In Guatemala, in order to protect and have rights over a trademark it is necessary to register it. However, in the case of famous or well-known trademarks, even if they have not yet been registered, under certain circumstances the true owner of a trademark may oppose the application of the trademark by others.
Prior use of the trademark in Guatemala is not necessary in order for a trademark to be accepted for registration.
The registration of trademarks in Guatemala is done through the Register of Intellectual Property of Guatemala (RPI).
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Guatemala, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of 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.
Opposition actions against the registration of a trademark in Guatemala must be presented within two (2) months from the date on which the details of the trademark application are first published in the Official Gazette. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
A registered trademark in Guatemala will remain valid for a period of ten (10) years from its date of registration. Trademarks may be renewed for additional ten (10) year period. There are no limits to how many times a registered trademark in Guatemala may be renewed. One may renew a trademark in Guatemala up to one year before its expiration date. Once a trademark expires, it may still be renewed up to six (6) months after its expiration date upon payment of extra fees (surcharge for late renewal).
Although use of a trademark is not necessary in order for it to be admitted for registration in Guatemala, once registered, if a trademark is not used by its owner for straight periods of five (5) years, third parties may present cancellation actions against the registration of the trademark.