1. Basic facts about Argentina
The Argentine Republic (hereinafter called "Argentina") has a total territory of 2,760,654 km2 (approx. 7.4 times larger than Japan), and a population of around 42.43 millions. Its abundant natural resources such as oil and natural gas, as well as its vast and fertile land allow the country to be self-sufficient in view of energy and food supply. Therefore, it is believed that Argentina is likely to start rapid economic growth once currency-related (Argentina peso) problems are settled.
Argentina is a member of the Paris convention (not a member of PCT though), of the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and of the Pan-American Convention of Montevideo (1889), among others.
2. Basic facts about intellectual property in Argentina
Table 1 indicates common items for each subject to be protected. Argentine intellectual property law has a lot in common with Japanese law. Major differences, however, are that Argentina follows the examination system for utility models but not for designs.
||Patent (patent of addition)
|Local patent Attorney
(An applicant having no residence or the like in Argentina is required to have a local patent attorney.)
|Due date for request for examination
||Within 36 months of application
||Within 36 months of application
||20 years from application date (patent of addition is expired on expiration date of original patent)
||10 years from application date
||5 years from the registration date(5 years extension possible (twice))
||10 years from registration date (renewal possible)
|Motion of objection
||Exists(30 days from publication
3. Basic facts about intellectual property system in Argentina
An outline of the patent application process (from application to grant) under the Argentina Patent Law is described below.
(1) Application route
Argentina is not a member of the PCT treaty, and thus an applicant cannot designate Argentina at a time of filing an international application under the PCT treaty. Accordingly, it is beneficial for the applicant to file an application with a claim of priority right under the Paris Convention.
(2) Types of patent right
Discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods shall not be considered as inventions. Inventions (excluding inventions disturbing public order, impairing lives and health of animals or humans, biological and genetic material existing in nature etc.) shall be patentable.
Please note that, unlike Japan, computer programs are not considered as patentable inventions.
Patents of addition
The object of a patent of addition is an invention filed where novel ideas are added to the original patent. Any person shall obtain a right of patent of addition, but shall be required to gain the agreement of the patentee of the original patent for the exploitation of the invention.
The term of a patent of addition is expired on the expiration date of the main patent. If a patent of addition has more than two original patents, the original patent which has the latest expiration date shall be deemed to be the original patent.
Patent law covers utility models, which are defined as new arrangements or forms obtained or incorporated in known tools, working instruments, utensils, devices, or other objects that are used for practical work. Methods are not considered to be an object of protection. Further, unlike patents, utility models are not required to have inventive step.
(3) Application documents
The patent application documents are as follows:
Application form, description (claims), and drawings (if necessary).
In case of utility models, drawings are necessary.
|Invention of product
|Invention of process
|Invention of device
|Product by process claim
||It is accepted only when a configuration of an invention can be specified by only a manufacturing process
|Invention of secondary use of medicine
(4) Languages of application
An application can be filed in Spanish and also in English.
However, unlike an application in foreign language under the Japanese patent practice, if an application is filed in English, it is necessary to submit Spanish translation of application documents within 10 working days from the application date in English.
The application is published after 18 months from the application date. A system of accelerated publication is available.
Please note that unlike in Japan, a patent application that has been withdrawn or abandoned shall be inevitably laid open.
(5) Voluntary amendment
A voluntary amendment can be filed to amend the description etc. within 90 days from the application date.
(6) Publication of patent applications
Patent applications are published after 18 months from the application date. A system of accelerated publication also exists.
Please note that unlike in Japan, patent applications that have been withdrawn or abandoned shall be inevitably laid open.
(7) Conversion of application
According to the Argentina Patent Law §23, a patent application may be converted into an application for a utility model certificate and vice versa within the 90 days following the filing date, or within 90 days following the date on which the National Patent Administration (Argentina’s “patent office) has required conversion.
Substantive examination is conducted also on a utility model application, and the utility model application is required to have novelty and industrial applicability. However, lack of inventive step is not the reason for refusal.
(8) Divisional application
Resolution No. 147 which prescribes time limit of a divisional application was revoked. Accordingly, the applicant can file a divisional application for an outstanding application any time.
When the applicant files a request for examination, the examiner examines whether or not the application meets requirements of novelty, inventive step, industrial applicability, and other requirements of Patent law.
Argentina follows of principle of “absolute novelty”; accordingly, the invention must not be publicly-known, publicly-exploited, and laid open in paper publication before the filing date or priority date.
The National Patent Administration is allowed to request the disclosure of information on examination results in other countries if corresponding applications have been filed abroad. In this case, it is necessary to submit the information within 90 days.
(10) office action
If the examiner finds reasons for refusal, the applicant is allowed to file an amendment of the description or an argument within 60 days of the receipt of the notice of reasons for refusal. It is possible to extend the response term by paying extension fees.
The average number of issued office actions is three per patent application.
(11) Occurrence of patent right
・Payment of official fee
When the patent application is granted, the patent right enters into force with the payment of the registration fee.
|Number of years after registration
||600 ASR (Argentine peso)
(12) Invalidity and lapse of patents and utility models
Patents and utility model certificates shall be wholly or partly null and void when they have been granted in violation of the provisions of the Patent Law (§59).
Action for invalidation or lapse may be brought by any person who has a legitimate interest therein (§64).
Meanwhile, the declaration of invalidity of a patent shall not in itself cause the invalidation of additions to it, provided that the conversion of the said additions into independent patents is applied for within the 90 days following notification of the declaration of invalidity (§61).
(13) Implementation duties
In a case where (i) an invention has not been implemented for 3 years from a date of grant a patent or 4 years from an application date (a longer period will be adopted), (ii) implementation of the invention has not been prepared, or (iii) implementation of the invention has been suspended for one or more years, any person may request grant of a compulsory license.
5. Basic facts about trademark system in Argentina
(1) Argentina is a member of:
the Paris Convention, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Nice Agreement.
(2) A trademark to be registered:
includes a word, device, emblem, monogram, portrait, color, letter, or numeral etc.
(3) Application system
A standard application can be filed with a claim of priority right under the Paris convention.
Argentina does not adopt a multi-class application system.
(4) Publication of application
If a trademark application meets the formality requirements, the trademark application will be published.
(5) Request for examination
Argentina does not adopt a system of request for examination. Accordingly, all trademark applications are subject to substantive examination.
(6) Office Action
Major grounds for unregistability are as follows:
• A mark that lacks distinctiveness,
• A catchphrase
• A shape that is natural for a product
• A mark that is identical or similar to a prior trademark
• A mark that may cause misconception about quality etc. of other goods or services
• A mark that is opposed to public order and molarity
Note that packaging paper and packaging container are protectable if they have originality. Further, a catchphrase is also protectable if it has originality, distinctiveness, creativity, and individuality.
(7) Opposition etc.
Argentina adopts an opposition system. An interested party can file an opposition within 30 days from the publication date of the application.
Argentina adopts a system of cancellation of registered trademark not in use. An interested party can file a request for cancellation of the registered trademark if the registered trademark has not been used for 5 years in Argentina without a justifiable reason before the request is filed.
(8) Duration and day to start counting the duration
Duration of a trademark right is 10 years from a registration date. It is possible to renew the duration every 10 years by filing a renewal application. The renewal application should be filed 6 months before the duration expires, and there is no grace period concerning the renewal application. Accordingly, the duration cannot be renewed if a time limit for renewal has been passed.
6. Argentine Industrial Property Right Laws
Argentina Patent Law
Argentina Patent Rules
Argentina Design Law
Argentina Design Rules
Argentina Trademark Law
Argentina Trademark Rules