Ecuador: El ámbito de protección de una marca frente a la discrecionalidad de la autoridad de propiedad intelectual. Caso prozol vs prezoil.

Last Updated: 2 September 2019
Article by Katherine González H

El Servicio Nacional de Derechos Intelectuales -SENADI- del Ecuador rechazó una oposición presentada por el titular de la marca PROZOL y permitió el registro de la marca PREZOIL, al considerar que los productos protegidos no eran los mismos.

Para llegar a esta conclusión, se tomó como referencia la información contenida en una página web y no la que constaba en el propio certificado de registro emitido por el SENADI.

Cualquier signo que sea apto para distinguir productos o servicios en el mercado puede ser registrado como marca. La protección que confiere el registro está directamente relacionada con los productos o servicios que esta distingue.

Ecuador aplica la Clasificación Internacional de Productos y Servicios para el Registro de Marcas —Clasificación de Niza—, la cual permite diferenciar y delimitar la protección de una marca, de acuerdo con la clase en la que se encuentren comprendidos los productos o servicios específicos que se pretenden proteger y para los cuales será efectivamente utilizada.

El ámbito de protección de una marca está directamente relacionado con los productos o servicios que distingue. Es tan relevante dicha relación que un requisito indispensable que debe cumplir la solicitud de registro, de acuerdo con la Decisión 486 de la Comisión de la Comunidad Andina1, es identificar los productos o servicios específicos que estarán bajo su protección y la clase internacional a la que corresponden.

 

Oposición presentada por el titular de la marca PROZOL:

La empresa IMPORTADORA PEREZ JURADO ASOCIADOS CIA. LTDA solicitó ante el SENADI el registro de la marca PREZOIL. Frente a dicha solicitud, PROTÉCNICA INGENIERÍA S.A. formuló oposición alegando que la similitud con su marca PROZOL2, generaría confusión en los consumidores y ocasionaría un riesgo de asociación.

En este caso, el SENADI reconoció expresamente que los signos son similares; sin embargo, decidió rechazar la oposición, ya que en su criterio no existía relación entre los productos protegidos por los signos en conflicto3, a pesar de encontrarse comprendidos en la misma clase internacional y que el ámbito de protección de la marca PROZOL incluye a los productos específicos protegidos por el signo PREZOIL, como se puede apreciar en el siguiente cuadro:

Marca Clase internacional Productos protegidos
PROZOL (registrada) 01 Productos: Productos químicos destinados a la industria.
PREZOIL (solicitada) 01 Productos: Productos químicos destinados a la industria:

– Líquidos de frenos

– Líquidos para circuitos hidráulicos

Refrigerantes.

En su análisis, la Autoridad no tomó en cuenta la información que consta en el certificado de registro de la marca PROZOL, en la que claramente se identifican los productos para los cuales se solicitó y obtuvo el registro. El SENADI, de manera sorpresiva y en franca vulneración de la normativa y la jurisprudencia andina, decidió que los derechos sobre la marca PROZOL solo eran aplicables a un tipo de producto: "agentes emulsificantes para pastelería."

Para llegar a esa conclusión, la Autoridad de Propiedad Intelectual habría revisado de oficio una supuesta página web perteneciente a PROTÉCNICA INGENIERÍA S.A. y consideró que la información obtenida en esa fuente era suficiente para determinar que el producto mencionado (agentes emulsificantes para pastelería) era el único protegido por la marca PROZOL, omitiendo por completo las consideraciones antes mencionadas sobre el alcance de protección de una marca.

En el caso expuesto no existe un análisis que justifique cuál fue el criterio jurídico utilizado para considerar que el ámbito de protección de una marca recae únicamente sobre un producto mencionado en una página web; y, tampoco se explica por qué no se tomaron en cuenta los productos protegidos por la marca PROZOL, de acuerdo con el registro otorgado por la propia Autoridad.

Esta actuación podría ocasionar una serie de efectos negativos y generar incertidumbre jurídica para los titulares de marcas, ya que, de mantenerse la posición expuesta en el caso examinado, no será posible tener certeza sobre el ámbito de protección de una marca. En un escenario aún más delicado, implicaría que el SENADI podría considerar que algunos productos quedan fuera de la protección de una marca, sin mayor sustento que la información que eventualmente aparezca en internet o en cualquier otra fuente ajena al procedimiento.

Footnotes

1 Artículo 139, literales f) y g) de la Decisión 486 de la Comisión de la Comunidad Andina.

2 Solicitud Nro. 2012-32781.

3 Resolución OCDI-2019-524 de fecha 10 de junio de 2019. Expediente: 15-5435-RA-1S-RR-2017.

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