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Friday, 5 June 2020

Patricia Covarrubia

Uruguay: Absolute Grounds of Refusal good practice

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Not many times we receive much news about Uruguay, so in this occasion I am delighted to bring you news on good practice. The National Directorate of Industrial Property under the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay (DNPI), in collaboration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the EU-funded project IP Key Latin America (IP KEY LA), have put together a Practice Paper concerning the examination of absolute grounds for refusal in cases of figurative trade marks that contain purely descriptive words/expressions. The paper is to be used as a guidance on how to assess the examination of this type of marks (known in Uruguay as ‘marcas mixtas’ ).

The grounds for refusal are divided into two: 1) ‘absolute grounds for refusal’ which refers to the 'intrinsic qualities' of the sign and its ability to function as a trade mark i.e. to be able to be distinguishable in the market; 2) ‘relative grounds for refusal’ which refers to conflicts with earlier 3rd party rights. The IP Key Latin America notes that the DNPI is the “first Latin American IP office to analyse and find common ground with the criteria developed under the Common Communication on the Common Practice of Distinctiveness – Figurative marks containing descriptive/non-distinctive words”.

For more information click here. The paper can be read here (Spanish), and here (English).

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia