• Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property implementing IP fee rises
  • Trademark filings increase by 41% to $97 USD, with renewals up 41% to $120
  • Law firms advised to inform clients before new fees implemented on October 1

Brand owners wishing to protect their trademark rights in Argentina should prepare for increased costs, as the country’s IP office recently implemented a two-stage set of fee rises. The changes, which will be fully implemented from October 1, sees some filing fees rise by over 50%.

In July, the Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) put into place a two-stage increase of fees for patents, trademarks, utility models and industrial designs via Resolution 311-E/2017. The first wave of fee changes came into effect in August, while the second phase will come into force on October 1. The total increase in fees will amount to approximately 40% on average, with the exception of recording assignments and name changes, both of which have increased by 100%.

The full set of fee increases can be seen here, and viewed below:

These increases fall in line with INPI’s policy of year-on-year IP cost rises that have taken place since 2011 – before then, it had not increased its fees since 1996. Commenting on the series of fee changes, Diego Palacio, attorney-at-law at Palacio & Asociados, notes: “The difference this year is that, despite governmental policy to curb inflation, the rate of increase remains high, which is especially noticeable for items such as trademarks and oppositions, which affect the most applicants.”

He went on to say that, in general, “these types of changes have an effect on the market in the short and medium term, but applicants will adapt to the new costs and then it will return to the status quo”. In fact, he suggests that patents are the most affected “since the jump in percentage of costs for payments of annuities is greater than the rest of the tariffs”, with a patent filing rise from $200 to $282. However, for foreign trademark and patent owners, it will be unlikely for this year’s fee changes to have a noticeable effect on filing work because “in terms of US dollars, the price variations are not so significant”. Indeed, at least one local law firm – O’Conor & Power – has already confirmed that it will “not amend its schedule of fees” despite the increases.

In fact, according to Juan Carlos Ojam, a partner at Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno, “the reaction to the changes has generally been positive”. The reasons for that, he adds, is that the fee increases will “help to improve the quality of services provided by INPI”, which “will help INPI be in line with other trademark offices in the region”. Overall, he said, the trademark community in Argentina is unperturbed about the move: “I believe the fees have not (and will not) affect the local trademark landscape in a negative manner, as we have seen a growth in trademark filings over the last few years in spite of similar updates.”

Domestic and international law firms alike would nevertheless benefit from informing their clients in advance of these changes, so that filings, payment of annuities and examination fees can be made before the relevant dates, meaning the increased rates don’t necessarily have to be passed on to the end user.