National Academy of Continuing Legal Education

September 18, 2023

IP9100 - A Primer on Trademarks: What Every Practitioner Needs to Know 

About This Course In today’s digital world, trademark protection is increasingly critical and complex. This fascinating CLE course will delve into the issue of trademark and over all of the basics issues needed to understand and protect trademarks. The course will explain what trademarks are, review the different types, and explain which terms or images are registrable, the benefits to registered trademarks and how to best prevent infringement. The registration process and available resources will also be presented.

Lecturer Bio Paola Gabriela Zaragoza Cardenales, Esq. Paola Gabriela Zaragoza Cardenales is a New York bar attorney and has an SJD from Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer Law. She has an LLM from UC Berkeley and a JD-BBA from the University of Puerto. She has worked as a law clerk and accounting assistant in places such as the Federal District Court of Puerto Rico, Toyota, and Nissan. Her goal is to have her intellectual property law firm and become a professor running a Law Clinic, both geared to helping those who lack the resources to pay for legal services. She runs a gluten-free gastronomic tourism blog called Culinary Road Trips Puerto Rico, publishing written and video posts. Her passions outside law and food are hiking, painting, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. She is a mentor to other students, started a pro bono for domestic violence prevention, participated in two Law Clinics, and led student class directives. She also published various intellectual property and corporate law articles in Puerto Rico's leading newspaper, the University of Puerto Rico's Law School Journal, and independent magazines.


In 2016, the Puerto Rican Congress codified the “Law for the use of the DelPaís Mark” (the DelPaís Law), creating a composite certification mark called Productos DelPaís de Puerto Rico (the DelPaís Mark) for raw fruits, milk, honey, meats, egg, fish, ornamental plants, spices, vegetables, starches, and value-added products. The Puerto Rican Department of Agriculture intended the DelPaís Mark to function as a certification mark and Geographical Indication (GI) to differentiate local from imported products to promote purchasing of locally produced items and eventually export internationally. A GI is a source identifier identifying that a place makes a particular product with unique characteristics, so there is a higher consumer’s recognition and willingness to buy such products and help these communities’ economic development. Despite the Department’s efforts, the DelPaís Mark deters positive economic growth of small and medium enterprises, failing as a Certification Mark and potential GI. The cases of Café de Colombia, Hawaiian Kona Coffee, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, and Tequila de Mexico derive Five Factors predominating in GI policies. These are Product Definition, Collective Organization, Marketing, Legal-Institutional Framework, and Economic Impact. Some issues found in the DelPaís Law range from inconsistent marketing, vague administrative procedures, lack of product definitions, disorganized support, and limited economic impact. Recommendations serve as guidelines for uniformity in production, marketing plan, organizing supply chain, financial and technical aid, a cooperative food hub, and recording data to measure progress and attract investors for the existing certification mark and creating a GI.

Recommended Citation Zaragoza Cardenales, Paola Gabriela, "The "Law to Use the Mark the DelPaís," Act 195-2016: Case Study of a Puerto Rican Certification Mark with Potential of Becoming a Geographic Indication for Economic Development" (2022). Maurer Theses and Dissertations. 109. 

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