Every day, more entrepreneurs have realized the importance and value that trademarks give to their company, to the products and/or services they market with it. This is a favorable situation, but it has one problem: we have less and less imagination to invent a sign that is not already registered, especially in certain classes such as those that protect “clothing” or “cosmetics”. What is the problem? You try to buy the trademark that is already registered, but nobody uses it. The answer: “It is not for sale”. This is a fairly common problem in our country, but why? Because unless you offer a considerable amount of money to buy the brand, there is no real incentive to sell it, because we do not have the figure of the Expiration or Cancellation for Non-use.
Chile is one of the last countries in the world that does not contemplate this figure. This situation should have changed with the draft law that replaces the laws N° 19.039 on Industrial Property and N° 20.254, which creates the National Institute of Industrial Property, which is in process since 2013. Due to its slow processing, in October 2018, a Short Bill was introduced, which only modifies the mentioned laws and addressed the main Industrial Property issues that were more urgent, among which is the long-awaited “Expiration for Non-use”. We had hoped for its approval by 2019, but amidst the social and health crises, the project has stalled.
It is important to move forward in these issues and we hope that the law will be approved by the first half of 2021, but we must bear in mind that this does not mean that we can immediately start with the expirations, because the law provides a period of 5 years from the registration of the sign. So, we will still have to be patient and continue using our imagination because we will not have “mobility” in the ownership of trademark registrations yet for some years.