Chilean Trademark Law and Piracy


Rodrigo Cooper

Chilean IP practice shows a strong record against trademark piracy.

Although Chile became a member of the Paris Convention in 1991 and subsequently formally established a legal prohibition to register famous and notorious trademarks created and registered abroad by others, our competent courts had ruled against trademark piracy well before 1991.

This appears as a contradiction because in addition to the lack of an explicit legal provision against piracy, Chilean trademark law does not have any provisions on the lack of use of a trademark. Indeed, the lack of use of a registered trademark has no effect at all and may not be used as the basis for a cancellation action.

In other words, a trademark may be registered forever, provided it is renewed every 10 years, and nobody can challenge it even if it has never been actually used. The absence of trademark use requirements favour trademark piracy because a local registration may indefinitely block a legitimate trademark owner from introducing his products or services to Chile, finding that a pirate anticipated him by registering the trademark in his name.

Chile, INAPI, Paris Convention, piracy, Calvin Klein