As a first-to-file jurisdiction, in order to protect trademarks in Ecuador they must necessarily be registered locally. Exceptionally in the case of famous and well-known trademarks, actions may be presented in certain circumstances of infringement even if these have not been registered in Ecuador.
Although use of a trademark does not grant rights, prior use to filing may prove useful in order to overcome initial refusals from the trademark office to register the trademark based on the lack of distinctiveness.
In order to register a trademark in Ecuador, an application will have to be filed through the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI).
Please note that by default the application of trademarks that include figurative or design elements in Ecuador will be filed without color claim. If you wish to claim colors please instruct us to do so. If color is claimed, use of the registered trademark will be restricted to those for which color is claimed. Additional charges may apply for claiming color.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Ecuador, 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. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Opposition actions against the registration of a trademark in Ecuador may be presented within thirty (30) business days after the date the mark is published in the monthly gazette. Publication of the trademark is prior to the formal examination by the registration office.
Although it is not required to present proof or statements that a trademark is being used for it to be filed or granted registration in Ecuador, lack of actual use once a trademark has been registered may give way for third parties to present cancellation actions against the trademark in Ecuador. In order to prevent this from happening, a trademark should not go unused for more than three (3) years after the date it is successfully registered. Use of the mark must be on a commercial scale. Lack of use may be justified in certain circumstances.
A registered trademark in Ecuador will be valid for ten (10) years, term that begins from the date of actual registration. Trademarks may be renewed up to six (6) months before the expiry date and may be renewed every ten (10) years. There is a grace period of six (6) months for trademarks that are not renewed before their expiry date. Extra charges for late renewal apply.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Ecuador (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.