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Guatemala: protection for specialized imports

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guatemala, like several other Central American countries, will protect foreign products designated by geographical indication and designation of origin, following approval by Congress - expected before the end of the first half of 2013 - of reforms to the country's Industrial Property Law.

Similar reforms already apply in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.

The countries of the region committed to provide this protection, as part of an Association Agreement with the European Union.

In the case of Guatemala, the reforms will include a procedure to protect the names of foreign-origin products.

Sparkling wines from the Champagne in France, are an example of a designation of origin, which refers to protection of a product linked to its geography, as well as human and cultural qualities.

The new rules also cover so-called geographic indication. The Spanish nougats Jijona and Alicante are examples of geographic indications.

The reforms will be multilateral, such that qualifying imports from any country, will receive the same protection.

In the case of Guatemala itself, Café Antigua, Café Acatenango and Rums of Guatemala, are local products, which already the protecion of designation of origin.

Guatemalan laws already provide sanctions, including potential fines and imprisonment, already exist for violators of industrial property rules.

Once the reforms to the Industrial Property Law have been approved, the entities in charge of geographical indications and designations of origin may register their products in Guatemala's Industrial Property Registry.

For more information, please contact Ivon Hernandez at [email protected], or (502) 2324-3939 or 2279 -3939.