Trade marks

Panama is one of the world´s most important centers of import, export and re-export, and a big international seaport, which is due to its advantageous geographic position (proximity to the Panama Canal) and the autonomous free trade zone of Colon. In order to avoid unfair competition, counterfeiting of goods, or fraudulent practices connected with illegal use of intellectual property when performing trade operations under Panama’s jurisdiction, one should consider the necessity of registering a trademark and patenting an invention. As a member of the World Trade Organization and maintaining international standards regulating the rights of intellectual property owners, Panama has adopted a code that aims at opposing piracy and the violation of competition rules. All this enables honest entrepreneurs to protect their interests and gain maximum benefit from using their intellectual property in that country.

The Head Industrial Property Registration Office is responsible for granting patents to new inventions and recording trademarks in Panama. It requires a lot of entitlement documents to be filed and demands that all registration procedures be accurately observed. From its part, Midland Counselors would be happy to assist you in communicating with registering bodies of the Panama Republic, preparing all the necessary certificates and documents and paying state duties promptly.

The documents required to register a trademark

  • a power of attorney for the legal entity or private person who will represent the interests of the trademark owner in Panama (it should be drawn up before a notary and should contain references to the corresponding articles of domestic legislation if the representative is a legal entity or if the trademark rights belong to a private person; either apostille service or
  • certification of the power of attorney by the council of the law agent’s home country is also necessary);
  • law agent’s juration (affidavit statement) to a trademark;
  • brand name certificate of the trademark granted by the country of origin, and in case of registering a registered trademark in Panama, a copy of the respective certificate and an international registration request;
  • a copy of the trademark’s image (design) (if that is specified) with a description of the elements’ meanings.

The documents required to register a patent

  • the author’s power of attorney, and if the author of the invention has transferred the rights to a third party (a company), then the power of attorney from the company’s legal representative signed by the author so as to certify transfer of rights for the invention to that company;
  • two faithful copies of the invention’s specifications and the production process, plans and layouts of the patent invention;
  • a patent obtained in the invention’s country of origin, and for an invention whose patent request has not been filled yet, a copy of request to the national registering authorities.

The first trademark’s registration in Panama is valid for 5 years, and thereafter the registration is granted for the term of 10 years with the possibility of renewal. The patent life and term of exclusive use cannot exceed 20 years for patents granted in Panama, 15 years for foreign patents (or the life of the original patent granted by a foreign country), and 5 years for patents for pharmaceutical products.