Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Disclaimers in Argentine trade mark practice

Argentine trade mark law makes no explicit provision for the disclaimer of unregistrable elements of a trade mark. However, Disposition No. 70 of the Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property establishes the formalities required to request a disclaimer, whether voluntarily or in response to an office action. In practice, however, disclaimers are rarely sought or required and many Argentine marks contain descriptive terms. An example is the trade mark BUENACARNE (a contraction of the Spanish words for "good" and "meat"), which was granted earlier this year for meat products in Class 29. The application was filed without any disclaimer but, following a request from the examiner, the applicant disclaimed any claim to the individual words “buena” and “carne”. Although the registration issued, the mark it is weak to the point of nonexistence. It appears therefore that office practice in accepting disclaimers is too lax.

Source: INTA Bulletin Vol. 63, No. 18, published on 1 October 2008: information furnished by Raquel Flanzbaum and Manuel Alonso (Mitrani Caballero Ojam Abogados, Buenos Aires).

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