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December 1, 2018 Vol. 73 No. 20 Back to Bulletin Main Page

COLOMBIA: Fast-Track Process to Reduce Timeframes for Formal Examination

By means of Resolution No. 70252 of September 19, 2018, the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) launched its fast-track procedure for the formal phase of registrability examination for trademark applications and slogans (which are distinct under Colombian law).

Accordingly, the SIC has specified the conditions for this fast-track option to proceed, namely: (1) it applies only to traditional trademarks, i.e., figurative, word, and combined marks, as well as to slogans; (2) it applies only to filings submitted online; and (3) the applicant must use the default list of goods and services pre-approved by the SIC.

Likewise, the SIC has indicated cases for which the fast-track procedure does not apply: (1) for collective, certification, and nontraditional trademarks; (2) for paper filing applications; (3) for applications using goods/services from a manually edited list, that do not expressly appear in the Madrid Goods and Services Manager; and (4) for those applicants claiming eligibility for the discounts on the official fees, granted by the SIC; for example, applications filed by collective groups of artisans or applications filed by micro enterprises.

Trademark registration in the Andean Community member countries (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia) typically includes the following steps: (1) filing of the trademark application before the local trademark office; (2) a formal examination performed by the office; (3) a 30-day publication in the Industrial Property Gazette for possible oppositions; and (4) a registrability examination carried out by the office.

Under the fast-track procedure offered by the SIC, applicants would jump forward to step three of the registration process if they meet the aforementioned requirements.

It is important to note that when applying for this fast-track procedure, the applicant must acknowledge that the trademark office is entitled to revoke publication and return the application to the formal examination stage if the examiner determines that the application has formal inconsistencies or defects when analyzing the registrability of the sign.

The main goal of this fast-track procedure is to shorten the timeframes for registration of trademarks and slogans. This is merely another option for the applicant and does not involve any additional costs.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position.

© 2018 International Trademark Association