Tactile TM applications admitted by the Andean Community
On August 26, 2015, the Andean Court of Justice (ACJ) issued a pre-judicial interpretation (process 242-IP-2015) allowing the application for tactile trademarks, which are so-called non-traditional trademarks that can be described as those perceived by any of the human five senses.The category includes colors, shapes, moving images, holograms, positions, sounds, scents, tastes and textures.
This announcement implies an important step towards the protection of non-traditional trademarks in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The company Diageo Brands B.V., manufacturer of the liquor “Old Parr,” requested protection of a tactile trademark for the texture of the bottle containing said liquor before the Colombian PTO (SIC).
Given the few precedents of this type of trademark applications in Colombia, the SIC requested the ACJ a pre-judicial interpretation regarding the allowance of tactile trademarks.
In the preliminary rulings, the ACJ stated that the list of signs susceptible to protection as trademarks described in the Decision 486 – common IP regime for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, – is not restrictive. Therefore, said list is open to either visible or non-visible signs, provided they fulfil the same requirements as traditional trademarks, including distinctiveness and graphical representation susceptibility.
Regarding the graphical representation of a tactile trademark, the ACJ interpreted that, for this requirement to be acknowledged, the application must contain: i) a clear, precise and complete description of the sign, including a three-dimensional drawing or a photograph; and ii) a physical sample of the tactile trademark.
If you would like to read the resolution 242-IP-2015, click here.