TM in Argentina is protected on the basis of registration, and not on the use of TM in the country. To become a full-fledged owner of a TM with all the ensuing advantages, you must go through the registration procedure with the local regulatory body INPI. After successful registration, the owner acquires the exclusive right to use the brand in Argentina, which prevents and stops anyone from using imitation marks in the same product category.
INPI is responsible for the protection of industrial property and other IP rights and the supervision of technology transfer licensing agreements. And the Network Information Center (NIC.ar) is responsible for registering domain names in Argentina, so if you need to register a local domain, then you need to apply here.
It is not possible to register a TM in Argentina for all goods and services in this class now, since this is hindered by the latest legislative changes in the jurisdiction. Nevertheless Argentina uses the Nice classification and adheres to its rules.
Online TM registration in Argentina
Coronavirus has seen the registry find new ways to work, with many staff working from home. Therefore, it has become not only possible, but also preferable to apply for TM registration in Argentina online. Face-to-face processing of exceptional cases is still allowed.
To start the electronic registration, the applicant must have an authorization code, which must first be obtained from the local tax authority. Another important nuance for those wishing to register a brand in Argentina – you need to pay for registration only through the electronic payment system.
Please note that many applications have been recently postponed due to the pandemic.
Grounds for rejecting TM registration
Any mark can be registered in Argentina if it is sufficiently distinctive.
When choosing a name for a trademark, one should take into account that not all names can be registered as a TM. Therefore, before proceeding with the verification and registration of the selected TM name, it is necessary to assess its compliance with the protection criteria set by Argentine legislation in the field of IP.
After filing an application for TM registration in Argentina, state experts carry out the examination procedure in relation to each mark applied for registration. As a result of such an examination, the applicant may receive by mail a preliminary conclusion of the examination – about a possible refusal to register TM. Such a notification must necessarily state the reasons for refusing registration. The reasons must be substantiated by the state expert by legislative norms, for example, the expert may indicate to you that:
- TM is the same or confusingly similar to a previously registered TM in the name of another person, or,
- TM is an immediate, direct indication of a product, and has no distinctive characteristics, or
- TM can mislead consumers in relation to goods and services, and in relation to a person who produces goods/services, or
- TM displays the state symbol, and other reasons for refusing registration.
If the TM registration was rejected, such a decision can be appealed in the civil and commercial courts.
Over the past couple of years, the TM registration in Argentina has undergone positive changes. The strengthening of online transactions and electronic filing of applications has brought the registry to a new level and put jurisdiction on a par with highly developed countries.
If you need advice on IP enforcement in Argentina or assistance in registering an Argentine brand, please contact our specialists. Also, our company experts provide advice on the pre-trial settlement of disputes on TM in Argentina and beyond. Reach out to us using contacts listed on the website.