Due to its geographical position and the Panama Canal, Panama has become one of the major centers of supply of financial services, import, export and re-export of merchandise in the Western Hemisphere.
For this reason, Panama has become a strategic center for registration of trademarks and a key jurisdiction to have your trademark protected.
Before you begin to worry, the process for registering a trademark in Panama is simple, though lengthy.
The Panama trademark registration process takes an average of 6 -10 months.
Step 1: The Application Process
The first step of registering a trademark in Panama is the filling out and filing an application to the Panamanian Trademark and Patent Office.
Below is a list of required documents that are needed to submit an application:
- Power of attorney document. This is a signed document by an authorized government officer. It is to be signed in the presence of a certified notary public. The document certifies the applicant’s legal existence. The signed document must be filed and legalized by the Panamanian Consulate. This document can be filed either with the application or within 30 days after the application is filed.
- A completed trademark search/registration order form.
- A copy of the trademark in JPEG format.
- A priority document. This is a certified copy of the trademark application where an applicant can claim certain priority rights. This document can be filed along with the application or within 3 months of the application filing.
- Registration certificate. This document is only needed if you had a trademark for your product in another country.
Step 2: Publication
After the application is submitted, the applicant must publish the trademark in the Bulletin of Industrial Property. It only needs to be published one time, but is to remain in the publication for two months.
If any objections are made, the opposition procedure will begin.
During those two months, objections against the trademark can be made. One month into publication, the Panamanian trademark and patent office (PTO) representative will review and examine whether the trademark meets Panamanian trademark laws.
If no objections are made and the trademark is found to follow the Panama trademark laws, the trademark is then granted or denied by the same PTO officer.
Step 3. The Trademark
Once the trademark is cleared, the Panama Trademark Direction will issue a property title, confirming the trademark.
Trademarks in Panama are valid for 10 years after the trademark filing date. At the end of 10 years, the owner must renew the trademark.
If you would like more information, contact Mata and Pitti Attorneys at Law. We have many years assisting foreign business people open businesses in Panama. Our experts are very knowledgeable about the Panama trademark registration process.