BOLIVIA, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR AND PERU
THE JUSTICE COURT OF THE ANDEAN COMMUNITY ESTABLISHED THE CRITERIA REGARDING THE REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS COMPOSED BY ONE OR TWO WORDS
Decision 486 expressly states that letters and numbers may constitute trademarks, provided that they are distinctive and that said distinctiveness may be present at the beginning of the application process or even may be supervening.
Although the Court has accepted the registration of trademarks composed by one or two letters, it warns that the registrability exam of trademarks that consist exclusively of Latin letters must be thorough due to the scarcity of letters.
The guidelines established by the Court are the following:
- When a trademark is composed by one single letter, it must be accompanied by special graphic elements and must be stylized by a particular typeface. The more atypical the graphic element is, the more likely the letter is to be considered distinctive. A striking and unusual edge also contributes to the trademark’s distinctiveness.
- It is possible to register two letters as a trademark, unless they are descriptive (including abbreviations and acronyms), indicative, generic, usual or lack distinctiveness.
- Special attention is required when it comes to technical products, for which certain letters have a descriptive meaning.
- The Court provided examples of signs devoid of distinctiveness, such as: XL for clothing, SOS for pharmaceuticals, ABC for agendas, SDK for software development kits and MP3 for music players.