Actualidad Panamericana le vuelve a ganar pleito de marca a papelería Panamericana

Actualidad Panamericana le vuelve a ganar pleito de marca a papelería Panamericana

Members of Actualidad Panamericana, a media outlet with a sarcastic tendency.

Photo: El Espectador Archive

Actualidad Panamericana 3 – Panamericana Stationery 0. The satirical news portal has just won, again, a lawsuit for the trademark registration of the well-known stationery. The Directorate of Distinctive Signs of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) did not cancel the registration certificate of Actualidad Panamericana, one of the four judicial fronts that the publisher has initiated with the aim of erasing its contender from the map.

In context: Keys to understand the judicial mess between Panamericana and Actualidad Panamericana

According to what Panamericana has alleged in 2016, when Actualidad Panamericana registered to offer entertainment services, the news portal supposedly “attacks consumers” who have in their minds the image of stationery. According to their appeal, in this cancellation process, potential clients would confuse both organizations, which would affect a company that has been in the market for more than 30 years and has annual sales of multimillion dollars.

However, the SIC has just responded to Panamericana that its request is unfounded. He argued that both brands have additional elements that, seen as a whole, allow the consumer to differentiate them like water and oil. In conclusion, there is no risk of confusion, that Actualidad Panamericana does not detract from the strength of the Panamericana brand, and that the media outlet does not take advantage of the bookstore to grow as an organization.

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“In this case, when analyzing the requested sign Actualidad Panamericana together with the well-known Panamericana mark, it is concluded that from a joint view of the signs, they have nominative and graphic elements that are different from each other and that allow them to be fully individualized by a consumer within the market without incurring in confusion or association”, sentenced the Directorate of Distinctive Signs of the SIC. The defense of the portal was in charge of the lawyer Natalia Pérez Acevedo, director in Bogotá of the law firm Guerrero & Asociados.

Among the tests that the Directorate evaluated were two previous files in the SIC, after which Actualidad Panamericana emerged victorious. It all started when in 2016 the portal requested the registration of its brand with the SIC. When the media began this process, third parties could present oppositions to the registration. And it happened. Panamericana invited the ring journalists for the first time, explaining that confusion could arise for stationery customers and that its brand was much more distinctive, which is why it is prevalent in industrial property disputes

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However, they lost that opposition to the SIC Distinctive Signs Directorate in 2018 -the same one that today communicates a new setback to the stationery-. Panamericana then appealed, but they were defeated again before the SIC in 2020. In that opposition process, it should be noted, Actualidad Panamericana’s defense focused on alleging that the word “Panamericana” describes a place or origin. They argued that it refers to a group of countries in the Americas and, therefore, is not exclusive to an economic conglomerate.

But the judicial attack of Panamericana has not stopped there. In October 2019, the SIC Delegation for Jurisdictional Affairs decided in favor of Actualidad Panamericana in a trademark infringement process -different from the cancellation and opposition files-. That case reached the Superior Court of Bogotá, which last October once again raised the arm -as in boxing- of the media in this trademark dispute, in which Panamericana attacks and its rival defends itself.

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But Actualidad Panamericana still can’t fully sing victory. The Pan-American stationery and bookstore currently has a process of annulment and reestablishment of the right against the media before the Council of State. With this lawsuit, they seek that the high court overturn the resolutions that gave life to the Actualidad Panamericana brand, within the “class 41” of the Nice International Agreement. It is an international agreement that establishes a classification of products and services for the registration of trademarks. Meanwhile, the scoreboard registers a win for the satirists.

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