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Registering a Trademark in Panama: local authoritiesThe process of registering a trademark, as well as obtaining a patent, is carried out before the General Directorate of Industrial Property of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. Like the patent, the trademark offers protection so that its owner can distribute their product without direct competitors using it for commercial gain. Bear in mind that the registration of a trademark is of a territorial nature, meaning there is no international protection. By obtaining the registration of a trademark in Panama, protection is achieved only in Panama.
Types of trademarks in PanamaThere are several types of trademarks that businesses can apply for in Panama:
- Expressions or propaganda signs
- Commercial names and associations
- Names, words and slogans
- Images, shapes, and designs
- Scents and smells
Application requirements for a Trademark in PanamaTo register your trademark, you’ll need to do the following:
- Appoint a power of attorney
- Provide a sworn affidavit outlining how you intend to use the trademarked item
- Provide description of the item you want to trademark
- Include with your application 3 branded samples of the trademark
- Provide certification of the registered trademark, if registered in another country (this must be notarized, and apostilled or authenticated by the country’s local Consulate of Panama).
Registration time and costRegistering a trademark in Panama takes an approximate period of 8 months. A great advantage offered in Panama is that the trademark is registered with the date from when the trademark registration application was initiated, and it is granted for 5-10 years. It can be renewed up to 6 months after the expiration of the brand. The trademark registration process costs around US$140.50 for each category in which the trademark is to be registered.
What can’t be trademarked in Panama?As with patents, the Industrial Property Legislation also provides guidance on what businesses cannot register as a trademark. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
- The reproduction or imitation of the shields of arms, flags and other emblems; acronyms, denominations or abbreviations of any State or of any national or international organization, without the due authorization;
- Descriptive or generic marks that have become distinctive or singular by use, and collective or certification marks in what refers to the place of manufacture or origin and in accordance with the terms established by regulation are excepted;
- The figures or three-dimensional forms or denominative marks that can deceive the public or mislead it, having been identified as constituting false indications about the nature, components or qualities of the products or services that they represent;
- Those that may lead to error or confusion in the consumer public, regarding the origin or attributes of the product that seeks to distinguish in Panama a geographical indication or indication of origin or designations of origin;
- Those that are contrary to morality, public order or good customs;
- The names, pseudonyms, signatures and portraits of people other than the one requesting the registration, without their consent or – if they have died – that of their heir(s). Cases of portraits or names of historical figures are excepted;
- The designs of coins, bills, guarantee or control stamps used by the State, stamps, or tax species in general.