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If you have decided to register a trademark in Colombia, please be advised to first understand the legal framework for this procedure. Colombia is part of the Andean Community, which leaves an imprint on the legislation of this jurisdiction. When registering a TM in Colombia, you must be guided by the general law that applies to all member states of this block, namely Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. It is noteworthy that developing countries may have difficulties in navigating all the rules that accompany this kind of treaties.

In general, it is not difficult to register a brand and obtain TM protection in Colombia, since the country is a signatory to most international agreements on IP protection. However, as in any other jurisdiction, it is advisable to know the possible pitfalls so as not to waste time. 

Legal landscape

IP protection in Columbia is the responsibility of the local Trademark Office which also adjudicates cases of TM infringement.

It doesn't matter if you are a Colombian resident or a foreigner, you have every right to apply for a TM registration in Colombia and count on its full protection after registration. 

Unregistered TMs

Although unregistered trademarks are not legally protected in a direct way, you can still count on protection if your TM is clearly distinctive. The applicant must demonstrate through reliable evidence that the mark has such distinctive features.

If you are the owner of a recognizable international brand, then you can count on TM protection in Colombia and do not bother to register it locally. To get the protection in full, a foreign brand must be recognized locally as well.

Important:

You will be denied registration of a TM in Colombia if it resembles a renowned protected brand in one of the countries participating in the Paris Convention, to which Colombia is a signatory. To competently protect your rights, ask for advice on IP rights in Colombia from our experienced professionals.

Why registering a TM in Colombia

With the TM registration document, you immediately obtain a triad of rights:

  • use the TM at to offer a product/service for sale, for marketing purposes, in any communication with consumers;
  • prohibit someone from using your brand: you can officially file a complaint about violation of property rights;
  • allow anyone to use your mark and profit from it: franchising is impossible without having your TM registered.

Final word

Remember that comprehensive legal protection for business in Colombia cannot fail to include the protection of intangible assets with intellectual property rights as an integral part of it. 

Contact our experts to find out more about international TM registration and legal IP rights protection in Colombia and beyond. Our seasoned professionals will also examine your contracts and provide recommendations regarding the protection of already registered

trademarks in Columbia (analysis of licensed and distribution agreements for compliance with local legislation and legal risks). We will assist you in the development of licensing agreements with partners and their subsequent registration in accordance with the Columbian legislation.