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JbALVIN loses trademark case over use of ‘La Familia’ by Puerto Rican company
Colombian singer JbALVIN, whose real name is José Álvaro Osorio Balvin, has lost a trademark lawsuit in Colombia against a Puerto Rican music production company.
In February 2022, Puerto Rican music production company Star Island LLC applied in Colombia for the registration of the mixed trademark La Familia LC to be used to classify some of its products and services.
In April 2022, JbALVIN, through his attorney-in-fact Pablo Andrés Velasco, filed a lawsuit alleging that said trademark application infringed Jbalvin's song "La Familia".
In August of the same year, Star Island refuted the allegation, through its representative José Roberto Herrera Díaz of Colombian law firm Herrera Díaz Abogados, alleging that since there were many musical works titled "La Familia", such title could in no way be protected by copyright, since it was not original, and for which the musician’s lawsuit had no merit.
In a ruling, Colombia’s trademark watchdog, trademark office, by means of Resolution 81697 of 2022, rejected the artist’s opposition to the trademark registration, and also rejected the appeal filed by the artist's attorney.
In its ruling, the trademark authority concluded that evidently, when dealing with titles of works protected by copyright and which are not original, as is the case with hundreds of works titled "La Familia", the alleged grounds of preventing its registration could not be invoked.
The decision of the Colombian trademark office sets a precedent, according to a statement by Herrera Díaz Abogados, since it evidences that copyright protection of a musical work and copyright protection of the title of the same is not the same thing. If the title is not original, evidently the alleged grounds of the trademark being ineligible for registration cannot be invoked.
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