1) Trademarks in Argentina: legal framework
Trademarks in Argentina are governed by Law Number 22,362, as amended (the Trademark Law or TML). The TML supplements the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation. Argentina is a party to the Paris Convention and has in force the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) provisions of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT).
2) Conditions for registration
Under Article 1 of the TML, any sign with distinctive capacity may be registered as trademark, being it words with or without conceptual content, drawings, emblems, monograms, engravings, patterns, seals, images, bands, combinations of colours applied to goods or packaging, wrapping, packaging, combinations of letters and numbers, letters and numbers drawn in a particular way, advertising slogans, distinctive embossments and any other with such capacity.
However, such signs must not be identical or similar to others previously registered or applied for in order to distinguish the same goods or services (TML, Article Number 3, Sub-Articles (a) and (b)) and must not fall within a number of prohibitions set forth by Articles Number 2 and 3 of the TML1.
No prior business use is required to apply for trademark protection. Argentina has enacted an attributive-system: trademark protection stems from its registration with the National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial or INPI). However, de facto and famous trademarks have been granted protection under Argentine law. According to Article 24, Sub-Article (b) of the TML, trademarks registered by anyone who, at the time of applying for registration, knew or should have known that the marks belonged to a third party will be void.
The new Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation, in its Article Number 151 requires that legal entities' names must have distinctive capacity in relation to trademarks.
3) Term of protection
Trademark protection lasts for ten years as from registration. Trademarks in Argentina may be renewed indefinitely for additional 10-year periods, provided it has been used within the five years before the expiration date.
4) Registration procedure
Trademark applications must be filed with the INPI. Argentina has in place a single-class application system: a separate trademark application must be filed on each class of products or services. As of January 1, 2017, Argentina has put in force the 11th Edition of the Nice Agreement Concerning...