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Why Amazon could not register its virtual assistant Alec in Chile

Alec, a renowned Amazon voice assistant and one of Jeff Bezosa's most popular devices, has trouble getting to Chile after the Supreme Court refused to register his name in the country to coincide with the registered trademark. for another company.

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

Although the company is dedicated to the production of cameras in other countries, both brands co-exist without problems in Chile, and according to Esteban Figueroi, the national director (s) of the Institute of Industrial Property (Inapi) for La Tercera, they can not register in the same way. "Alec" is the time of Amazon and "Alec" Arnold and Richter, as this would create a risk of confusion for consumers who might believe that products or services come from the same company or related companies.

"The analysis of the brand registration is carried out on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the similarity of brands, but also products or services that distinguish the previously registered brand," he explains. "Likewise, it can not be compared to the analysis carried out by other countries, because the current law in Chile and practice vary from country to country and consequently only affect what is being attempted to register in the national territory."


In Chile, the National Institute for Industrial Property is a public body that carries out the functions of registering, managing and implementing industrial property policies. That is, where companies must register their commercial brands.

According to Inapa, the procedure register a stamp in Chile basically consists of three phasesenrollment and formal examination of the application, processing of the publication of the excerpt in the Official Gazette and examination of the merits of the application.

The first step is to present the appropriate applicationwho must seek the protection of products, services, commercial facilities, industrial facilities or propaganda phrases. A formal overview is made from this application to check that legal and regulatory requirements have been met. When formal examination is granted, the application must be published in the Official Journal so that third parties may oppose the claim if they consider it to be better off. There was opposition or not, Inapi conducts a substantive examination to determine that the trademark application does not violate any legal grounds for non-registration. When an application approves this substantive test, the National Director of Inapi provides an administrative resolution granting the mark and subsequent registration of the same. If the request for a mark is rejected, there is a possibility of appealing against this decision before an industrial property court.

And this is the last thing exactly what Amazon did.

Before this instance, however, His request to use the name Alek was also rejected. Faced with this, Bezos Company complained to the Supreme Court, where your request was rejected again. Faced with this, meThe US company filed an appeal in December, even using a letter from Arnold and Richter, where she gave her consent, explaining that in the international markets, both companies were without the name "Aleka". Despite this, the Supreme Court did not opt ​​for the benefit of Bezos, which leaves Amazon not able to use Alec technology to be registered in Chile. An alternative would be to change the name of a voice assistant, but that would not serve to change something similar, such as Alecsa, since it also takes into account that they represent a graphic or phonetic similarity with trademarks or previously requested.

Currently, large companies in the market, such as Google and Apple, have their own voice assistants with established voice commands to call them ("Ok Google" and "Hei Siri"). In the case of Amazon, calling from "Alec" allows you to consult about time, buy, ask about traffic conditions, create routines, make video calls, and dictate and send text messages among many other functions.

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