We recently spoke with Martin Hermida, intellectual property consultant at ClarkeModet in Uruguay, to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted Uruguay trademark opposition and cancellation rules and procedures.
1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your national trademark office’s policies and procedures regarding Uruguay trademark oppositions, cancellations, and invalidations?
The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the procedures regarding trademark oppositions, cancellations, and invalidations to this day. The most important reason for this is that all the procedure (filing of writs and proof) is done by electronic means. No deadline has been suspended for this reason and the Trademark Office is working remotely. The only change produced by the COVID-19 issue is that the office is not attending any personal or public hearings or meetings.
2. Have you seen any changes in trademark enforcement activities in Uruguay over the past month due to COVID-19?
We have received more inquiries about anti-counterfeiting in Uruguay. We believe this is a strong consequence of the pandemic and a first attempt of brand owners to reduce the level of losses in a context of great economic volatility. However, the measures that can be taken to attack these issues usually involve legal actions, which are suspended in our country until April 30th .
3. When faced with COVID-19 business uncertainties, what can we as members of the international trademark community be doing to keep trademark enforcement efforts top of mind for our clients who wish to do business in Uruguay and elsewhere?
In our opinion, it is highly important to explain and convey that Uruguay is taking all measures to guarantee the rights of trademark owners and applicants. As I mentioned before, the Uruguay Trademark Office is still operational and no procedure has been suspended, including deadlines or official actions. Uruguay stands out for having a serious legal system which offers plentiful guarantees and the effects of the pandemic have not made this situation change, nor is it expected to occur.
Editor’s Note: Participating authors of COVID-19 global trademark litigation updates are from a wide variety of firms, many of whom we know and others by reputation. If you would like to contribute insight on trademark opposition developments in your own country, please contact us.