25 April 2012

PROSUR - a new trade mark system?

IP tango reported last week on IP developments in PROSUR.

Could we see a new intergovernmental trade mark registration system akin to the Community Trade Mark and OAPI?

Colombia - which has just introduced a multi-class system - is also moving towards Madrid Protocol membership. Further internationalisation in Latin America could be a possibility. This would offer some cost benefits to what can be an expensive part of the world. However, I am not expecting any developments soon.

Co-operation has not been lacking in the past with the Andean Pact (comprising Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and formerly Venezuela) and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) having IP provisions. However, none have provided for a centralised registration procedure so a common PROSUR registration authority would be a radical step.

South America comprises 12 independent countries and PROSUR has a membership of 9 countries. It leaves just Bolivia, Guyana and Venezuela as non-members. WIPO has offered it's support for the group, but I hope, as must many others - particularly for the likes of Brazil - it does not distract them from a goal of Madrid Protocol membership.