Why and how to register a trademark in Cuba

In Cuba, trademark registration is mandatory in order to obtain proprietary rights over a trademark. Trademark applications must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of Cuba (OCPI).

Cuba is a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.

In Cuba, the trademark does not have to be in use at the moment of registration. However, prior use of the trademark may be useful in overcoming objections raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness by proving acquired distinctiveness.

Once the trademark examination is concluded the trademark application will be published in the Official Industrial Property Bulletin. From the publication date begins a period of 60 days during which interested third party may file opposition actions against the trademark application. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Cuba, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. 

If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Cuba (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.

In Cuba, once registered a trademark is valid for a period of ten (10) years counting from the date of application. It can then be renewed for successive periods of ten years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date and as late as six months after it, provided additional fees for late renewal are paid. 

Although the trademark does not need to be in use in order to register, as mentioned above, it must not remain unused for periods of longer than 3 years, otherwise it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions for lack of use. Such actions can be presented either by interested third parties or by the trademarks office.

In view of the opening of the Cuban market to foreigners, registration in that territory is more important than ever. For further information, please consult our article on Cuba - Thawing Diplomatic Relations and Trademark Protection

 

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