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MoU Signed between INTA and Colombia’s IP Office to Enhance TM Protection

31-Aug-2014 | Source : | Visits : 6643
NEW YORK, NY – The International Trademark Association (INTA) and Superintendency of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Colombia (SIC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the SIC offices in Bogotá, according to the Association. Through this partnership INTA and SIC will increase cooperation and work to improve trademark protection for Colombian and international brand owners. INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and SIC Superintendent José Luis Londoño Fernandez signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations. 
Over the last ten years Colombia’s economy has grown by over 400% and, in July 2014, became the fastest-growing of the bigger Latin American economies. The county’s economic growth is mirrored by its increased trademark activity—trademark applications have more than doubled over the last decade to over 30,000 applications filed in 2012, underscoring the increasingly important role that intellectual property (IP) plays in the Colombian economy. 
Furthermore, in 2012, Colombia became the first Latin American country in 17 years to join the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks. Membership to the Madrid Union provides local trademark owners with a cost effective and efficient means to manage and protect their international trademark portfolios and, by way of improving trademark law harmonization, also supports economic development. 
This partnership between INTA and SIC takes into account the remarkable progress that Colombia has made in terms of economic development and improvements to its intellectual property system, but also recognizes that more can be done to support the Colombian business and IP communities and sustain future economic growth. The MOU sets a foundation for future collaboration between INTA and SIC to: 

Improve and advance harmonization in the region;
Strengthen public policy in the field of trademarks;
Enhance the role of trademarks in economic development; and
Increase cooperation between government and the private sector.

“Through this MOU with SIC, and similar agreements we have the Brazilian and Mexican IP offices, INTA is reinforcing its efforts in Latin America—a region of growing economic importance,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “Colombia is playing an increasingly important role in the Latin American and global economies. We must provide Colombian business owners and IP practitioners with the support they need to effectively protect and grow their trademark portfolios, and we must demonstrate to the Colombian public the key role that IP plays in the national economy. This agreement between INTA and SIC will help us to achieve these shared goals.” 
"This memorandum is signed with the intention of protecting trademarks in the country and generating a culture of protection for distinctive signs," said SIC Superintendent José Luis Londoño Fernandez. "Together SIC and INTA will collaborate on trademark-related projects, share information, develop programs and organize training events. Institutions should share the knowledge gained through these programs and training events and create a national culture of trademark protection. Colombia has a lot to offer to the international community on the issue of trademark protection and we hope that, with the signing of this agreement, we can help improve organizations which are dedicated to these issues.”

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,500 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai. 
The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) exists under the Ministry of the Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia. The SIC serves as the national authority on industrial property and is responsible for safeguarding the rights of consumers, protecting free competition and defending the fundamental rights relating to the management of personal information. 
The Delegation for Industrial Property, a dependency of the SIC, administers the National Office of Industrial Property. In order to manage their tasks the delegation is divided into two directions: Distinctive Signs and New Creations. The Director of Distinctive Signs is responsible for all matters related to trademarks, slogans, logos and geographical indications. The Director of New Creations manages everything related to patents, utility model patents, industrial designs and integrated circuit design. This unit is also responsible for the promotion, dissemination and training for Colombia’s industrial property system, and promotes information technology services as a tool for decision making in the development of new products and processes.

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