The first thing to understand is that the person or company that has been using the trademark since the earliest date has preferential rights to the mark. When a trademark has not been in prior use, the registration will be granted to the person who files the “first application to the Ministry of Commerce (DIGERPI)” or who claims, if applicable, the “oldest date of use.”
Rights of a Trademark Holder in Panama
The holder of a registered trademark has the right to prevent other individuals or companies from doing the following without their authorization:
- Manufacture, print, or reproduce labels, letterheads, packaging, wrappers, and other similar means that bear the trademark or an identical distinctive sign.
- Apply the trademark in any other way that could lead the public to believe it relates to products of the trademark.
- Use an identical or similar distinctive sign of the registered trademark to identify the same products or services.
- Utilize an identical or similar distinctive sign to the registered trademark to identify different products or services.
- Employ in commerce an identical or similar distinctive sign to the registered trademark without just cause and under conditions that could harm the owner of the trademark.
- Use comparative terms with another trademark whose products or services are similar or identical.
How to Register a Trademark in Panama?
To obtain the registration of a trademark, you must submit an application to DIGERPI at the Ministry of Commerce of Panama, through an attorney, providing information about the person or company registering the trademark along with:
- The design of the trademark as it will be used in the market.
- The specification of the products or services in which the trademark is or will be used.
- Certificate of warranty and Ministry’s Rights.
- Certificate of company registration.
- Affidavit regarding the use of the trademark.
- Six labels of the trademark.
Once the application for trademark registration is found in compliance, it will be published once, including the following details: Application number, Deposit date and priority, Country of origin, International classification, Products or services it covers, Indication of colors, along with the Name, nationality, and address of the applicant.
The registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of application and can be renewed indefinitely for equal periods.
Opposition to Trademark Registration in Panama
If someone has already used a trademark, they can oppose its unauthorized use or registration by proving prior use, even if the trademark is not yet registered.
During a period of 2 months from the publication order mentioned above, any person can file an opposition to the registration of the applied trademark. If no opposition is filed, the registration will be granted through a resolution, preserving the rights of third parties.
The Trademark Law in Panama provides a “preference” for the person or company that has rights over a famous or renowned trademark to oppose its unauthorized use and registration and even demand the cancellation of the registered trademark if granted.
For more information about trademark registration in Panama, please contact us!