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Tuesday 2 February 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

INPI's Bulletins available online

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For those of you who are not aware, the Institute of Intellectual Property in Argentina (INPI) publishes official statements regarding their administrative cases.

Doing a little bit of research in trade mark, I read the bulletin issued on 27/01/10 regarding the admission and granting of certain marks but also the opposition and bar from registration of others.

I came across the forbidden ones - quite obvious, for example:
Buenos Aires es Gay and Argentina es Gay for services in classes 35 and 38; the bar was Art 3(e) “words, drawings and other signs contrary to morality and decency”.
Bob Marley; Jennifer Mariel; Sara Campbell; prohibited by Art 3(h) “the name, pseudonym or portrait of a person without his consent or that of the heirs to the fourth degree”.
2465 for several goods and services; prohibited by Art 1, which allows registration of combinations of numbers and letters and also in their own if they have a special design. In this case, the numbers did not have any design in particular and were not a ‘mark’ as such.
Dulces de Lujan (Lujan’s sweets; Lujan is a town in Argentina known for its traditional sweets) in classes 29 and 30 (foodstuff); banned by Art 2(a) - descriptive of the product.

Everything appears to be straightforward, however I also revised the trade marks that were granted registration; of course I encountered the controversial ones, for example:

Ultra Biodisel; Biodisel Ultra, for goods in classes 1 and 4 (chemicals and industrial oils) and services in classes 35,37,42,44. Not quite sure about the distinctiveness of this mark due to descriptiveness. Reading the case, the Institute granted the registration of the mark but established that the word Biodisel cannot be used exclusively by the company. Then I guess that we are talking about a compose mark in which I believe neither of the words alone are distinctive. I may ask? Does the combination make the mark distinctive enough? While I agree that there are circumstances in which a combination of descriptive words can make a particular mark distinctive, I am afraid that in this case I disagree. This case reminds me of famous EU cases such as Baby-Dry and Doublemint.

Cobro revertivo (collect) granted to a telecommunication company for services in class 38 (communication). This one is definitively tricky for those other companies wishing to or do have already the service of ‘collect calls’.

To have access to the bulletins, click here for the marks which were granted and here for those which were banned

Argentinian trade mark law here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia