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TRADEMARK REGISTRATION IN COLOMBIA

TRADEMARK REGISTRATION IN COLOMBIA: SHOULD I REGISTER MY BRAND?

What is a trademark and why your business should have one

When the decision of starting your business becomes a reality, one of the most important aspects you should definitely keep in mind is the construction of your very own brand. 

The brand you build for your business is what will make it stand out in the market and among the components of your brand is what is known as a trademark. 

While the brand of your business represents your reputation and business in the public eye, a trademark will be a specific aspect of your brand which has legal protection as it is a unique identifier for you.

So, a trademark is known as any distinctive sign capable of distinguishing goods or services that can be graphically represented, it includes words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, images, figures, symbols, graphics, logotypes, monograms, portraits, labels, emblems and shields, holograms, a color combination, 3D forms, sound marks, aromas, and any combination of the mentioned signs.

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Having your own trademark will allow consumers to identify your product or service and remember it, differentiating it from the same or similar one offered by another brand. 

It is also more likely for consumers to purchase a product whose brand they remember than one they cannot identify.

In Colombia, you can find that trademarks can be classified depending on its purpose. 

Hence, you can find collective trademarks which are a type of brand used by associations of producers, manufacturers, service providers, organizations or any group of people so that with it the common characteristics of the products or services of the members of mentioned collective.

And then, there’s certification trademarks, used to guarantee quality of a product or service. 

Trademark Registration in Colombia

With this in mind, you might now wonder how it applies to your case. 

If you are running or planning to run your own business in Colombia, the next step will be to register your trademark. 

In Colombia, trademark registration can be issued by either a natural or a legal person. 

As to collective trademarks, they may be issued by associations of producers, manufacturers, service providers, organizations or groups of people that are legally established. 

And, as to certification trademarks, they can be issued by the corresponding company or institution who is in charge of certifying the standard quality of mentioned products or services. 

The legal process regarding the registration of your trademark in Colombia is carried out by the SIC (Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio), they are the national authority for the protection of competition, personal data and legal metrology, basically, protecting the rights of the consumers. 

What can be considered and registered as a trademark

As we formerly mentioned, the trademark you wish to register for your business or company in Colombia must fulfill certain specific requirements.

This is, your trademark must be into the category of signs perceptible by senses, such as words, images, product shapes and even sounds. 

Similarly, the combination of letters or numbers or colors with any of the above forms. The most important thing, regardless of the form, is that this trademark differs from the products to be identified and from brands that are already registered. 

With this in mind, it is important that you are able to distinguish between the different types of existing trademarks.

Types of trademarks

  • Nominative: they consist of the writing of the expression, phrase or word that is used to identify the product or service, without any type of accompaniment, characterization or type of letter.
  • Figurative: they consist of only the graphic representation of the sign without including any type of expressions, letters, words or phrases.
  • Mixed: They are the union of the previous two. They contain a nominative element (letters, words, or phrases) as well as a figurative element (abstract graphic or figure).
  • Three-dimensional: This sign consists of a body that occupies the three dimensions of space (height, width and depth) and that can be perceived by the sense of sight or by touch since it has volume. 
  • Sound: consists only of the corresponding sound, which is normally expressed in musical notes, but can be represented in another way.
  • Olfactory: consists of the smell of the product or service.
  • Color: consists of a color delimited by a shape or a combination of colors.

The Steps to register your brand in Colombia

When the time comes to finally register your own trademark in Colombia, there are some steps to follow to ensure the correct development of the process, as stipulated by the Colombian trademark office. 

  • Background check

The first thing you want to do before even submitting your application is to check records to find out if there are similar or identical trademarks to yours, that are already registered or in process.

These records may be consulted free of charge at the Industrial Property Virtual Office (SIPI). 

  • Classify products and/or services 

The next step is choosing the products or services that will distinguish your brand and classify them according to the Nice International Classification system.

The Nice International Classification system classifies goods and services that apply for trademark registration. 

  • Submit your application

When all the steps above are completed you now must be able to properly file your application, this may be done online or at any of the offices in Colombia. 

For this specific point you should keep in mind the documentation you will be required to submit too, as it will be further requested when fulfilling the form you will find at the SIPI. 

Required Documentation

The documentation required in order to register your trademark in Colombia is a vital point. 

A trademark application must include the following information and documents:

  • The Colombia Trademark Office filing form including:
  1. The applicant’s name, address and nationality 
  2. An indication of the mark to be protected
  3. The trademark’s type
  4. A description of the goods or services according to the Nice Classification system. (NCL).
  • A reproduction of the mark if it is:
    • A word mark featuring graphic elements, shapes or colors
    • A figurative or design mark
    • A composite or three-dimensional mark with or without color.
  • A power of attorney signed by the applicant

Neither notarization nor legalization is required (unless the document’s validity is questioned by the Colombia Trademark Office, in which case these formalities may be required), as the filing of a scanned copy of a signed power of attorney will suffice.

  • Proof of payment of the official fees.

Where priority is claimed, the registration certificate of the country of origin or a certified copy of the trademark registration on which the priority claim is based.

What to do once your application has been submitted

The process of a trademark application and registration must fulfill some specific requirements, deadlines, and payment of fees.

This is why you as the applicant need to know the current legal regulations stipulated by the Colombian government and carefully monitor the process in order to keep up with the established deadlines.

A helping hand

If you are not clear about the general aspects that you should take into account when it comes to your trademark registration process, know that you can count with a group of experts able to legally and properly advise you with every step on the Colombian trademark registration process. 

 

If you need any further information regarding the trademark registration process in Colombia, know that we are a message away from helping you properly and successfully start your very own business in Colombia .

Connect with us

Phone: (+57) 315 3354174

direccioncomercial@nexo.legal

Calle 11 no. 43b – 50,

Parque Empresarial Calle Once

Oficina 407

Medellín, Colombia

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