the fact that Paraguay is not strictly party to this categorization, the state applies it to its own Trademark Law.
Paraguayan Trademark Law states that (translated from Spanish):
“Trademarks are all signs that serve to distinguish products or services. The marks may consist of one or more:
- words, slogans, emblems, monograms, stamps, bullets, reliefs;
- names, fantasy words, letters and numbers with different shapes or combinations; combinations and arrangements of colors, labels, packaging and wrapping.
“They may also consist of the form, presentation or conditioning of the products or their packaging or wrappings, or of the means or place of sale of the corresponding products or services.”
An essential requirement to register a trademark in Paraguay, is its distinctive capacity. This also supports the business’ brand awareness with the local consumer population.
The scope of the trademark in Paraguay is exclusively territorial; that is, trademarks registered in Paraguay are valid within the country’s territory. If you need to protect your intellectual property in another you’ll need to register a separate trademark for the same item(s) with the local government.
Paraguay Trademark – Why register?
There are several compelling reasons to register a trademark in Paraguay. First, it grants legal ownership and exclusive usage rights, safeguarding your mark from unauthorized use by competitors and counterfeiters. This helps establish a unique brand identity, preventing consumer confusion and enhancing your business’s reputation and trustworthiness.
Second, trademark registration in Paraguay provides a legal foundation to enforce your rights against any infringing parties. This enables you to take legal action and seek remedies in case of violations, ensuring your market position and brand value remain intact.
Additionally, registering a trademark enhances the intellectual property’s value and marketability, potentially attracting investors and facilitating licensing opportunities. It signals your commitment to intellectual property rights, which can be advantageous when seeking partnerships and collaborations. In essence, trademark registration in Paraguay is a prudent investment to protect brand integrity, secure market presence, and gain a competitive edge in the dynamic business landscape.
Registration Begins With a Paraguay Trademark Office Database Search
The process of registering a trademark in Paraguay comprises of six key steps, and the first one is searching the trademark office database:
1. Search the Paraguay Trademark Office Database
If you are selecting a new brand or design, or if you are already using one in another market and wish to introduce it in Paraguay, the first step towards registering a trademark is conducting a search in the Paraguay trademark office database. If choosing a company name, it’s advisable to have alternative options in case your preferred name is already in use.
2. Submit Your Application
After confirming the availability of your chosen name or brand, you must submit the application to DINAPI. You can start this process online, but at some point you or a legal representative in Paraguay may need to attend the office in person.
3. Publish Your Application
As part of the trademark registration process in Paraguay, your application needs to be published in the National Gazette or another widely-circulated newspaper for at least three consecutive days. This allows third parties to offer comments and raise objections to your proposed trademark.
4. Third Party Comments and Objections
Once the application has been published, third parties have 60 business days to present comments or objections regarding your proposed trademark. DINAPI will take these into account during the application review.
5. Review of Your Application
Once the 60-day period ends, DINAPI will conduct a thorough review to ensure your application complies with local laws and has not faced substantive objections.
6. Trademark Approval
Once the process is complete and DINAPI is satisfied with your trademark, it will issue an opinion on your application to the General Directorate of Industrial Property, which will either approve or reject the application.
7. Renewal Process
Trademarks registered in Paraguay are initially valid for ten (10) years from the registration date and can be renewed indefinitely in additional ten (10)-year periods. If a trademark is not renewed before its expiration date, there is a grace period of six (6) months for late renewal, but it requires the payment of a surcharge.
Commonly Asked Questions for Trademark Registration in Paraguay
Based on our extensive experience these are some common questions from clients registering a trademark in Paraguay:
– The applicant’s contact information (business name, business ID number, country of incorporation, phone number, office address, email address, etc.).
– Determining the class of your products/services for registration in the International (Nice) Classification of Goods and Services.
– Providing a detailed brand description, including its origin, design, general description, and business activity.
– The date you began using your brand commercially.
– If you intend to register your logo along with your brand, it’s recommended to provide the logo in JPG format.
– The timeframe for trademark registration is approximately 14 months, provided there are no objections from third parties.
Biz Latin Hub Can Support You With Registering Your Paraguayan Trademark
At Biz Latin Hub, our team of corporate support specialists based in Asuncion will undertake an obligation-free search of the Paraguay trademark office database on your behalf, so that you can get an initial idea of whether your proposed brand name is available for use in the market.
We offer a comprehensive portfolio of back-office solutions, including company formation, accounting & taxation, legal services, visa processing, and hiring & PEO, meaning that we can provide a tailored package of integrated services to suit your every need.
We also have teams in place in 15 other markets around Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.
Contact us today with details on a trademark you would like us to look into in Paraguay, or for further information on how we can support your business.
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