Amazon has lost in its attempt to register its virtual assistant “Alexa” in Chile. The company admitted the defeat after numerous judicial obstacles.
Both the Supreme Court of Chile and the Industrial Property Court (INAPI) prevented Amazon from formally registering its product due to name complications. According to the resources, the German manufacturer Arnold & Richter Cine Technik previously patented a product with the same name in Chile.
Alexa is a multipurpose “assistant” that transforms the way people perform mundane tasks. By calling “Alexa”, it allows users to create routines, make video calls, read the news, send messages.
To avoid mistakes, deceptions or confusion among consumers, Alexa will not be legitimized in Chile in the short term. This may discourage CEO Jeff Bezos, who started the trademark registration process in January 2016.
Amazon officials tried to repeal the original decision of the Supreme Court, but experienced a greater rejection in INAPI in December 2018. This committee oversees the registration, administration and implementation of industrial property policies.
“The marks in question are graphically and phonetically identical,” said an INAPI representative. “The product protected by the previously registered trademark is closely related to those requested.”
The sources say that Amazon obtained a letter of consent from Arnold & Richter Cine Technik. Theoretically, this should have allowed both products under the same name to “coexist” in the same market. Despite the justification, the country’s supreme court once again rejected Amazon’s appeal on January 10.
Virtual assistants like Alexa will not disappear soon. Voice-activated software has even overtaken smartphones as the fastest growing devices in the market.