The Ecuadorian trademark legislation in effect in the Intellectual Property Law determines that the registration of a trademark confers upon its owner the right to take action against third parties if the trademark is used without the owner’s consent, especially if it used on products or services that are identical or similar to the products or services protected by the registered trademark, in any of the following cases:
- Use in trade of a symbol that is identical or similar to a registered trademark used on products or services that are identical or similar to the products or services protected by the registered trademark, when the use of such symbol can cause confusion or can produce for the owner monetary or commercial damage or can prompt a dilution or loss in the trademark’s distinctive force;
- Sale, offering, storage or introduction into trade of products or offering of services with the trademark;
- Importation or exportation of products with the trademark; and,
- Any other act which due to its nature or purpose could be considered analogous or assimilable to the above.
In light of the above types of cases of infringement of the Intellectual Property Law and provided the rights of Intellectual Property are of public interest, the Ecuadorian State, through the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute, IEPI, shall assert administrative tutorship over Intellectual Property and shall also oversee the full performance and compliance thereof.
As stated above and in accordance with the Intellectual Property Law, urgent protection precautionary measures, such as inspections, can be requested to witness the imminent infringement of the trademark law, removal of signs, or confiscation of counterfeit merchandise or objects. After concluding the investigative and precautionary process, IEPI, based on its vested powers, can issue a grounded resolution, penalize the infringer with a fine between US$ 52, and $1820 and if they conclude the existence of the commission of a crime IEPI then sends a copy of the administrative case to the appropriate Criminal Judge and to the Public Ministry.
It is important to note that the Law confers upon IEPI broad powers to protect the interests and complete fulfillment of its duties and to request public force, especially Judicial Police, to provide the assistance required. In the same manner, IEPI can direct customs administrators and anyone with control over the entrance or departure of merchandise into or out of Ecuador to stop the entrance or exportation of counterfeit merchandise and products that infringe Intellectual Property rights.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.