Regulation of the New Administrative Trademarks Opposition Procedure – Resolution INPI P-183/2018.

On July 19, 2018, Resolution INPI P-183/2018 was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Argentina, describing the new procedure for the resolution of trademark oppositions, effective from September 17, 2018.

The main change resides on a reduction of the term allowed to reach an amicable resolution of an opposition to three (3) months, and that if no agreement is reached between the parties, the INPI shall resolve on the issue.

Annex I of the mentioned Resolution describes the steps to follow as well as the relevant deadlines, namely:

At the expiration of three (3) months from the official notice of an opposition, if applicant does not succeed in its withdrawal by the opponent, the Trademarks Office shall notify this latter so that within fifteen (15) business days it maintains the opposition by paying the relevant fee (Annex II) and extend on the grounds offering the evidence deemed relevant.

Non-payment of the mentioned fee shall be deemed as a lack of interest from the opponent to keep the opposition in force and therefore shall be taken as a simple “call of attention”.

Within fifteen (15) business days from the expiration of the previous term, the Trademarks office shall notify the applicant of any opposition which remains outstanding so that within fifteen (15) business days as form said notice it answers offering the evidence deemed relevant.

After the submission of evidence or the expiration of the term therefor, the Trademarks office shall notify the parties so that within ten (10) business days they file the final arguments.

If within said term the parties inform that they have initiated a mediation or settlement procedure, or any other method of dispute resolution through a joint submission, the mentioned 10 business-day term shall be automatically interrupted for a non-extendable term of 30 business day from the joint submission. Within this last term, the parties must conclude the procedure chosen to resolve the opposition.

At the expiration of the 30 business-day term, a new 10 business-day term shall begin with the same scope of the 10 business-day term previously interrupted, so that the parties inform the Trademarks Office of the result obtained, submitting evidence therefor.

If the conflict is not resolved through the procedure chosen by the parties, the Trademarks Office shall resolve if the opposition in question is grounded or ungrounded.

Against this final resolution, an appeal may be filed within thirty (30) business days from its notice, through the payment of the relevant fee (Annex II). Said appeal must be filed at the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), which within ten (10) business days shall forward it to the Court of Appeals on Civil and Commercial matters of the City of Buenos Aires, so that it solves the dispute.

Upon resolution of the opposition, the Trademarks Office shall decide on whether to allow or reject the registration of the intended trademark.

In turn, Annex II provides for the official fees applicable to the new procedure.