Hi! Welcome to our blog for intellectual property law and practice in Latin America
Hola, bienvenido a nuestro blog de Derecho y práctica de la propiedad intelectual en Latinoamérica
Olá! Boa vinda a nosso blog para a lei da propriedade intelectual e a prática na América Latina

The battle of Pisco

Peru has scored once more in the international recognition of Pisco, their national drink.
The Registry of Industrial Property of Guatemala recognized Pisco as a Denomination of Origin (DO) produced in Peru. By Guatemala recognising Pisco as a drink from Peru, it prevents the registration of the name and any marketing of Pisco within the Guatemalan market if it has not complied with the Peruvian national regulation.

Back in 2017, 'Pisco' was declared Cultural Heritage of the Peruvian Nation (Law 30639). In the same year, the DO Pisco was also granted (by The Peruvian Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property INDECOPI) the character of ‘reputable mark’ due to its well-known status.

It is relevant to mention that Pisco is original to Peru as it is original to Chile – therefore there is a long battle between these two countries over the name ‘Pisco’. Pisco has obtained DOs in both jurisdiction as an original and native drink. Some countries would recognise Pisco as coming from Chile and others, from Peru, but not from both countries at the same time, except the EU. This is so because the EU registered Peruvian Pisco as a DO but acknowledged a previous trade agreement (2002) between Chile and the EU in which Pisco was recognized as a DO from Chile. The note clarifies that the protection granted to "Pisco" as a DO to Peru does not hinder the use of that name for products originating in Chile.

Malasia recognizes Pisco as a DO from Peru as well as, Israel, Nicaragua, Algeria, Cuba, Georgia, Haiti, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Dominica Republic, Venezuela, Nicaragua and India (since November 2018). However, Costa Rica, United States, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam recognize Pisco as a DO from Chile.

More information about Pisco here.

Handicraft: Brazilian GIs

From Brazil, we would like to report the application for a Geographical Indication (GI) for a handicraft.

A GI is set to differentiate products due to their geographical origin; it could be environmental conditions i.e. natural conditions and or cultural conditions, which are present on a region that gives the product certain unique qualities.

In Brazil, The Normative Instruction (IN) No 25/2013 Article 2 defines as a GI an ‘Indicação de Procedência’ (Indication of Source) and a ‘Denominação de Origem’ (Denomination of Origin (DO)). DO is more valued because it depends on proof that the product has special characteristics due to its geographical environment, including natural AND human factors.

The application was for the ceramics and decoration of Porto Ferreira, in the form of Indication of Source. Porto Ferreira is located in the central region of the state of São Paulo. It is claimed that the ceramics and its decoration follow a century-old tradition. The handicraft pieces includes plates, bowls, cups, porcelain and others. The production of the ceramics involves around 80 local companies.
Photo: INPI

Some outside actors were present in the application, and this is common in developing countries. The rational is that they may assist in the GI recognition processes. In this particular case, the city's mayor, the president of INPI, the Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism, the head of the Innovation division, and the president of the local producers' union attended. Moreover, not only before the application or during the application the team is helpful, but also it is recognised that once a GI is documented, it can boost an entire economic system associated with a specific local resource. This means that the producers themselves benefit as well as the entire region e.g. tourism.

Public consultation: Brazil opens up on GIs

November saw the Brazilian Intellectual Property Office opening a public consultation for the Draft on the ‘Normative Instruction’ that will establish the conditions for registration of Geographical Indications (GIs). This move aims to provide ‘transparency to the analysis and examination procedures’. Moreover, INPI adds that it is important to hear suggestions from users.

Comments and suggestions are open to anyone and they can be submitted until December 6, 2018 to consultapublicaig@inpi.gov.br. If you want to put your thoughts forward, here you can find the way to do it (a form available online). The Draft of the ‘Normative Instruction’ is available here (in Portuguese).

Talking about GIs in Brazil, in October two new GIs were granted, both in the agricultural sector.
Jabuticaba, Brazil
  1. 23 October 2018 an Indicação de Procedência (indication of source) was granted to products derived from jabuticaba, located in the municipality of Sabará. Products represented under this GI would be liqueur, jelly, sauce, crystallized bark and jam. Sabará is known for the production of jabuticaba derivatives. Jabuticada (Myrciaria cauliflora) is a seasonal fruit, a type of berry, native from Brazil. The city has been performing the Jabuticaba Festival of Sabará for more than twenty-five years. The derivatives come from traditional recipes (from generation to generation) which is ‘considered a strong element of cultural manifestation of who resides in the municipality’.
  2. 26 October 2018, a Denomination of Origin was granted to bananas of the region of Corupá. The Association of Banana Growers of Corupá (Asbanco) in Brazil, made this application back in February 2018. While they wished to obtain the certification by the Banana Day celebration on the 18th April, they still managed to obtain it in 2018. The bananas grown in the region of Corupá claim to be the ‘sweetest in the country’.
Brazil recognizes two types of GIs: Indicação de Procedência and Denominação de Origem. The latter has a strong link with the regions as it recognizes the name of a country, city or region whose product or service has certain specific characteristics thanks to its geographical environment, including natural and human factors. An Indicação de Procedência does not require all links with the region (extraction, production and manufacture) but just one will suffice. Moreover, the specific characteristics due to their geographical environment be it natural or human factors are not required.

Free trade mark databases – the presence of Latin American countries

Have you heard of TMview? This is a common online trade mark information platform. The platform, a free of charge tool, makes trade mark data (registration and application) widely available and easily accessible to all interested parties. The platform is used in the EU and in the ASEAN region.

Talking about views..this is my view!
from the 19th floor of the Korean
 Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in the EU administers the platform. It has operated since April 2010 and contains information from all of the EU national IP offices, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and a number of international partner offices outside the EU.

In Latin America, Mexico was the first country to participate, followed by Brazil, Colombia and in October 2017, Peru. These national IPOs made its trade mark data available to the TMview search tool.

Aside from TMview, there is also DesignView which operates as TMview, i.e., a platform that share data for industrial designs (application and registration) – Peru participates in this platform.

The new participant is Costa Rica, joining both the TMview and DesignView and so, it has now made available its trade mark (278,627 of them) and industrial design (1,700) data available to the EUIPO search tools. The number of trade marks in TMview is close to reach 50 millions (as of 06 November 2018).

Source EUIPO.

Traditional Knowledge and YOU!

I am not known as a selfish person, unless I am asked to share a chocolate cake; but looking to the amazing opportunity brought by WIPO I just wanted to keep it to myself!

Huichol's TCE, Mexico
The WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division is advertising an internship for 2019 taken place in Geneva. It is for an initial period of six months, which can be renewable for six months more. The post is addressed to those that have a background in intellectual property (IP) law, and an advanced degree (Master, PhD etc.). Particularly, they are looking for those that have an ‘interest in the relationship between IP and traditional knowledge, genetic resources and/or traditional cultural expressions.’[basically, me!].

For more information, check their web-page here. For you to be eligible, your advance degree should have been granted within a maximum of two y
ears from the completion of the studies [so, not me ;(].

Universities, Patents and Intellectual Property: do they match?

The Director of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) reports that the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), in Mexico City, is the Higher Education establishment that has filed the most patent applications during the period 2013-2018 (278 of them). Therefore, this month IMPI and UNAM signed a collaboration agreement on industrial property.
According to IMPI’s director, IMPI and UNAM share the same ‘commitment to support and promote entrepreneurship and the creation of innovation, as well as the promotion of the predominant role of industrial property, endorsing the protection and commercialization of intangibles.’

In the same line, IMPI notes that since 2012 has increased the Patent Centres (CePats) from 21 to 104. These centres, linked to IMPI, are entities that rise in the research and higher education institutions. They provide consultancies, updates, training in the field of technological information searches, patents, industrial designs, utility models and everything related to the protection of industrial property.

An interesting fact published by IMPI is the data regarding the number of patent applications filed by national Higher Education institutions which, added together, are 1,205 patent applications:
UNAM, 'the people to the university, the university to the people'
 by David Alfaro Siqueiros 

  • The UNAM, 278;
  • the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), 222;
  • the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 164;
  • the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, 140;
  • the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), 89;
  • the Secretaria de Educacion Publica-Technological National Education of Mexico, 81;
  • the Universidad de Guanajuato, 66;
  • the Universidad de Sonora, 64;
  • the Universidad Autonoma de Querétaro, 56; and
  • the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, 45.
Looking at this cooperation we can finally say that the academia and IP are counterparts, working together towards promoting innovation.

Smart IP for Latin America: calling researchers

Con gran entusiasmo anuncio que el Instituto Max Planck para la Innovación y Competencia, ubicado en Munich Alemania esta en la busqueda de dos investigadores academicos en el area de Propiedad Intelectual en Latinoamerica!!!
Let's tango...let's research in Buenos Aires!

Que es o quien es el Instituto Max Planck para la Innovación y Competencia?
El instituto fue creado en enero de 2011 como el Instituto Max Planck de derecho de propiedad intelectual, de la competencia y tributario. El instituto es independiente pero a su vez forma parte de la Sociedad Max Planck para el fomento de las ciencias que esta compuesta por más de 80 institutos y centros de investigación en Alemania y el extranjero.

La oferta – te buscan a ti
Si eres nuestro IPTango lector, esta plaza te puede interesar. El instituto esta ofreciendo DOS puestos para el cargo de investigador: uno a nivel junior y el otro post doctoral.
Lo mas fantastico de esta oferta es que la investigation sera en el Instituto en Munich (por 6 meses) y mas adelante teniendo la oportunidad de continuar en Buenos Aires, Argentina por dos anos mas!

Te lanzas?
Aquí te dejamos el link para que veas el perfil que buscan (junior y post doc) y las responsabilidades que tendras. Actua pronto pues las aplicaciones se recibiran hasta el dia 12 de Noviembre del 2018.


Gracias a Pedro Batista, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Legal Manager – GRUR Int, Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb, por comunicarnos y compartir esta informacion.