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Frequently Asked Questions about Trademark Registration

  • It is all sign, novel and characteristic that distinguishes a product or a service from another.

  • The brand plays an important role in the field of competition. The quality of the products or services will be known to the public through their identification with the brand that designates them. Hence, in many cases, the value of “the brand” is greater than that represented by other assets that the company may own.

    A trademark serves to:

    • Distinguish yourself against the competition.
    • Indicate the business origin.
    • Indicate quality and constant characteristics.
    • Carry out and reinforce the advertising function.

    • The basic rule is that any sign that has the ability to distinguish products or services is registrable, unless it is included within the prohibitions established by law.
    • They can constitute marks, among other signs: One or more words with or without conceptual content, the drawings, emblems, monograms, engravings, prints, stamps, images, the combinations of colors that are applied in a specific place of the products or of the packaging, combinations of letters and numbers and the same for their special design, packaging, advertising phrases that are original.
  • It guarantees the ownership and exclusive use of the brand, being able to exercise all the defenses for the unauthorized use by third parties. The owner of the brand may authorize its use by third parties through licensing agreements, both exclusive and non-exclusive, sell them in whole or in part for products or obtain credits by offering them as collateral with a pledge record.

    • Product brands
    • Service brands

    These marks according to their nature are distinguished in:

    • Denominative: are those composed solely and exclusively by words, letters or numbers and their combinations.
    • Figurative: are the graphic symbols, drawings and logos.
    • Mixed: are those that are integrated by the combination of word and figurative elements at the same time, or nominative elements whose spelling is presented in a stylized.
    • Three-dimensional: When the brand is the shape of an object externalized through different views.
    • Sonora: When the brand is a distinctive sound for some product or service.
    • Olfactory: When the sign is olfactory to distinguish a product.
    • Sequential: When the brand consists of a sequence of movement (animated).
    • Tactile: When the sign is perceived by touch

  • No, the application for a trademark must be limited to a class of products or services described in the Nice Classification for the registration of trademarks. This classification includes 34 classes of products and 11 of services. For example, if I want to protect products such as clothing and handbags or purses with a brand, I must submit an application for “clothing” in class 25 and another one for “handbags and purses” in class 18.

  • Having the name of your products or services registered as a trademark will allow you to prevent and defend yourself with a legal instrument, in situations where your most important asset may be damaged: the brand.

    In addition, brands can be sold, franchised, foreclosed, etc. they are one more asset of the company.

  • First you must determine the item (s) in which the brand will act as there are 34 classes for products and 11 for services. Then you must do a background search that consists of reviewing our database and in real time, all brands of the country and see if the name or brand to be protected is not registered by another company or person. If so, the trademark office I would reject the request since there can not be two equal marks in the same item. In this case you must choose another name.

    It should also take into account the similarities, phonetic confusions and other aspects that may hinder the granting of a brand. Therefore, the search of antecedents must be carried out with great care and professionalism seeking to achieve the highest probability of success to achieve the brand.

  • Communicating with us to perform a background search based on phonetics, and perform a feasibility and cost analysis of the record.

  • It is recommended in which classes or items should be protected and, if there is no background or are of little importance, proceed to apply for the registration of the trademark thus obtaining the right of priority; first in time, first in the right.

    This is important because in case two people present the same mark for the same class or activity category, the one that will be valid will be the one presented first.

  • The process has several stages that must be satisfactorily fulfilled.
    The presentation of the trademark application means that the national trademark office (INPI in Argentina) is asked to analyze the trademark, and if there is no precedent, the trademark title is granted and issued.

    After the presentation of the application, in Argentina at 3 or 4 months it is published in the Official Bulletin of Trademarks and Patents. Our service consists of sending the client a cut of said publication.

    After publication there is a period of 30 days called “opposition period”. At that time, the owners of other brands may submit an opposition to this request if they believe there is confusion.

    Subsequently, the trademark office conducts the substantive examination. If it finds a technical impediment it will make a “view”, if it does not find it, it grants the procedure.

    That is why in ETERRA we carry out searches in a professional manner, which implies anticipating possible oppositions and views that make management more expensive. This way we avoid expenses to our client and reduce the duration of the process.

  • These are observations made by the Trademark Office. For example, if a trademark similar to one granted is requested, it will be rejected because the law does not allow two identical trademarks to exist in the same class or category.

    If a rigorous search is done beforehand, these views are avoided and the expenses and delays they cause in the process.

  • The Trademark Office grants a deadline for the reply. If it is not fulfilled then the procedure passes to abandonment and the registration of the trademark is not granted.

  • The term is 10 years from the date of granting the registration, extendable for equal and successive periods. To this end and with the necessary anticipation, we notify our customers and prepare the respective documentation

  • The sign can be used even before attempting to register it, but if it does not obtain it, it does not enjoy legal protection, making it difficult to exclude others from using the sign.

  • It can be renewed indefinitely. ETERRA counts on the Service of Agendas that consists in notifying the client that his brand is about to expire so that they carry out the renewal for the term of 10 years.

    Another service is that of Custody, which consists of reviewing the Official Bulletin of Trademarks and Patents every week and in the event that any trademark filed affects the rights of any of our clients, we advise you to initiate the opposition process.

  • If someone tries to register a similar or identical brand to yours, you can oppose the registration, for this purpose we perform the CUSTODY service that warns you if someone has requested a confusing mark to yours and if you wish, by presenting a request of opposition within 30 days of the publication of the new trademark, stop said procedure.

    In the event that you detect that someone uses your trademark without your authorization, selling products or services like yours, you can exercise the civil and criminal actions provided for in the Law of the country where the infringement occurs.

  • It is one of the key pieces that the Law of Marks foresees so that the companies or people owning a registered trademark, prevent third parties from requesting it for their benefit.

    We have implemented a special service of custody of the brands of our clients through which we review weekly all the requested brands and if we find any that affect the rights of our customers, we communicate to inform you about it.

    If the client wishes to make the opposition, as agents we carry out the relevant procedures before the trademark office, which implies a fee and a fee. With this we achieve that the process of the applicant stops and he / she must contact us to negotiate an exit that suits our client.

  • Yes. There is a possibility that it may happen but if a correct survey and previous search has been carried out, the possibility of oppositions is drastically reduced.

  • No, the brands have territorial validity, which is why you must request registration in each country in which you wish to protect it, it is important to determine which countries you wish to market your products and services since your brand may be valid in one country and in another do not. You can conduct background searches in all countries to have the necessary information before initiating trademark procedures

  • Any natural person emancipated or over 18 years of age or legal entity. In Argentina a legal domicile must be established in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and to that end as agents we fulfill this requirement for our clients.

  • They provide advisory services, assist or represent third parties in obtaining the Marks and in the defense and conservation of the same. In procedures abroad, they act as attorneys before official records.

  • Yes, it is mandatory. In case of not fulfilling this requirement the trademark application will be denied.

  • The brand of a product or service is the most tangible or concrete link between a consumer and the product, differentiating it from the competition. When a consumer visits a supermarket and chooses a wine from a well-known brand, he or she knows previously that the wine has certain characteristics of quality and price that the competition does not have. The brand supports these qualities. To continue with the example, the winemaker will be concerned that a competitor uses his brand to market other products, confusing customers and losing sales. If the producer’s trademark is registered, it may cause the disloyal competitor to cease using his trademark.


Frequently Asked Questions about Registration of Patents and Industrial Models

  • A patent of invention is an exclusive right that the State grants to the inventor, in exchange for the latter providing the society with the result of its investigation. The patent application is published in the Official Gazette, ceasing to be secret to the state of public knowledge. The technical lessons derived from this request can serve as a basis for third parties to develop successive improvements, contributing to further progress in the state of the art. The exclusive right has a duration of 20 years, during which the owner can justly prevent third parties from exploiting his invention. After that lapse, the patent becomes public domain, this means that anyone can make use of it without having to pay royalties to the owner of the patent.

  • To exercise the right of exclusivity over their invention for the term agreed by the Law, being able to prevent third parties without their consent from carrying out acts of manufacture, use, offer for sale, sale or import of the patented product or process. The patent of invention is an intangible good. Like a property title on a property or a car, the patent can be transferred being sold, inherited or even given away through a transfer of rights (free of charge in the latter case).

    All patent holders must, in exchange for patent protection, publish information about their invention, in order to enrich the total body of technical knowledge of the world. This growing volume of public knowledge promotes greater creativity and innovation in other people. Thus, patents provide not only protection for the owner, but also valuable information and inspiration for future generations of researchers and inventors.

  • An invention must, in general, satisfy the following conditions to be protected by a patent: it must have practical use; must also present an element of novelty; that is, some new feature that is not known in the body of knowledge in its technical field. This body of existing knowledge is called “state of the art”. The invention must present an inventive step that could not be inferred by a person with a medium knowledge of the technical field. Finally, your subject must be accepted as “patentable” according to law. In many countries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods or methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) are generally not patentable.

  • It will depend on the type of protection and the complexity to put together the documentation, the country or countries that you understand. To respond fully we suggest to communicate with us.

  • A declaration by which the patent is requested, the identification of the applicant, a description and one or several claims must be presented in the corresponding form, even if they do not comply with the formal requirements.

  • After 90 days of the filing date, a preliminary examination will be carried out in order to solve possible formal defects of the application, in view of its publication. Once the preliminary examination is approved, the application is published within 24 months of the filing date and then, after payment of the corresponding fee, an in-depth examination is carried out in order to determine the novelty of the proposal.

  • The procedure, up to the granting of a patent or utility model, lasts 4 years on average, but depends on the technical area to which the invention refers.

  • Yes, the law provides for the possibility of requesting the early publication of the application, upon payment of the corresponding fee.

  • No. What the applicant owns is a right in expectation. Because said right is only granted when the patent is granted. Any dispute that may arise between an applicant to whom his patent has been granted and a possible infringer who has the applicant’s product on the market, must be settled in the judicial field.

  • The filing date that is granted to a patent application when the first deposit is made, gives priority to the applicant against a third party who, in good faith or bad faith, could file the same application some time later. When these cases occur, the second request is reserved until the first one is resolved.

  • Yes, doing a background search to know if the development they are carrying out already exists in the country or in the world.

  • Once the patent is granted, annuities must be paid for its maintenance.

  • The patent law stipulates that the expiration of the right operates, that is, the patent expires.

  • Yes, the National Patent Administration proceeds to the publication of the patent granted in the trademarks and patents bulletin issued by the INPI for the purpose that the company becomes aware of the innovation in the state of the art.

  • No. The protection is national. This means that the applicant must present the patent application in each country where it is interested to protect it, according to the different national legislations in force. To do this, you can use the advantages offered by the Paris Convention.

  • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, according to its article 1, the countries to which the Convention applies constitute a Union for the protection of industrial property. Among its most notorious benefits, it establishes that whoever deposited in a member country a patent application or utility model and was interested in presenting the same application in another member country, has the right to request a priority certificate. Said priority will be issued by the receiving Office of the first request, and with it the applicant will be able to present the request in any member country, invoking said Argentine priority. This means in concrete terms, that when the novelty of what is proposed in the countries where the priority was invoked is evaluated, the date that will be taken into account will be that of the original presentation in our country and not the presentation in those countries, always and when said second presentation has been made within 1 year from the original presentation in the first country.

  • Yes. The basic requirements that an invention must meet to be patentable are established by law, and are: absolute novelty, inventive activity and industrial application.

    Absolute novelty: means that the object of invention to be patented must not be comprised within the known state of the art, understanding by state of the art the set of technical knowledge that has been made public both in the country and in the rest of the world, before the date of presentation of the request in question.

    Inventive activity: There is inventive activity when the creative process or its results are not deduced from the state of the art in an evident manner for a person usually well versed in the corresponding technical matter. This means that if the invention is a juxtaposition of known elements with predictable results, it lacks inventive activity since the final result that is accessed starting from the known is obvious to anyone in the mid-level trade.

    Industrial application: There will be industrial application when the object of the invention leads to obtaining a result or an industrial product, meaning as an industry everything that can be manufactured or applied in series or industrial scale, as opposed to a work of art by example, which is unique and unrepeatable.

  • Every invention, generally part of the known state of the art, detects a problem to be solved and proposes a technical solution for that problem, using in the majority of the cases known elements that, combined in a special way, give origin to a new unknown object until that moment. There are cases of inventions that do not start from something known, but define from scratch a new technology that replaces the previous one, such as the laser beam in its time or digital versus analog technology. This type of inventions are sporadic and usually mark cultural milestones that define an era, so they are not a representative example of what is considered a “type” invention.

    A patent of invention can be an object, a method, an apparatus for manufacturing the object, a chemical compound, a use of a chemical compound, a microorganism, etc. In all cases, a patent of invention must comply with the three requirements of patentability: novelty, inventive activity and industrial application.

    A utility model is granted only to a new provision or form obtained or introduced in tools, work tools, utensils, devices or known objects that lend themselves to a practical work, as they import a better use in the function to which they are intended . In all cases, a utility model must comply with two patentability requirements: novelty and industrial application, but may not have an inventive step, since this requirement is not mandatory. This means that it will be evaluated that the object is novel and that a better “utility” is really conferred by means of some modification in its structure, no matter that said modification is obvious for a person of the mid-level profession.

    Other differences between patents and utility models are their duration and costs. While patents are granted for 20 years from the filing date, the utility models are granted for 10 years.

  • The figure of the model and industrial design establishes that a model or industrial design is considered to be the forms or appearance incorporated or applied to an industrial product that give it an ornamental character. It is the case of objects whose design responds to purely aesthetic purposes, without needing.

    A diferencia de las patentes y modelos de utilidad que conllevan una obligatoria búsqueda de antecedentes y que se otorgan por única vez por 20 y 10 años respectivamente, los modelos y diseños industriales son un registro (no se realiza búsqueda) y se conceden por 5 años, pudiendo renovarse por dos períodos consecutivos de la misma duración.