Panama is one of the top business-friendly countries in the world with a thriving economy, a plentiful and educated workforce and business friendly policies such as low business taxes and tariffs. With many international companies moving to Panama, the government has taken measures to help businesses protect their patented products and branding through an easy trademark process that typically takes between 6 and 9 months.
Whether you’re in charge of a regional office of a multinational corporation or you’ve just opened up the doors of your start up in Panama, here is how to get a trademark in Panama:
1. Fill Out an Application
The first step towards getting a trademark is to fill out an application and include all the required information and documents. The application and supplemental documents must be fled to the general direction of Registration of Industrial Property of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the Panamanian Trademark and Patent Office. It takes around one month for the application to be reviewed.
The requirements for the application include:
- Contact information of the applicant including their name, address, phone number and email address.
- A photo file of the trademark logo in either a .gif or .jpg format. A colored picture isn’t necessary unless the coloring is important to the logo.
- A detailed, accurate, complete labeling of the product or service to be trademarked. Products and services can only be included in one class or classification. The classes are defined according to the latest edition of the Nice International Classification.
- A non-official, Spanish-translated priority document (if propriety is required, this only applies for trademarks registered in other countries).
- Proof of power of attorney. No legalizations are required.
2. It is Published and Observed
After the application and required paperwork is reviewed and approved, it is then published in the Official Gazette, also called the Bulletin of Industrial Property. The application will be published in this paper for 60 days, during which opposition claims can be made against it. Any and all claims will be heard and the Panamanian Trademark and Patent Office will make a decision at the conclusion of the 60 days.
3. Opposition Procedure
If there are any objections made concerning the trademark request, the parties will present their objections to the Patent and Trademark Office. Any and all opposition must be made and presented during the 60 days the trademark request is published in the bulletin.
4. Final Examination and Decision
The Panamanian Patent and Trademark Office will make a decision to either accept or deny the trademark request. If no opposing claims are made on the trademark request, a final examination will be made on the trademark request. This final examination will be based on the Panamanian trademark law.
5. Trademark is Issued
If the trademark request is approved, the Panamanian Patent and Trademark Office will notify the applicant and issue the property title. Panamanian trademarks are valid for 10 years, after which the trademark must be renewed.
Trademark Process Complications
Ideally, business owners want their trademark application process to go as smoothly and quickly as possible. However, numerous things can arise other than the objections that can occur while the request is printed in the bulletin.
Here are some possible issues that can arise that can prolong the trademark application process:
- Incorrect information on the application
- Missing documents
- Appeal and Reconsideration filing by an unsatisfied party in response to the Panama’s Patent and Trademark’s approval or disapproval of the trademark application
A trademark is valuable in protecting your own products and services. Regardless of how long your company has been operating in Panama, a trademark is an important thing to have. If you’re looking to getting a Panamanian trademark, look no further than Mata & Pitti Law Firm. We are a local Panamanian law firm with many years of experience in Panamanian trademark cases. Our lawyers know the Panamanian trademark application process well and will help you get your trademark approved the fastest way possible.
Contact us today to learn more about our firm and how we can help you.