Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 14 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
If I register my trademark in Panama, do I have protection in other territories?
The territorial limit of registration is Panama.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is required.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
There are no benefits from pre-filing use of a trademark.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Attack on the ground of non-use is available.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Panama?
- three-dimensional shapes
- combination of colours
- certification marks
- collective marks
- service marks
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Panama?
The order of the application process is as follows:
- Examination of the application in respect to:
- conflict with prior registration
- Publication of the application particulars:
- application number
- address of applicant
- citizenship of applicant
- name of applicant
- dates of first use
- state or country of incorporation of applicant
- application date
- priority claim information
- representation of trademark
What type of trademark is not registrable?
- marks contrary to moral standards or public order
- generic terms
- names, flags or symbols of states, nations, regions or international organizations
- geographic location names
- reproductions or imitations of coats of arms
- marks that express the usual or generic designation of the product or service
- figures or three-dimensional shapes capable of deceiving or misleading the public
- the names of peoples or places known for the manufacture of certain goods
- names, pseudonyms, signatures and portraits of persons different from the one applying for registration, without the consent of those persons
- the designs on coins, banknotes, hallmarks denoting control or warranty used by the State, seals, stamps or tax imprints in general
- marks that include medals, awards, diplomas and other elements that give the impression that recognition has been received for the corresponding goods or services
- marks that are comparable in orthographic, graphic, phonetic, visual or design terms to another mark
- marks that are identical or similar to a famous or renowned trademark
- proper or common geographical denominations, maps, and also nouns and adjectives, including gentilics, where they denote the source of the goods or services
- marks that consist basically of the Spanish translation of another mark that is already used, known, registered or undergoing registration
- marks that are total or partial reproductions, imitations, translations or transcriptions of a nationally or internationally known trade name
- three-dimensional shapes that lack originality
- animated or changing names, figures or three-dimensional shapes that are expressed by movement
- any letters, numerals or colours, except where these are combined with elements that give them distinctive character
- any sign or mark that is used by indigenous or religious communities or associations except where the application is formulated on their behalf
- marks that use references to national historical monuments
Contact Nominus.com for a more detailed explanation of marks that cannot be registered in Panama.
Does Panama use the "Nice Classification" system?
Panama uses the Nice Classification System.
Does the Community Trademark apply for Panama?
Panama is not a signatory of the European Union; hence, the Community Trade Mark registration is not followed in this jurisdiction.
Is there any possibility to claim priority in Panama?
Priority application can be claimed if:
- the applicant's home country is a member of the Paris Convention
- the home application was filed six months earlier than the application filing date in Panama
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?
A trademark must be used within five consecutive years.
The amount of use can be minimal.
The registered mark must be used for local sales of products, for rendering of services, and for online sales.
Use of the trademark must occur in Panama.
Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
The initial term of a registration is 10 years calculated from the application date.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
Owners may legally use an unregistered mark for any goods or services.
Does having a registered trademark in Panama give me any right?
Registration is a requirement to secure rights to a trademark. Panama follows the 'first to file' rule.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
The national office is accessible online at the following URL: http://www.digerpi.gob.pa.
Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?
Either actual use or intent to use is required for application.
Can a Trademark Application be opposed?
The following can be grounds for opposition:
- proprietary rights
- the mark is descriptive
- the mark is not distinctive
- breach of copyright
- notorious or well-known mark
- trade names
- registered design rights
- rights in a personal name
- rights in a company name
Who can contest my trademark application?
The following parties are potential opponents to an application:
- any interested party
- the owner of an earlier right
- a licensee
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
The following can be grounds for cancellation:
- bad faith
- the mark is generic
- the mark is descriptive
- expired registration
- the mark is misleading, deceptive or disparaging
- the mark is functional
- use of protected armorial bearings, flags and other State emblems
- use of a geographical indication
- inclusion of a badge or emblem of particular public interest
- express renunciation by the owner
- unused trademark for five consecutive years
- the mark is contradictory to public policy or principles of morality
- registration was declared as invalid by a competent authority
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?
The following rights are established by registration:
- the exclusive right to use the registered trademark
- the right to file an opposition case against later conflicting applications
- the right to file a cancellation case against a later conflicting registration
- the right to sue third parties for infringement or for using a confusingly similar mark
- the right to license interested parties to use the trademark
- the right to request for counterfeit goods to be seized by customs authorities
- the right to receive compensation for infringement
How long is the opposition period?
The opposition period begins a day after the publication of the mark in the Industrial Property Bulletin.
The opposition period ends two months after the publication of the mark in the Industrial Property Bulletin.
Is Panama a member of the Madrid System?
Panama is not a party to either the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol. International applications may not be designated in this jurisdiction.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
Periodic statements of use are not required.
When should I renew my trademark?
Subsequent renewals last for a period of 10 years from the renewal date of the registration.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.
Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?
A power of attorney duly signed by the applicant. Notarization or legalization is not required.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
The grace period after the renewal date has expired is 6 months.
What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through 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 symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?
There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. 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 a service in the market.
A 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 because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.
Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.
A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right 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.
What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?
You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a 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 sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
- SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
- ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
- ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
- Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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 are best describe your business activity.
There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the 'Nice International Classification'.
These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics.
Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes. It is possible, then 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. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.
You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search
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 if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation.
It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing 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. That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.
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 find professional help. Our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list identical and similar trademarks, and finally, it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Where can I perform a trademark search?
If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.
Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended for many months and cost 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 marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.
You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.