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A sign of the times -- or assign of the times? Venezuela at last allows recordal of deals with applications

Following the withdrawal of Venezuela from the Andean Community, its Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decided to revert to that country's Industrial Property Law of 1955. Since no regulations were promulgated under that law for the assignment of pending trade mark and patent applications, it transpired that their assignment was no longer admissible. Accordingly, until a trade mark or patent is actually granted and recorded on the register, there is no property right but only a petition to grant a property right -- and only property rights (ie registered patents and trade marks) could be assigned.

On 31 March of this year the Venezuelan Autonomous Intellectual Property Service (SAPI) published a notice indicating that, owing to business dynamics, and the fact that IP rights are property of a private nature, the applicant for a patent or trade mark registration has a priority right. Thus, since 9 April 2014 (when that notice became effective) , SAPI has allowed the recordal of assignments or any other changes of ownership (merger or change of names) against pending applications.

Source: "Trademark Office Now Accepts Assignment of Pending Applications", by Richard N. Brown (De Sola Pate & Brown Abogados--Consultores, Caracas), published in the INTA Bulletin, 1 July 2014 Vol. 69 No. 12, which contains further details and welcomes this change.

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