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New requirement for filing trademarks: Mandatory similar availability search
Continuing with the sequence of changes suffered recently by Venezuelan TM Law and practice please be now informed that through Official Notice dated May 4th 2009, SAPI (Venezuelan Trademarks and Patents Office) has stipulated the mandatory similar availability search as a new requisite for filing new trademark applications.
This search must meet the following conditions:
- Not having more than 5 days of being issued
- Original document
- Provided with the SAPI�s seal
If any of these requisites are not complied with, the search will not be valid and SAPI will request a new search to be carried out.
Depending on the result of the search, SAPI will decide as to whether the filing of the new TM application is available or not. It is to be noticed that SAPI takes between 5 to 9 days to issue the search results so urgent TM filings will suffer a delay while waiting for the official search report.
This is very important to be taken into account for the cases of Paris Convention priority trademarks in order not to lose the priority deadline (6 months after original filing date)
In which classes must the search be done?
As you know, by means of Decision 486 (Andean Pact), Venezuela applied the international classification of goods and services, while the former TM Law of 1955, to which Venezuela has recently resorted to since it withdrew from said Pact, foresees national classification. Therefore, though new TM applications must now be filed in the corresponding national class, the trademark search must be carried out in the corresponding international class (where Venezuelan trademarks have been registered for the past years). In addition, for each local class in which the trademark is to be applied for, a separate search in the respective international class must be done.
A new TM application covering all products of int. class 9 should be filed in local classes:
21: electric apparatus, machines and accessories
24: optical articles, photographic apparatus and accessories
25: Measuring and scientific articles
and 3 searches should be carried in int. class 9 (one per each local class).
Apparently, Venezuelan IP attorneys are challenging this stipulation for considering not necessary to have the same search carried three times, which causes additional costs for applicants. However no reply has been yet received by them from SAPI.