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Benelux trademark protects Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. In order to obtain trademark protection in Benelux you can register your trademark in two ways: First option is that you request registration in the entire European Union with one single application; this can be done via the European Union Trademark which grants trademark protection in the 28 country members of the EU (more info here). Second option is that you register directly your trademark in Benelux. If you want to proceed this way please follow the steps described belows.
Step 1 - Trademark Comprehensive Study
Before filing your trademark in the Colombia, you must evaluate any issues that may arise during the registration process. Our Comprehensive Study not only lists similar trademarks (graphic and phonetic) that may conflict with yours but also provides you with an Attorney's opinion on the trademark registration possibilities and the class(es) that your goods/services belong to.
Trademark Class Recommendation
Graphic & Phonetic Similarity Trademark Search
Trademark Attorney's Analysis & Advice
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Step 2 - Trademark Registration Request
Specialized attorneys file your Trademark Application in the Colombia and carry out all the necessary formalities to bring your application before the Colombia Trademark Office for approval and registration. As soon as your trademark is filed, we send you a filing report that includes an application number and date, plus a scanned copy of the filed trademark application.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Filing the Report & a Scanned Copy of the application
Tracking the Registration Process Online
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Step 3 - Trademark Registration Certificate
Once your trademark application is approved, our attorneys complete all the formalities necessary to obtain the registration certificate in the Colombia. After the certificate is issued, it is forwarded to your address along with a registration report specifying the registration number, registration date, and any special consideration that should be taken into account in the Colombia.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Delivery of Registration Certificate & Report
Monitoring & Notification of Important Dates
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 8 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Colombia, do I have protection in other territories?

The territorial limit of protection is the Republic of Colombia.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

A signed power of attorney may be required during the prosecution stage.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

There are no benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark.

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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Third parties may attack a registered mark on the basis of non-use.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Colombia?

The following marks are allowed for registration:

  • Words
  • Names
  • Devices
  • certain shapes having three dimensions
  • Colors having a shape
  • Slogans
  • Sounds
  • Smells
  • Trade dress/get up
  • Holograms
  • Motion (there is no specific law regarding this)
  • Taste
  • Touch
  • Collective marks
  • Certification marks
  • Service marks
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Colombia?

A trademark application in Colombia goes through different phases in particular order:

  1. Publication
  2. Examination
  3. Registration
  4. Opposition
  5. Appeals
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What type of trademark is not registrable?

The following marks are not allowed for registration:

  • Marks that contradict standards of morality or public order
  • Generic terms
  • Symbols, names, or flags of nations, states, regions, and international organizations
  • Non-distinctive marks
  • Marks that are primarily used as a surname
  • Marks that are primarily used as a geographical location name
  • Marks that infringe a copyright
  • Marks that are used for unfair business competition
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Does Colombia use the "Nice Classification" system?

Colombia uses the Nice Classification system only as a general guide.

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Does the Community Trademark apply for Colombia?

No. Colombia does not follow the Community Trademark.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Colombia?

Yes. The following conditions must be satisfied in order to claim priority application in Colombia:

  • The applicant’s home country is a Paris Convention member
  • The home application date is at least 6 months earlier than the application date in Colombia
  • The applicant’s home country is a World Trade Organization member
  • The applicant’s home country is a party to the Andean Pact
  • An international registration is based on a national registration in Colombia
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

A registered mark must be used within 3 years from the registration date. It must be used for commercial purpose and must occur in any member state of the Andean Pact. Appropriate sales invoices are required as a proof.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

A registered mark is initially valid for 10 years.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal of a registered trademark is done 10 years from the date of registration grant.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Yes. Use of an unregistered mark for any good or service is legal.

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Does having a registered trademark in Colombia give me any right?

Registration is mandatory in order to obtain rights to a trademark. The “first to file” rule is effective in Colombia.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?
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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Applicants are not required to use the mark or to have the intent to use the mark prior to registration.

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Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Yes. The following are grounds for opposition:

 

  • proprietary rights
  • the mark is descriptive
  • the mark is not distinctive
  • the mark is misleading, deceptive or disparaging
  • the mark is functional
  • breach of copyright
  • rights of notorious or well-known marks
  • rights under protected armorial bearings, flags and other State emblems
  • registration in the name of the agent or other representatives of the proprietor of the mark
  • rights in a trade name
  • rights in a registered design
  • rights in a personal name
  • the mark is generic
  • the mark consists of a geographical
  • the mark is against public policy or principles of morality
  • the trademark application is used as an act of unfair competition
  • a color itself
  • previous or earlier rights
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Who can oppose my trademark registration?

The following parties are allowed to oppose a trademark registration:

  • any interested parties
  • owners of an earlier right
  • licensees
  • anyone representing genuine or true interest
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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. The following are possible grounds for a trademark to be canceled:

 

  • proprietary rights
  • the mark is descriptive
  • the mark is not distinctive;
  • the mark is misleading, deceptive or disparaging
  • breach of copyright
  • rights under Article 6bis of the Paris Convention (notorious or well-known mark)
  • rights under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention (protection of armorial bearings, flags, and other State emblems)
  • rights under Article 6septies of the Paris Convention (registration in the name of the agent or other representatives of the proprietor of the mark)
  • rights under Article 8 of the Paris Convention (trade names)
  • registered design rights
  • rights in a personal name
  • the mark is generic
  • the mark consists of a geographical indication
  • the mark is against public policy or principles of morality
  • a registration that has been obtained for the purpose of practicing an unfair competition
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

The following rights are established by having a registered trademark:

  • Exclusive right to use the registered mark
  • Right to oppose later conflicting applications
  • Right to appeal of the cancellation of later conflicting registrations
  • Right to file an infringement case against third parties that are using a confusingly similar mark
  • Right to license third parties to use the registered mark
  • Right to apply for the confiscation or seizure of counterfeit goods bearing the registered mark (this is seized by the customs authorities)
  • Right to obtain damages for infringement
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period begins on the publication date of the application.

 

The opposition period ends 30 working days after the publication date.

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Is Colombia a member of the Madrid System?

Colombia is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Periodic statements of use are not necessary.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Trademark renewals are done every 10 years.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal of a registered trademark is done 10 years from the date of registration grant.

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Are there any documents that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

The following documents are to be submitted during a renewal process:

 

  • A power of attorney when requested by the Colombian PTO
  • Payment of government fees
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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

A 6-month grace period is available.

Basic Concepts
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a company’s products and services and distinguishes them from those of its competitors in the market. The name (the verbal element) is not the only component of a trademark—figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors, and sounds also create an identity that can be protected by trademark registration.

With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services, and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this trademark symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this service mark symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

You can lay claim to your work in many ways. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection to intellectual property owners. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or services from others in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea alone (otherwise we’d all be doing it). You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to an existing problem.

Copyright protects all types of original published, performed, and printed creative works of art, literature, and music. It prevents people from using, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works without the permission of the artist, author, composer, etc. Types of work covered by copyright protection include:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all examples of ways you can protect your intellectual property. Your rights to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

The symbol of a circled letter R after a trademark name or graphic image means that the preceding trademark has been registered. Various typographic symbols indicate copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but the best practice is to use circle‑R or circle‑C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM or trademark symbol indicates an unregistered trademark for one of 34 different classes of products. Owners use this symbol to claim the preceding name or logo as the Trademark of their product.
  • SM: The SM or service mark symbol is similar to the TM symbol except it indicates a claim to a mark for a service (one of 11 classes of service) rather than a tangible product.
  • ®: Use the ® symbol once you’ve registered your trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to indicate copyrighted material. The copyright notice should appear on the material as Copyright © followed by the date the work was created, the copyright owner’s name, a period, and finally “All Rights Reserved.” Like this: Copyright © 2021, John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Use it whether the copyright has been registered or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe best describe your business activity. 

Countries around the world have standardized 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services) for international use under the Nice International Classification.

These classes group all known products and services. If applicable, you can register the same trademark in more than one class; for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23 and register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is, therefore, possible for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. If you feel that protection should extend to include more than one class, you can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business.

You can search for your trademark class with this Trademark Class Search tool.

Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing whether or not they have the legal right to do so. They organize massive marketing campaigns with names they later find they’re not allowed to use. Performing a comprehensive search before deciding which trademark to register is a wise thing to do, especially when you consider future risks of litigation.  

It is a good idea to carry out some research before starting to do business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  The other company may object to you using the trademark and legally prohibit you from doing so.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you seek professional help. Our company offers a Comprehensive Trademark Study service. The Study gives you details of the classes in which you might want to register your trademark; it also lists identical and similar trademarks, and finally, you get an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you know a little about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend that you hire a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially the trademark search because the process is complex and relatively time consuming.

Please note that if you don’t manage to complete the application process correctly, the registration can drag on for several months and end up costing far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace, given the increasing number of unregistered and common law trademarks. Globalization also raises the question of entering international markets and registering trademarks in foreign countries to protect both your brand and your property rights.

Please note that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not necessarily guarantee your trademark will be accepted and registered. A  Comprehensive Trademark Study includes an extended review process and, more significantly, a formal evaluation of the likelihood that your application will be successful.

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