“Andá pa’ allá”, “no hay plata” and phrases that cannot be registered as trademarks in Argentina

On April 24th, the Trademark and Patent Office (PTO) has issued the regulation No. 2024-141 limiting the registration of “phrases that have entered general use and highly offensive signs”.
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The purpose of this measure is to discourage trademark applications that copy or refer to phrases or words “associated with certain personalities,” as this could lead to “potential undue exploitation of their prestige, image, or reputation.”

Some of the most notable recent cases that meet these criteria include Lionel Messi during the Qatar World Cup—when the phrase “¿Qué mirás? – ¡Anda para allá!” (“What are you looking at? Go over there!”) went viral—and a phrase by the current Argentine President, Javier Milei, during his inaugural speech “No hay plata” (There’s no money”). In both cases, the PTO database shows that trademark applications attempting to take advantage of these phrases quickly appeared.

In December 2022, more than 30 trademark applications related to Messi’s phrase were filed, all of which were denied by the PTO.