We have seen and read quite a bit about how people and businesses were reinventing themselves to stand upright during the pandemic. Unemployment became the reality of many, due to unemployment and time at home resulted in the incubation and take-off – in record time – of many ventures, culinary talents, manual skills (packaging, plants, clothing), creation of mobile applications and all kinds of micro-businesses that were formed in the days of Covid19.
Many of these ventures today are already part of the consumption of products or services by a large number of citizens, since they have built a reputation with their clients and it is taking shape. Like its creation, the development of new ventures goes against the clock and needs to comply with the supply and demand of the market, leaving aside and forgetting a small but great detail: the protection of your brand.
In matters of Intellectual Property, who is first in time is first in law. It usually happens that when an enterprise already has a certain prestige in the market or “hits” a lot, a third person creates a brand by imitating it in order to confuse the consumer into buying a product, believing that it is associated with the product or service that is already recognized. Sometimes, there are people from the same category who directly “appropriate” the trademark by requesting its registration. In Bolivia, as in the rest of the world, there are so-called “trademark stealers” that are dedicated to registering foreign trademarks and then selling them to the true representative.
As an entrepreneur it is very important to register the brand to avoid this type of scenario. If it is already registered, entrepreneurs would be forced to change their brand name, discarding all the reputation, marketing and prestige they already have in the market … practically starting from scratch by positioning the new brand.
That is why among the main recommendations to entrepreneurs is to request the registration of their brand as soon as possible. Sometimes entrepreneurs have the wrong idea, that they need to form a commercial company or have certain legal person formalities (NIT, Trade Registration, etc.) to request the registration of their trademark and therefore they postpone this process unnecessarily, risking lose their trademark that could be registered in the name of the entrepreneur from the beginning of the venture.
We conclude that, although it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to register a trademark due to the exclusive and excluding rights that it grants.
María José Martinez – Associate