The Colombian Trademark Office, seeking to become one of the most efficient Intellectual Property Offices in the world, issued Resolution Nr. 48348 of 2014, that allows the applicant of a trademark application to express the intension of obtaining her/his application granted in less than 6 months.
The above is conditioned to the fact that the applicant must express the intension in compliance to Article 9 of Decision 486 of 2000 of the Andean Community that establishes the priority right of 6 months for all members of the Paris Convention.
Accordingly, this Resolution clarifies that the trademark application can be granted in a shorter period, as long as a priority claim right of an identical or similar trademark is not filed. If this event occurs, the Resolution that granted the trademark application will be revoked and instead, the Trademark Office will be empowered to issue a denial.
It is necessary to point out, that this new option is supported by multiple statistics and probabilities studies which determined that 1.960 out of 40.000 trademark applications that are expected to be filed in this year, will claim the priority right of the Paris Convention; 588 applications out of the 1960 that will claim a priority right will probably enter into conflict. Thus, only a 1.4% of the concessions could be revoked and denied, which definitely shows that the new measure would benefit the majority of the applicants. The Trademark Office also affirms that their goal is to grant the applications in a period of approximately 4 months.
In consequence, the questions that are arising now are the following: What to do with a trademark registration which has been granted before the period of 6 months in which a third party may claim the right of priority? Can the owner of a trademark begin with the exploitation and use of the same? Does it justify starting investing resources to position the trademark in the market?
The answers are not clear. However, while the implementation of this resolution is defined in the practice, it is advisable before investing resources in this matter, waiting for the time limit in which a third party may claim the right of priority over an identical or similar trademark registration. Of course, in order to be on the safe side and anticipate the different scenarios that may occur, it is advisable to continue with a professional monitoring of the application.