According to the CIA World Factbook, Guatemala's GDP (PPP) per capita is US$5,000; however, this developing country still faces many social problems and is among the 10 poorest countries in Latin America. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with approximately 75% of the population living below the poverty line and just over 400,000 (3.2%) unemployed. The World Bank considers three quarters of the population of Guatemala to be living in poverty. Remittances from Guatemalans who fled to the United States during the civil war now constitute the largest single source of foreign income (more than the combined value of exports and tourism).
Who May Apply?
The first applicant is entitled to registration; ownership of a mark is acquired solely by registration as evidenced by the certificate of registration. Admittance of the application for registration in Guatemala grants the applicant a priority right of six months during which he may apply for registration in other member countries in the Pan-American Convention; any application filed by third parties in other countries during that period will be subordinated to the first application. Priority right will be evidenced by a certificate issued by Guatemala and acceptable in other member countries without legalization. In case of applications by different applicants for the same mark in different member countries that have the same date of admission, the filing date will govern.
What Can Be Registered?
The treaty is applicable to all trademarks, trade names, and slogans owned by persons and corporations whether domiciled in the member countries or not, but persons and corporations domiciled in each of the member countries will be treated as nationals in other member countries. While registration of marks is not generally compulsory, pharmaceutical, chemical, medicinal, veterinary, and food marks must be registered. Moreover, the Registrar is empowered to order registration of other marks. Marks may be registered in any language; no translation is required.
What Cannot Be Registered?
Flags, emblems, insignia, signs , or names of member countries or of international bodies to which member countries belong, or of other countries without their official consent. Red Cross signs and emblems or those of religious or welfare entities recognized by member countries; representations of legal tender, negotiable instruments, commercial paper or fiscal stamps of member countries are also not registrable. Marks contrary to ethics, public order or good taste. Names, signatures, family names, and pictures of persons other than the applicant without consent. Generic names, descriptive phrases, colors alone, bottles commonly used and lacking in novelty, simple indications of origin. Marks already registered or that would cause confusion with marks already registered or that would deceive the poublic. Maps, unless constituting an element of a mark. Marks indicating any prizes obtained and terms commonly used in trade, industry, or service. The following trade names cannot be registered: those constituting or containing personal names of persons other than the applicant or its partners without consent. Names already registered for a similar line of business. Names identical or similar to a registered trademark owned by a third party and covering the same goods or services as those of the applicant and names contrary to ethics, public order, or good taste. The following slogans also cannot be registered: those that are simply descriptive of the business, lack originality, or are generally known in connection with a third party; are contrary to ethics, public order, or good taste or are offensive, tend to discredit another business or refer to other persons. Those that promote unfair competition. Those that include a trademark or trade name that cannot be legally used and those already registered by a third party or that may cause error or confusion.
Registration of a trademark may be terminated if obtained in violation of the rights of a third party.
Power of attorney, legalized if executed in a nonmember country. Fifteen prints of the mark, trade name, or slogan. Electrotype, if the mark, trade name, or slogan has a special design, type, or form. Certified and legalized copy of home registration if the applicant is a resident of a nonmember country, or, if there is none, a legalized affidavit of adoption of the mark, indicating the products or services in which it is used and their class. Proof of priority or certificate of registration if the applicant is domiciled in a member country. In the absence of Guatemalan consul, a U.S. consul may legalize the documents.
Evaluation & Review
Applications are filed with the Registrar of Industrial Property by the applicant personally or through a local attorney. If the applicant complies with the requirements as to form and substance, the Registrar issues a certificate of priority. If the application does not meet the requirements, the applicant is given 15 days in which to correct the application. If the Registrar discovers prior registrations or applications, he may reject the application or suspend decision until the status of the prior applications has been decided.
Registration of a trademark is granted for 10 years from the date of registration and is renewable for like periods; application for renewal must be filed within the year preceding expiration of registration. No extensions are permitted. Applications for renewals of marks registered under the former law and for renewals with altered classifications are advertised three times in one month in the Official Bulletin, with opposition permitted within two months of first publication. Registration of trade names and slogans is granted for an unlimited term, with no renewals necessary.
Use of chemicals, pharmaceutical, veterinary, medicinal, and food marks is compulsory. While use of other marks is optional, the Registrar Is empowered to order use.
Marks are deemed personal property. Sale of a business includes the marks used in the business and the trade name, unless expressly provided otherwise. Ownership of a mark will be honored only in the member country wherein registered.