There have been several cases of bad faith in trademarks in Colombia. Here are a few notable examples:
- Soccer team logos: In 2015, the Colombian soccer team Atletico Nacional discovered that a third party had registered the trademark for their logo. The individual intended to profit from unauthorized merchandise sales using the team’s brand. The team had to file a lawsuit to regain control of their trademark.
- Famous brand imitations: In 2019, a Colombian company registered the trademark “Adidas Coffee” for its coffee brand. This attempt to associate their product with the well-known sportswear brand Adidas was seen as an act of bad faith. Adidas filed a complaint, and the trademark was eventually cancelled.
- Domain name registrations: There have been instances where individuals or companies registered domain names similar to established brands in an attempt to mislead consumers or extort money. For example, a person registered the domain name “cocacolacolombia.com” and offered to sell it to the Coca-Cola Company at an inflated price.
- Squatting on trademarks: Some individuals purposely register trademarks of existing businesses with the intention of selling them back at a higher price. In 2018, a person registered the trademark “Musical.ly” in Colombia before the app gained popularity. The trademark was later sold to the app’s owners, who rebranded it as TikTok.
These cases illustrate the presence of bad faith practices in trademark registrations in Colombia. The authorities and brand owners need to be vigilant in detecting and addressing these attempts to exploit established brands for personal gain.
In summary, to protect a trademark in Latin America from China, it is important to first register the trademark in China, research availability in Latin America.
Register the trademark in each destination country, monitor its use, and retain an intellectual property attorney in case of legal problems.