As is usual at a global level, for all of the procedures related to Intellectual Property it is necessary that the physical person or legal person applying for the registration of a trademark (renewal or modification, as the case may be) grants a power of attorney to the Lawyer or Office that acts as an agent of intellectual property.
Depending on the country, in some cases is not required a special formality or legalization of the power of attorney when it comes from abroad. In the Ecuadorian case, it is compulsory that the power of attorney must be granted before a Notary Public, (a public officer who has the attribution to give public faith or to authenticate documents), who must verify the identity of the grantor or the representative, the authenticity of the signature, and the capacity to act in behalf of the grantor, when it is the case of a legal representative of a corporation or a person authorized to grant powers of attorney in name of the grantor. Later, it is necessary the legalization, which is required for all the documents issued in other countries, this may be done through diplomatic channels (Ecuadorian Consul) or, thanks to the Hague Convention, through Apostille which authenticates the capacity of the Notary who acted and the legality of the process.
According to the rules of Administrative Law exempt the user from demonstrating more than once the same fact or to provide documents that are already stored or filed in a Public Institution, therefore, many years ago in Ecuador it was enough to refer to the power of attorney that has already been submitted. However, now a process of registration of powers of attorneys has been created, and operates digitally thanks to the Internet platform of the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property.
The new Organic Code on the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation, incorporates an important rule, specifically the Article 98, which imposes an obligation to the applicant or rights holder not domiciled in Ecuador, to have a legal representative or legal agent through a power of attorney registered at the Trademark Office in Ecuador. This substantial change, is oriented to have certainty of who is the legal representative or agent in Ecuador with the power to represent the applicant in any Administrative or Judicial procedures and before administrative and judicial authorities, this excludes the possibilities that the agent is authorized only to file renewals or to proceed with any act limited exclusively to a specific sign or trademark, for example.
Meanwhile, we are cautious and vigilant to the Regulations -to be issued soon- that will develop and implement the Article 98 of the above-mentioned law, therefore, we suggest to all of our clients and associates to abstain from granting multiple powers of attorney or having different agents for various procedures in Ecuador; not only to comply with this rules but also to avoid an undesirable additional effect, which is that the client's portfolio will not be updated, as different Law offices would be handling many processes. All of this makes compulsory to consolidate the management of their intellectual property matters in a single agent.
We remain at your entire disposal if you have any doubts or concerns about this or other matters.