Monday, 28 January 2013

Colombia slashes official fees, assists local artisans and SMEs

As a result of Colombia's programme of 'democratisation of industrial property', the country's National Patent and Trade Mark Office has issued a new table of reduced official fees. This reduction was effected via a resolution which entered into force on 1 January 2013.  According to our source:
Colombian artisans will benefit the most, with a 90% reduction in trademark application fees. Micro and small Colombian companies will benefit from a 40% reduction in official fees for the registration of product and service marks.

The decision to reduce official fees follows studies carried out by the National Patent and Trademark Office, which determined that Colombia was among the four most expensive countries among a group of 50 countries, including European, Latin-American, Asiatic and Middle Eastern countries [it would be good to know the reasoning of the study: countries do not compete with one another in terms of price competition for national trade mark registrations. Is there evidence that the fees constitute a deterrent to obtaining protection? It is usually a lot cheaper to register a trade mark -- even in an "expensive" country -- than it is to litigate it once you have got it].

Foreign applicants will also benefit from the reduction in official fees, mainly with regard to the filing of additional classes within a multiclass application, which will be 50% cheaper than the regular trademark application fee. The official fee for the renewal of trademark registrations has also been reduced by half compared to last year’s tariff, making the maintenance of trademarks a less expensive exercise.... 
Source: "National Patent and Trademark Office reduces official fees by up to 90%", written by Margarita Castellanos, Castellanos & Co, Bogota, for World Trademark Review, 25 January 2013.

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