In Venezuela, as a consequence of the
Partial Reform of the Stamp Duties Act (Article 6 of Decree No. 1398) in 2015,
there has been a significant increase in the official fees for procedures for
The Reform has also complicated the handling of
payment of fees for registration, renewal and recordals of changes of
ownership, changes of address and licences in the area of trademarks.
Experience has shown us that in Venezuela steps
must be taken as far in advance of the due date as possible, given that
payments of fees must be transferred to the account of the Autonomous
Intellectual Property Service (SAPI) and once the transfer has been completed,
the transfer receipt must be officially stamped. It is not uncommon to
encounter extraordinary bureaucratic obstacles, which lead to delays.
Furthermore, the U.S. Government recently
imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela, which also have an impact in the field
of trademarks. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is monitoring
transactions made in dollars to accounts in Venezuela, which can lead to
considerable delays in the completion of payments. These obstacles can have
significant consequences for trademark rights. If we consider, for example, the
renewal procedure, in relation to which there are no provisions under
Venezuelan legislation for a grace period beyond the expiry date, the payment
of the official fee (which for one trademark in a single class currently
amounts to 3.000 USD) must be duly confirmed by the SAPI prior to the expiry
date of the trademark, otherwise it will be declared abandoned.
It is therefore advisable to keep in mind that
in Venezuela, with respect to those procedures requiring payment of a fee
affected by Article 6 of Decree No. 1398, it is necessary to act well in
advance of the deadline.
Indonesia joins the Madrid System having submitted some of
the most common declarations permitted under the Madrid Protocol. The
Indonesian Trademark Office will be able to extend the time limit for refusal
of the trademark to 18 months, by virtue of Article 5.2 b) of the Protocol, and
will be able to charge an individual fee for applications, subsequent
designations and renewals affecting Indonesia, pursuant to the provisions of
Article 8.7. The Indonesian government has also made the declaration provided for
under Rule 20bis(6) of the Common Regulations, indicating that recordals of
licenses on the International Register shall have no effect in Indonesia. For
recordals of licenses to have effect, it will be necessary to file the
appropriate recordal application with the Indonesian Office.
There are certain particularities in legal and
administrative practice in Indonesia regarding the prosecution of trademarks.
For example, national applications must be accompanied by a Bona Fide
Statement. For the time being, the Madrid System does not appear to have
developed any formula for adapting this requirement laid down at national level
to the international level. Other member countries of the Madrid System have
addressed this requirement by formulating an ad hoc document or including an
express declaration on the international application form. It remains to be
seen how the Indonesian authorities will adapt those specifications of
goods/services that have been deemed acceptable by the home office or WIPO to
the sui generis practice in Indonesia. Such issues will arise in day-to-day
practice and it will be necessary to work closely with our network of local
agents to adapt to the new situation and guarantee the best possible strategy
for trademark owners with interests in Indonesia.