In a guest post, Carlos Castrillo provides an update on the legislative reforms in Argentina:

In January we reported on the publication of the Emergency Decree with several changes that would be popular with brand owners, and we are pleased to say that these changes have been approved by Congress.

The Decree was thus turned into law on 26 June this year and entered into force on the same date. The regulation implementing the new law was enacted last week and will be in force in 60 days.

The regulation sets out the opposition procedure in more detail as follows.

  • If no amicable settlement is reached between the applicant and the opponent, the IP Office will first require the opponent to pay a fee of approximately USD300. At the same time, the opponent will have the opportunity to file new arguments or expand on those already mentioned in the opposition as well as submitting additional evidence.
  • Both parties will have the opportunity to appeal the IP Office decision to the competent court within 30 days from being notified of the decision. The details of the court procedure will be set in the near future.
  • As instructed in the recently enacted regulation implementing the new law, the IP Office will not rule on cancellation matters based on a claim of non-use or other grounds for nullification. This should be brought to the courts with a previous mediation process. If confusion and cancellation are argued together, the IP Office will suspend the confusion decision until the courts decide on the cancellation request.

Any fundamental changes of IP Office procedures such as administrative opposition procedures will inevitably lead to some form of challenge in the beginning, but we are convinced that the Office will do its best to deal with these in an efficient manner. Also, we are certain that brand owners will be pleased that the Office may now take decisions on oppositions and that these will no longer have to be decided by the courts.

As mentioned earlier, the Office has been given the competency to change any procedure if deemed necessary to accelerate the granting of trademarks and to reduce costs. We will keep you posted, if and when changes are proposed.

Thanks to Carlos, who is a partner of Castrillo & Castrillo, Argentina for contributing this post!

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