04-04-2010 (Newsletter Issue 9/10)Official Fee Reduction for Second-Level DomainsNIC Bolivia has announced that as of April 1, 2010, second level ".BO" domain names prices charged to registrars were slashed by almost 35 per cent. No price change has been announced for third level (e.g.: .com.bo) domain names.
02-18-2010 (Newsletter Issue 7/10)
Substantial Increase of Official Fees
The trademark fees from filing to registration have increased from USD 50.00 (approx. EUR 36.00) to USD 225.00 (approx. EUR 164.00).
Source: Moeller IP Advisors, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Legal basis is the Trademark Act of 1918 and the Andean Pact Decision, latest in force Decision 486 of December, 2000.
Bolivia is a member of the Andean Pact. According to the Andean Pact Decision agreement, there are common rules in trademark law in all member states of the Andean Pact (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru).
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive signs, including three-dimensional forms and sound marks.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks and trade names.
Applications are filed at the Bolivian Intellectual Property Office, which comprises the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Offices.
A separate application has to be filed for each class, there is no multi-class system of application.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A notarised power of attorney authenticated by a Bolivian Consulate is necessary.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination and a search for prior trademarks. The application process also includes a third party opposition period of 30 working days.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 12 months. The first Office action may take place as soon as 2 weeks after application if the application is not complete and may request the completion of such application, providing a deadline for this purpose.
The trademark application is published approximately 6 months after the application date.
The opposition period is 30 working days from publication (i.e. aprox. 6 weeks). Oppositions are also possible by owners of trademarks in other member states of the Andean Pact, only if they simultaneously apply for registration of the protected TM in Bolivia.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
Protection begins with the date of registration. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
If the trademark has not been used for a continuous period of 3 years in a member state of the Andean Pact, it becomes vulnerable to cancellation. The 3 year period for cancellation is counted as of the registration date (not application date).
The official fees for trademark application (including publication and certificate of registration) are USD 250.00 (approx. EUR 164.00).
Trademark Licence Agreement
Licence agreements must be in writing. The licensing of pending marks is al-lowed on a case by case basis. A trademark may be licensed for some or all of the goods or services covered by the licence agreement. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence. There are no statutory provisions prescribing the terms of licensing.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee with the Trademark Office. Recordal is mandatory for opposition purposes. Any licence that is granted for use of a trademark must be registered with the competent national office. Failure to register renders the licence invalid in relation to third parties. There is no time frame for a recordal and there is no prescribed form for a licence agreement. The basic content of a licence agreement is prescribed in Decision 291 of the Andean Community.
The following document is required for the recordal of a licence:
1. A legalised power of attorney
Any document (power of attorney or contract) should be legalised up to the Bolivian Consulate and it is further required to obtain a notarised testimony (statement) of the contract/power of attorney within a notary public.
A licence becomes effective and enforceable against third parties from the date of registration of the licence with the Trademark Office.
There is no evidentiary presumption that use by a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee may join in a proceeding if provided for in the licence contract or if the owner permits him to do so. The licensee may also call upon the trademark owner to institute infringement proceedings but he may not institute proceedings in his own name if the proprietor refuses or neglects to do so.
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
Bufete Aguirre Soc. Civ., La Paz, Bolivia
Bufete Aguirre Soc. Civ., La Paz, Bolivia
DAK Intellectual Property Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia
Moeller IP Advisors, Buenos Aires, Argentina