The Colombian Patent and Trademark Office:Steps towards the future

Revolutionary changes will be implemented in the administrative software that is in charge of the distinctive signs in the Superintendence of Industry and commerce (SIC), Colombia’s trademark authority.

With this new digital platform the SIC will have more control over their files and it will speed up the time for the processes so that the applicants receive an answer faster.  Additionally this will allow them to receive more trademarks applications over the year and at the same time give their clients the accurate service they deserve with positive results.

The National Government has raised the annual budget given to the SIC, they will allocate 7.300 million COP for this year (2015) compared to the 1.200 million COP from last year. This financial plan is set aside to invest in their technology development and to introduce a new software called Sword that it will provide a better service to the applicants in the Industrial Property Division.

One of the objectives of the SIC is to provide a quality service to their clients and to the law firms, to offer a trustable registration process. The purpose for this year (2015) is to launch the software Sword in April, a system that works with optical recognition, by just taking a screenshot of the image it will provide all the information about the similar trademarks that are registered.

This service will be paid in the same way as currently a search is paid. However the Superintendent delegate, José Luis Londoño, clarified that the complete search fee has not been set yet and that they should issue the corresponding resolution.

Another project of the SIC is to digitalize the entire bank of the trademarks registrations. According to the Director of Distinctive Signs, Maria Jose Lamus, the registration of trademarks has not been update since 2001. Right now, the records are located in microfilm files, which would not allow the user to see in a digital way the first trademark registration that rests in theSIC's archive. For this reason, by the end of this year (2015), with a contract that is already been assigned, the SIC has the goal to have all the files in the digital platform.

From paper to digital mode

Once the software is ready users will be provided with tools to facilitate their procedures. The SIC will offer each person a reliable system where everyone will have their own registration number and with this he can speed the necessary searches and fillings can be sped up.

Law firms have an important role in these new procedures because they have to get together with the SIC and with their respective clients, to purge the documents and have the information updated in the digital platform.

This should be done to systematize the software and to know the status of the process. After having everything digitized and updated the software will assign an identification number that will always be the same for the user and his brand along with a password, In addition, the law firm that represent the brand will receive 10 users and all the process will be in real time.

With this new implementation the SIC is moving from a system that identified the documents and located them to apply a certain procedure, to a digitized system with better workflow. Also this new tool will let the users optimize their tasks and search for the files virtually.

Watch out for more information in our publications, we will be updating the dates for the training's and the date of the launch for this new software.