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02 March 2020
Until the approval of Emergency Decree 274/2019 on 17 April 2019, the regulation of unfair competition in Argentina was characterised by a lack of organisation, narrow scope and lack of a general rule for standardising unfair competition behaviour.
The situation changed radically after the approval of the new decree, which established a comprehensive system for regulating unfair competition.
The legal basis of the new decree explained that it was issued pursuant to "sections 10 bis and 10 ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, approved by laws nos. 17,011 and 22,195".
The Paris Convention establishes that signatory countries must have secure and effective protection against unfair competition.
The new decree sets out numerous provisions that are relevant to the IP field, including provisions addressing the regulation of comparative advertising, designations of origin, secrecy, data exclusivity and trademarks.
Emergency Decree 274/2019 sets out provisions addressing designations of origin.
Specifically, Sections 23 and 24 of the new decree state as follows:
SECTION 23. Prohibition of use. Notwithstanding the provision of Laws Nos. 22,362 and its amendatory laws 24,425 and 25,163, 25,380 and its amendatory law and law 26,355, a designation of origin, either domestic or foreign, may not be used for identifying a good or service when the latter does not come from the respective zone. For such purpose, designation of origin shall be understood as the geographic name of a certain country, region or place that is used for designating a good or service originating therein and whose quality or properties are exclusively or essentially due to the geographical environment, which comprises natural and human factors.
SECTION 24. Designation of generalized use. Designations of origin of generalized use, which can be used freely, shall be those that given their extended use have become the name or type of the good.
For further information on this topic please contact Daniel R Zuccherino at Obligado & Cia by telephone (+54 11 4114 1100) or email (email@example.com). The Obligado & Cia website can be accessed at www.obligado.com.
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