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Trademark Renewal
In Panama in order to maintain the validity of a trademark registration you must renew it every 10 years. The renewal process is fairly simple, you will need to provide trademark registration details and send us a power of attorney.
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Applications are handled by experienced local Trademark Attorneys to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
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If your trademark application is rejected, our Attorneys will inform you and advise you on the best course of action.
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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 14 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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

The territorial limit of registration is Panama.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is required.

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

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

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

Attack on the ground of non-use is available.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Panama?
  • names
  • words
  • devices
  • slogans
  • three-dimensional shapes
  • combination of colours
  • certification marks
  • collective marks
  • service marks
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Panama?

The order of the application process is as follows:

  1. Examination of the application in respect to:
    • formalities
    • classification
    • descriptiveness
    • distinctiveness
    • conflict with prior registration
  2. Publication of the application particulars:
    • mark
    • 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
    • goods/services
    • representation of trademark
  3. Registration
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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
  • surnames
  • geographic location names
  • reproductions or imitations of coats of arms
  • acronyms
  • 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.

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Does Panama use the "Nice Classification" system?

Panama uses the Nice Classification System.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Either actual use or intent to use is required for application.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Periodic statements of use are not required.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Subsequent renewals last for a period of 10 years from the renewal date of the registration.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.

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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.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

The grace period after the renewal date has expired is 6 months.

Basic Questions
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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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