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Obligations according to the User and Consumer Protection Law in Guatemala

It is usual that when an entrepreneur, merchant, businessman or any other person is about to start their business, tend to review economic matters such as: investment, costs, profits; legal issues as the incorporation of the company; tax and accounting matters; marketing, etc. However, in many cases, they forget the importance of complying with requirements established by law, to trade certain products or services. In general, all products and services must comply with the provisions established in the User and Consumer Protection Law, Decree number 06-2003. Which, by the way, has as objective that every provider of products and services respects life, health and safety of the consumer or user.

To this end, on this occasion some of the obligations that are closely related to Intellectual Property issues are briefly mentioned, such as:

a) Deliver the consumer or user the products and/or carry out the services, according to the specifications that are offered through advertising.

b) Be responsible for the suitability and quality of the products and services, for the authenticity of the trademarks and advertising signs that are displayed in the products and/or services provided.

The above is very important, because it is well known that the recognition of a trademark or any other distinctive sign, is built through the quality of the product or service provided. Consequently, it is important that the delivered products and performed services are consistent with what is offered; moreover, they must be authentic and original. Since, not only the Assistance and Attention to the Consumer Direction is the entity in charge of ensuring compliance with these obligations, but also any affected person, can take legal actions against the violator of these obligations.

Therefore, it is very important that anyone who has an interest in providing a service or product, verifies if is complying with the provisions contained in the User and Consumer Protection Law and performs a “check list” of the obligations described therein, to avoid possible sanctions by the Authority and moreover commit acts that can be considered as crimes.

Elizabeth Flores Barrios
García & Bodán