INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN EL SALVADOR
First Renewal Term
Subsequent Renewal Term
The Trademarks Law (as amended in 2006) 2009 - is the primary law governing the mechanism of trademark registration and protection in El Salvador.
For getting a trademark registered in El Salvador, an application has to be filed with the Registry of Intellectual Property (RIP), which administers the entire trademark registration process.
Trademarks are protected through registration – one per international class (1 to 44) – at the Registry of Intellectual Property (RIP).
The Nice Convention for the International Classification of Goods and Services also applies. The 11th edition of the Nice Classification came into force on 1st January 2017.
Priority can be claimed according to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
El Salvador is a ‘first-to-file’ jurisdiction; therefore, no rights emerge from merely using a mark without filing an application. The Trademarks Law does not specify how much use is required to establish unregistered rights.
Any party with a legitimate interest can file an opposition action against a trademark application within two (02) months following its publication in the official gazette.
Registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of registration, which can be further renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten (10) years each.
A renewal application must be filed within one (01) year before the expiration date.
There is a grace period of six (06) months to renew the trademark after the expiration date.
Cancellation of a trademark for non-use was abolished in 2002, but reintroduced in 2006, following the implementation of the DR-CAFTA to allow for full or partial cancellation of a mark that has not been used for five (05) consecutive years. Partial cancellation will affect only those goods or services for which the mark is not being used.
A patent can be registered in El Salvador pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 912 of December 14, 2005, and Amendment of the Law on the Promotion and Protection of Intellectual Property, which provides for the local patent applications.
El Salvador has been a contracting party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property since February 19, 1994. Furthermore, it is a party to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.
In El Salvador, an invention that satisfies the conditions of originality, novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, subjects to patentability. Process patent and product patent are the two types of patents that can be protected.
The types of patent applications that can be filed include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
El Salvador is signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and accordingly, national phase filing of a PCT patent is possible. It is encouraged if the applicant is seeking coverage in another domicile. A PCT application can simplify the process of seeking patent protection in countries that are party to the PCT.
The Intellectual Property Law provides an opposition procedure enabling the filing of observations to the patentability requirements of a new invention, within two (02) months after publication of the patent extract notice in the Official Gazette.
It usually takes around two (02) to three (03) years for the Registry at the National Center of Registries to process an application for registration. Paris Convention priority can be claimed. Once the registration is complete, the Registry will issue a Certificate of Registration.
A patent registration is valid for twenty (20) years. Once the registration has expired, it cannot be renewed.
Once a patent has been registered in El Salvador, there is an annuity payable to the El Salvadorian Government each year. The first fee is due before the end of the second year of filing and the subsequent fees are due on the anniversary of the application date. Annuities for a PCT issued patent are due on the same dates. Failure to pay an annuity will result in the rights protected by the registration being placed in abeyance. The same will effectively prevent any enforcement action from being taken.
Law on the Promotion and Protection of Intellectual Property (Decree No. 604 of July 15, 1993) - governs and deals with the mechanism of registration of industrial designs in El Salvador.
El Salvador has been a contracting party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property since February 19, 1994.
A registered design right in El Salvador will be established through registration only.
For getting an industrial design registered in El Salvador, an application has to be filed with the Commercial Registry, which administers the entire process of registration.
In El Salvador, multiple design applications are possible if the multiple designs belong into the identical Locarno class. Such a multiple application will affect the reduction of the office fees.
Opposition cannot be filed by a third party in El Salvador against an industrial design application.
The total duration of industrial design registration in El Salvador is fifteen (15) years from the date of application. The initial registration term is five (05) years, which is further extendible for two (02) terms of five (05) years each upon payment of the renewal fee.
Utility Models are issued by the Commercial Registry with a non-renewable term of ten (10) years, counted from the filing date of the application.
A grace period of three (03) months is allowed for the late payment of the renewal fee, subject to the prescribed surcharge. The registration shall remain in full force until the grace period expires.
El Salvador implemented decree No. 604 of the legislative Assembly of El Salvador on 16th August 1993. This law is aimed at protecting the economic and moral rights of Salvadoran authors and foreigners residing in El Salvador, granted by the very fact of creating literary, artistic, and scientific works.
In El Salvador, copyright comes into existence as soon as the work is created. No formality is required to be done for obtaining copyright protection. However, one can avail some facilities for having the work registered in the National Center of Registries. A certificate is issued by the Registrar of Copyright that makes prima-facie evidence of ownership of copyright.
El Salvador is a member country of the Berne Convention.
The duration of copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus seventy (70) years after his death.
In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, where the author is not reported, copyright protection lasts for seventy (70) years.
If the authorized disclosure was not made or done in fifty (50) years starting from the year of creation or release of the work, translation, and execution of this issue, the protection period is taken from 1st January of the following year after the content was released, performed, or created. Initially, the law was created as a continuation of fifty (50) years, which was amended in 2005, increasing the period to seventy (70) years after the author’s death.