Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Slogan or design? If you've got VTR perhaps it doesn't matter ...

The INTA Bulletin, Vol. 64, No. 14 (August 1, 2009) reports on the decision the Chilean Intellectual Property Court of Appeals (1 April 2009) to reverse the first instance decision of the Chilean Industrial Property Department (INAPI) to refuse registration of the trade mark SOMOS LOS QUE TIENEN VTR (in English, "We are the ones who have VTR") since it had been filed as a figurative mark rather than as a slogan.

Slogans are registrable under Chilean Industrial Property Law (Law No. 19,039), Article 19, so long as they are combined or associated with a registered trade mark for the product, service or commercial or industrial establishment for which they are to be used. Article 23 of the same Law qualifies this by specifying that slogans must be registered as word marks, which means they cannot contain any design element.

The IP Court of Appeals, reversing INAPI’s decision, said the applied-for mark could not have been filed as a slogan because it was actually a design, considering also that -- taking it as a whole -- the mark was sufficiently distinctive to be used in commerce without being misleading or inducing error.

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