US to ease Cuban trade embargo: Intellectual Property gold rush?

May 23, 2015

Several negotiations between the governments of the US and Cuba are warming up Cold War reminiscences that to this day still impact the travel of persons, goods and money between this Caribbean island and the US.

In the past few years, US and Cuban delegations have had secretive meetings with the objective of easing the trade embargo on the island, which resulted in an exchange of political prisoners, less export restrictions and frequent charters and ferries between both countries. The capstone occurred when Presidents Obama and Raul Castro gave a historic handshake, past April, bringing the negotiations into the spotlight.

With the gradual opening of the Cuban market, businesses and individuals start to become more interested in filing trademark applications as a way of preventing infringements and trademark squatting. As soon as the market becomes open enough, companies will start selling their goods in Cuba, but time is of the essence for IP protection in Cuba.
With reports of squatting appearing more frequently, companies should focus in protecting their most important brands as soon as possible to avoid practises that involve bad faith trademark filings by third parties.

It will be very difficult for American and European businesses to prove that their trademarks are well known in Cuba considering that they are currently not selling goods in the island, which would help strengthening opposition claims.

A timely trademark application is by far the safest way to act against infringements in Cuba. Considering that it takes 3 years to cancel trademarks through non-use, companies should act to protect their intellectual property rights rapidly.

Inventa International is present in Latin America and is able to help you protect your brands in Cuba.

 


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