August 1, 2010
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Colombia Prepares for Accession to the Madrid Protocol
On July 12, 2010, INTA contacted authorities in Colombia to learn about that country’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. Gustavo Valbuena Quinones, Head of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, responded to the Association’s questions:
What can the trademark community expect in relation to Colombia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol?
For the Government of Colombia, the motive driving Colombia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol is the need to provide business owners with a mechanism by which they can access international markets and gain optimum benefits offered by free trade agreements.
To this end, the government of Colombia introduced to Congress legislation in favor of the Madrid Protocol. If not approved during the current legislature, due to formalities of terminology in the process, the proposal is expected to be reintroduced in the upcoming legislature.
Parallel to the process of accession, the Superintendence is preparing its office operations and legal framework, and training its personnel to adequately provide Colombian business owners the services required for the registration of trademarks abroad, while building capacity for new applications that will be presented via the Protocol.
Are business owners in Colombia familiar with the Madrid Protocol and the advantages offered or are further efforts needed?
Great effort has been made to distribute information in relation to IP regimes and their use, particularly information about the international registration system under Madrid. The impact has been quite positive, as business owners have gained greater understanding, but we still need to continue our work on this front.
Is this an international treaty Colombia should later accede to (by 2020) as established in the EU-Colombia trade agreement?
Independently from the obligations established in the free trade agreement with the United States and with other trade deals such as the one subscribed with the EU, for the Government of Colombia the initiative calling to adhere to the Protocol comes from the desire to support our business owners in their international efforts through a mechanism that would facilitate the registration of trademarks in other countries. We are confident that in the short term our business owners will have an alternative and an option other than the traditional form available in Colombia for the protection of brands.
Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items carried in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
© 2010 International Trademark Association