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Humans have always found new ways to make a fortune; at first, it was from land, then from trade. Today it can be said that intangible assets have become the economic trend of our century, thus changing the paradigms about wealth.
The creations of the mind have proven to be capable of generating value in ways never before imagined; let’s take a look at Google Inc. for a moment, an entity that in 1998 launched its search engine, which is in itself such a powerful and advanced asset that it allowed it to easily surpass its competitors. Thanks to this, the aforementioned Corporation has created an economic empire founded on a binary algorithm, that is to say, a large number of ones and zeros on which all its lines of business operate.
Thus, from an idea conceived in the minds of its founders, a company valued on the stock market at close to US$350,000 million has been created.
In Colombia, our companies have been gradually awakening to this trend, which is why we are seeing more frequent registration of patents, industrial designs, layout designs and distinctive signs such as trademarks.
Specifically I would like to refer to them, because unfortunately it is quite common to find companies that never register their most valuable asset because they mistakenly confused the registration of the company name in the Chamber of Commerce with the registration of a trademark. I must mention that in our country, this type of entities do not have any jurisdiction or power on matters relating to industrial property, since Decree 1687 of 2010 and others issued previously, established that the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) is the competent in matters of Industrial Property in Colombia.
Under this order of ideas and being that a trademark is defined as any sign that is apt to distinguish products or services in the market, at the time of creating it, everything possible must be done to provide it with distinctiveness avoiding that it may generate confusion with others previously granted by the SIC and thus increase the chances of achieving a successful registration.
The latter grants the entrepreneur the right of exclusivity over the trademark and its uses, thus allowing him to oppose new registrations that affect his rights, image and positioning in the market.
According to Forbes magazine, Apple is currently the most valuable brand in the world with an estimated value of $145 billion dollars, a figure achieved in 39 years of existence and the result of its investment in advertising and innovation, which makes it a notorious brand with a global presence.
With this in mind, if a trademark can easily become one of the most valuable assets of a company, shouldn’t it have the highest possible protection, especially when the registration can be done virtually and making a cost/benefit analysis, it is really little what the payment of fees to the SIC can mean, compared to the protection obtained.
If our companies really want to be part of this new trend, they would do well to take the first step and protect their brands, because they must understand that money is no longer where it used to be, since in this new system true wealth is only possible through the value of ideas.
Author: Juan Esteban Vallejo
Credit: www.larepublica.co

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