Trademark registration in Panama. Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a transcontinental country in Central America and South America. Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama’s GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. It is regarded as having a high-income economy. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of trademark registration in Panama.
Forbidden signs as a trademark in Panama
Forbidden signs as a trademark in Panama include:
- The reproduction or imitation of the shields of arms, flags, and other emblems without the authorization of the competent authority;
- Acronyms, denominations, or abbreviations of any State or of any national or international organization without the authorization of the competent authority;
- Descriptive or generic marks that have become distinctive or singular by use;
- The figures or three-dimensional forms or denominative marks that can deceive or mislead the public;
- Marks that may lead to confusion regarding the origin or attributes of the product;
- Marks that are contrary to morality, public order, or good customs;
- The names, pseudonyms, signatures, and portraits of people without their consent or their heirs;
- The designs of coins, bills, guarantee or control stamps used by the State, stamps, or tax species in general.
Trademark in Panama
Trademarks in Panama can be names, words, and slogans; images, shapes, and designs; colors; scents; flavors.
In Panama, the applicant can register their mark as product trademark/service trademark/collective trademark. It can also be registered as expressions or propaganda signs, commercial names, and associations.
Necessary documents for trademark registration in Panama
Necessary documents for trademark registration in Panama include:
- The application for trademark registration in Panama;
- Detailed information of the application (name, nationality, and address, etc.);
- Detailed information of the representative or attorney (name, nationality, and address, etc.);
- Classification of goods and/or services;
- Trademark sample and description;
- Priority documents (If any);
- The prescribed fee.
The procedure of trademark registration in Panama
To obtain trademark protection in Panama, the applicant needs to file their trademark application to the Register of Intellectual Property of Panama (DIGERPI).
If there are no errors detected on the trademark application, it will be published in the Industrial Property Bulletin.
After publication, the trademark application will enter a 2 months opposition period in which any third parties may file for the opposition of the registration of the mark.
If there are no oppositions filed, the mark is registered and the applicant will receive the trademark registration certificate.
Renewal and use requirement of the trademark in Panama
After registration, the trademark will have a protection period of 10 years in Panama. Every 10 years, the trademark owner may file for renewal of the trademark to extend the protection period for another 10 years.
There is no limit to how many times a trademark may be renewed in Panama.
A trademark in Panama may be renewed up to 1 year prior to the date of expiration. If a trademark is not renewed before its date of expiration, a grace period of 6 months is granted. During the grace period, the trademark owner may file for renewal of the trademark provided that they have paid a late filing fee.
Proof of use of the trademark is not required to register the mark in Panama. However, once a trademark is registered, if it goes unused by the owner for 5 consecutive years, it may be vulnerable to cancellation by third parties based on grounds of non-use.
You can see a list of Panama IP firms here.