Argentina’s Collective Mark is a new legal institution, not related to classic TMs, and created with the aim of using IP benefits for the development of the most vulnerable social sectors. Its main features are:
1. It has no background in the Argentine IP Law. Its “direct application” to special social sectors (traditionally excluded from Intellectual Property benefits) makes it unique in their kind.
2. Its owner can only be an association linked to the social economy field (foundations, cooperatives, mutual societies, civil associations, etc.)
3. Its users are the members of the (owner) association.
4. Its users must meet strong legal conditions in order to use it.
5. It may protect all kind of products and services, under the International Trademark Classification (WIPO).
6. An association can own more than one “collective mark”, without limitation.
7. No co-ownership is accepted. The Collective Mark owner can be “only one” single association.
8. Its legal formalities and procedures are expressly exempted from all kinds of tariffs.
9. Linked Government agencies must act expeditiously in order to facilitate collective mark proceedings.
10. Argentinean TM Authority (the National Institute of Industrial Property) must decide on the “oppositions” that may arise during the application proceedings. Its decision is appealable to the Federal Court of Appeal located in the City of Buenos Aires. This is important and new, because TM Authority isn’t allowed to decide in the field of (classic) TMs oppositions.
11. Collective Mark Law includes a special clause in order to accelerate case resolution.
12. Third parties “oppositions” against a collective mark application pays twice the amount set by the TM Authority to the oppositions to traditional TMs.
13. If in doubt about applicable law, the TM Authority must choose the most favorable one for the association.
14. Its purpose is manifold:
a) Increasing the value of products and services of members of the association.
b) Encouraging the creation and sustainability of organizations linked to the social economy.
c) Enhancing self-esteem of local producers, as a result of the appreciation of their products and services.
d) Allowing producers to access new domestic and foreign markets.
e) Facilitating market access of products typical of the social economy, especially those from remote or isolated.
f) Promoting cultural and social tourism in the geographical areas of production, often linked to local tradition and History.
g) Creating an “environmental care commitment” within the CTM associations.
Argentine Collective Mark Act: 26.355 (2008). TEXT