Saturday , February 27 2021

Why Amazon was unable to register its virtual assistant Alexa in Chile?

Alexa, Amazon's famed voice assistant and one of Jeff Bezos's most popular gadgets, is having trouble getting to Chile after the Supreme Court rejected the registration of his name in the country to match the trademark to another company .

In January 2016, Amazon began the process of registering Alexa in Chile, but in the first instance, the registration of the brand could not be done because the German audiovisual company Arnold & Richter Cine Technik had already registered the name "Alexa".

Although the company is dedicated to the manufacture of cameras and other countries coexist both brands without problems, in Chile, and according to Esteban Figueroa, national director of the Institute of Industrial Property (Inapi) for La Tercera, can not be registered at the same time "Alexa" of Amazon and "Alexa" of Arnold & Richter, because it would create a risk of confusion for the consumers, who could believe that the products or services come from the same company or related companies.

"The registrability analysis of a brand is carried out on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the similarity of the brands, but also the products or services that differentiate the previously registered brand," he explains. "Similarly, it can not be compared with the analysis carried out by other countries, since the legislation applicable in Chile and in practice varies from country to country and, consequently, affects only what is intended to be registered in the national territory."


In Chile, the National Institute of Industrial Property is the public agency that performs the functions of registration, administration and implementation of industrial property policies. That is, that is where companies must register their trademarks.

According to Inapi, the procedure registering a trademark in Chile basically comprises three stages: entry and formal examination of the application, processing of the publication of the extract in the Official Gazette of the Union and examination of the merits of the application.

The first step is to present the respective application, which must request protection for products, services, commercial establishments, industrial establishments or advertising phrases. From this application, a formal examination to verify that legal and regulatory requirements are met. Once the formal examination has been approved, the application must be published in the Federal Official Gazette, so that third parties can oppose the request if they consider that they have a better right. There was opposition or not, Inapi conducts a substantive examination to verify that the trademark application does not infringe any of the legal grounds for non-registration. Once the request approves this substantive examination, the National Director of Inapi grants the administrative resolution granting the mark and subsequent registration thereof. If the trade mark application is rejected, there is the possibility of appealing against this decision before the Industrial Property Court.

And the latter was exactly what Amazon did.

Before that instance, however, Your request to use the Alexa name was also rejected. Therefore, The Bezos company appealed to the Supreme Court, where your request was denied again. Given this, lIn December, the US company filed an appeal for refueling, even using a letter from Arnold & Richter, where it gave its consent, explaining that in international markets both companies coexisted using the name "Alexa" without problems. Despite this, the Supreme Court did not rule in favor of Bezos' company, which leaves Amazon unable to use Alexa's technology to be registered in Chile. The alternative would be to change the name of the voice assistant, but it would not serve to change something similar, such as "Alecsa", since it also takes into account that they have graphic or phonetic similarity with trademarks or previously requested.

Today, large companies in the market, such as Google and Apple, have their own personal voice assistants, with voice commands set to call them ("Ok Google" and "Hey Siri", respectively). In the case of Amazon, calling it "Alexa" allows you to consult on time, shop, ask about traffic conditions, create routines, make video calls and dictate and send text messages, among many other functions.

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