Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Peru regulates trade mark coexistence agreements so as to protect competition and consumers

IP Tango has received news from Peru with regard to an increasingly important subject, in era of increasingly crowded trade mark registers: coexistence agreements.  The Administrative Court of Appeals for Intellectual Property Matters of the Peruvian Trade Mark Office (INDECOPI) has released a new binding administrative precedent -- Resolution 4665-2014/TPI-INDECOPI -- regarding the criteria for evaluating whether a coexistence agreement may be accepted.

In essence, a coexistence agreement may be valid and binding upon its parties only if it complies with criteria of acceptability under competition law and does not deceive consumers. Further, a set of minimum conditions have been stipulated for the purpose of ensuring that consumers are not confused.

A caveat for trade mark owners is that, while failure to satisfy the legal criteria is fatal to the acceptance and therefore the legal effect of a coexistence agreement, the fact that those criteria does not necessarily and automatically mean that the agreement will be legally acceptable.

Source: "INDECOPI releases binding administrative precedent on co-existence agreements", written by Catherine Escobedo (BARLAW - Barrera & Asociados, Lima) for World Trademark Review, 3 February 2015.

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