The Paraguayan Trademark Office granted its first soundmark on December 18 2001.

The application was filed on February 11 1999 in the name of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation. It included a basic description of the soundmark, as well as its musical score, and an audio cassette.

Although the Paraguayan Trademark Law (1294/1998) does not expressly provide for the registration of soundmarks, Article 1 states that “trademarks are all signs that serve to distinguish products or services”. Therefore, any unique and distinctive sound that serves to differentiate a product or service may be considered a mark.

Perhaps the most controversial issue raised by the application of this soundmark concerns the examination of registrability. In order to determine the soundmark’s distinctiveness, the trademark examiner requested an expert witness report from the director of the Symphonic Orchestra of the City of Asuncion. The expert’s report stated that after reading the music score and listening to the audio cassette, he considered the soundmark to be “completely original and new” to the best of his knowledge, and that no musical notes, rhythms or tempos were similar to existing sounds.

Based on this report, the director of the Industrial Property Office granted the first Paraguayan soundmark, which consists of a short symphonic sound, in international Classes 9 and 42.

For further information on this topic please contact Adriana Casati at Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors by telephone (+595 21 446706) or by fax (+595 21 449694) or by email ([email protected]). The Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors website can be accessed at