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Why Amazon could not register its virtual assistant Alex in Chile

Famous Amazon Voice Assistant and one of Jeff Bezos's most popular tools are with Chile, and after the Supreme Court refused to register his name in a country that coincides with a registered trademark for another company.

In January 2016, Amazon launched a process to register Alexa in Chile, but first, the brand registration 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 in other countries in Chile, both brands exist without problems, and according to Esteban Figueroa, the director of the Industrial Property Institute (Inapi) La Tercer, can not register the same Alexa time Amazon and Arnold & Richter "Alexa" because it would create a risk of confusion for consumers who might believe that products or services come from the same company or affiliated companies.

"The brand's registrability analysis is done on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the similarity of the trademarks but also the products or services that differentiate the pre-registered brand," he explains. "Nor can it be compared to the analysis carried out by other countries, as the applicable law in Chile and practice vary from country to country and thus only affects what is being sought on national territory."


In Chile, the National Institute of Industrial Property is a public authority that performs the functions of registration, administration and implementation of industrial property policy. That is, it is where companies have to register their commercial brands.

According to Inapi, the procedure registration of a trademark in Chile consists mainly of three stages: submission of application and official examination, processing of the publication of the extract in the Official Journal and verification of the validity of the application.

The first step is the presentation of the relevant applicationthat requires protection for products, services, commercial companies, industrial companies, or propaganda phrases. This application is subject to an official inspection to ensure that legal and regulatory requirements are met. Once the official inspection has been approved, the application must be published in the Official Journal to allow third parties to oppose the request if they consider that they have better rights. There is an objection or no Inapi makes a major check to make sure that the trademark application does not violate any legal grounds for the impossibility of registration. Once the application confirms this essential examination, the Inapi National Director will issue an administrative decision that will sign and then register it. If a trademark application is rejected, it is possible to appeal against this decision to the Industrial Property Court.

And this was exactly what Amazon did.

However, before this incident His request to use Alex's name was also rejected. Faced with this, The Bezos company appealed to the Supreme Courtwhere your request was again denied. Facing this, lThe US company filed an appeal in December, even with Arnold & Richter's letter agreeingexplaining that in international markets both companies co-existed without problems using the name "Alexa". Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has not decided to favor Bezos, which leaves Amazon unable to use Alexa technology to register it in Chile. An alternative would be to change the voice assistant's name, but that doesn't mean something like "Alecsa", it also takes into account that they represent a graphic or phonetic similarity with a trademark or a previously claimed one.

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

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