The National Customs Office (DNA), as part of the anti-piracy policies developed by the national government, has created an internal trademark registry. The chief purpose of this registry is to safeguard the interests of trademark holders, as well as importers and the tax administration.

Consequently, the relevant Customs officer must verify whether the merchandise presented to the DNA bears a trademark registered in its database. If so, it must be reported immediately, so that the trademark holder or its trademark agent can be notified.

The trademark holder may request suspension of the clearance procedure, providing sufficient guarantee to cover any liability that may arise from unjustifiably requesting suspension.

Given that in Paraguay IP crimes are criminally actionable ex officio, in practice all that is required is to report the fact to the Trademark Prosecutor's Office, so that it can petition for suspension, and thereby avoid having to provide the aforesaid guarantee.

In order to initiate trademark registration procedures at the DNA, the trademark in question must have been registered with the National Intellectual Property Office (DINAPI). The registry granted by the DNA will be valid for the term of effectiveness of the trademark registry with DINAPI.

Efficient management of the DNA registry makes it possible to not only combat trademark piracy but also to avoid undue withholding of merchandise.

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.