New conciliation rules in Industrial Property matters
Abstract: Law 2220 of 2022 modifies the conciliation regime in Colombia establishing pre-judicial conciliation as a procedural requirement in industrial property matters.
On December 30, 2022, the new Conciliation Law started to be applied in Colombia and introduced several important changes, including one with significant implications in terms of industrial property: conciliation as a requirement to request the annulment of decisions issued by the Industrial Property Office.
Before the Law 2220 was effective, in order to be able go to court and request the annulment of resolutions issued by the Industrial Property Office, it was not a requirement to request a conciliation hearing. However, Law 2220 modified the scope of reconcilable matters, establishing that all conflicts that may be heard by the Contentious Administrative Jurisdiction must be reconciled if conciliation is not expressly prohibited by Law
The foregoing, at first, has meant that, from now on, prior to the filing of the claim in which the nullity of an Industrial Property decision is sought, it is necessary to move forward with a conciliation hearing, otherwise, the claim will be inadmissible.
In this regard, it is worth noting that before the entry into force of this Law, it was possible to request the annulment before the judicial instance of the decisions to grant or deny an industrial property right without any conciliation, since the matters of industrial property were not reconcilable as they did not have an economic content.
Now, with the entry into force of Law 2220, when the annulment of Industrial Property decisions is demanded, extrajudicial conciliation must be carried out previously before the agents of the Public Ministry – Attorney General’s Office -, providing a special power directed to said Entity whose purpose is the conciliation hearing as a procedural requirement, a list of the claims and the evidence that would be asserted in the process. The conciliation hearing will be held in person or by virtual means.
It is important to mention that the request for an extrajudicial conciliation suspends the expiration term of the lawsuit, which may extend the initiation terms up to 3 more months, since the Law grants the General Attorney of the Nation a period of 3 months counted from the presentation of the request for conciliation, for its realization, once said term has expired without the hearing having been held, the General Attorney´s Office will lose jurisdiction to convene, the expiration term will be restarted and a lawsuit may be filed.
In conclusion, in matters of Industrial Property, as of December 30, 2022, the requests for annulment of the decisions issued by the Industrial Property Office, regardless of whether the claims have an economic content, must comply with the holding of a conciliation hearing as a prerequisite, the foregoing consists of a transcendental change in the practice of industrial property in judicial instances and implies a challenge both for the entities and for the holders of industrial property rights in Colombia.
Author: María José Lamus I [email protected] I Intellectual Property