Distinctive signs consist of a word or words, graphic or ideographic signs, sounds, combinations of colors, olfactory or tactile signs, on their own or in combination, that are novel in the identification of products or services and serve to distinguish a product or service easily from other identical or similar products or services.
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROCESS
Prior to submitting the application, you must check the classification of your products or services in the International-Classification and check that the mark you wish to register is sufficiently distinctive and not covered by the causes of non-registrability set out in the Industrial Property Law that is in currently in force in Venezuela.
We recommend carrying out a background search in advance in order to minimize the risk of finding that the mark is already registered or in the process of being registered by a third party. We are at your service to clarify any doubt you may have regarding any of these steps.
In order to initiate the registration process of a trademark, you must submit an application with the Trademark Application Form issued by the Trademark Office (SAPI ), including all the required documentation and the payment of the respective government fees and taxes.
The Patent and Trademark Office (SAPI) will stamp your application and assign a number to it and thereby you are granted the Right of Priority with regards to all other applications received subsequently.
Formal review and approval to proceed with application: After submission, the application is reviewed with regards to its form. If all is in order, the Patent and Trademark Office (SAPI) will accept the proceeding and order its publication in the press.
Publication: After completing successfully the formal review and once the order of press publication has been issued and notified in the Official Bulletin, the applicant must instruct and pay for the publication of the application abstract in a journal of national circulation, in accordance with the stipulations of the Industrial Property Law. Once the publication has been done, it must be submitted to the Patent Office (SAPI). If the publication is not made as indicated, then the application will be held as abandoned and its priority will be declared to have extinguished.
The publication only takes place automatically in the Industrial Property Bulletin after the publication in the journal, here previously identified. Third parties have thirty (30) working days after publication in the Official Bulletin to present their statements of opposition in accordance with any of the causes stipulated in the Industrial Property Law.
REVIEW OF CONTENT:
The Patent Office will carry out a review of content after the end of the 30 working days of publication in the Official Bulletin of the Patent Office. This review serves to identify whether there are similarities and/or identities with trademarks and/or prior applications and in order to check whether there are any other causes for non-registrability in accordance with the law. Should the review of content conclude without any objections to the registration, then the application is accepted and the applicant has a term of 30 working days to pay and confirm payment of registry fees or other final rights.
IF THERE ARE OBSERVATIONS WITH REGARDS TO THE CONTENT:
Should the Patent Office (SAPI) identify some impediments to concede the application request, then it will publish the causes of non-registrability in the Official Bulletin. The applicant then has 30 working days (with the option to apply for an extension of 60 additional working days) to protest. After the expiry of the term and having submitted the statement with regards to the observations of content, the registrar will proceed to accept or reject the trademark. In the case of a rejection, an appeal for reconsideration can be submitted to the same analyst and should the Decision of Rejection be confirmed, then an appeal can be submitted within 15 working days to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
IF THERE ARE OPPOSITIONS:
If an opposition is presented within 30 working days after publication of the application abstract in the Official Bulletin, then the application will be placed on hold and submitted for analysis to the Legal Department of the Patent Office.
The applicant will be notified by his agent or representative about the opposition or oppositions via an Official Notification published in the Official Bulletin. He then can proceed to obtain a copy of the opposition statement and has a term of 30 working days to submit a response. If there is no statement submitted to contest the opposition, then the application is considered to have been abandoned and its priority extinguishes.
If the statement regarding the oppositions was submitted, then the Patent Office will decide whether or not to accept the application.
After the publication of the resolution of rejection of the opposition in the Official Bulletin, the application automatically is considered as accepted and the registration fees have to be paid within 30 working days following the notification in the Official Bulletin.
After payment of the corresponding fees, the Patent and Trademark Office will assign a registry number, establishing the date of entry in force as well as the date of expiry of the exclusivity, which currently lasts fifteen (15) years.
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