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

Impacto económico de las marcas en América Latina

ASIPI e INTA acaban de publicar el informe “Las marcas en América Latina: Estudio de su impacto económico en 10 países de la región”. Este informe es una extensión del informe previamente publicado en el 2016.

En ese primer informe, se evaluó la contribución económica de las industrias intensivas en marcas en Chile, Colombia, Perú, Panamá, y México. En este nuevo informe, se actualizan los resultados de los citados países y se extendió el análisis a cinco nuevos países: Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica, Guatemala y República Dominicana.

Los resultados elaborados muestran que las actividades intensivas en marcas tienen una participación significativa en términos de empleo, actividad económica y comercio exterior en las economías de los países latinoamericanos bajo estudio. En promedio, estas actividades aportan el 18% del empleo, el 22% del Producto Bruto Interno, el 31% de las exportaciones y el 34% de las importaciones.

Además, los sectores intensivos en marcas pagan salarios más altos que el resto de la economía, lo que denota su mayor productividad. La comparación internacional permitió mostrar que esos resultados son semejantes a los disponibles para los Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea, tomando en cuenta las diferencias entre los patrones de producción y desarrollo de ambos grupos de países.

El estudio completo puede consultarse aquí (en español). El resumen ejecutivo se puede consultar en español, inglés y portugués. La información por país está disponible aquí.

Brazil: Madrid Protocol in practice

This week, the Brazilian Intellectual Property Office (INPI) published the first process for international applications of trade marks.

It is observed, that the exam integrates the new activities performed by INPI, including electronic filing and the transmission of the international application at the WIPO International Secretariat.
This publication remarks on the variations observed during the Madrid Protocol certification exam. Thus, the Industrial Property Magazine (RPI) in its ‘trade mark’ section includes now a chapter called: Protocol of Madrid.

INPI also reports that its national office has received a request for an international trade mark application. This has already been sent to WIPO through a very efficient and speedy process since it was done within twenty days, which is less than one-third of the deadline set for this step (two months is the set time).

The spet by step guidance published by INPI can be found here (in Portuguese)

More info here (in Portuguese)

Chile vs Peru: the battle over ‘Pisco’ continues

The Peruvian Ministry of External Relations has issued a Press Release stating that Peru will appeal to the ruling of the Court of First Instance of Thailand against the registration of a Chilean association that intends to use the term Pisco.
Press Release 010 - 19
Given the news reports that advance the ruling of the Court of First Instance on Intellectual Property and International Trade of Thailand, it should be stressed that despite the exclusive ownership of the Peruvian Denomination of Origin Pisco in Thailand, said Court ruled that in that country you can use "Pisco Chile".
Peru considers that this first decision of the Thailand Court does lead to consumer confusion in that country, since the Pisco Denomination of Origin is Peruvian and this is confirmed by the historical, geographical, cultural and scientific arguments that our country supports and defends in all the world’s court.
In that sense, the ruling in the first instance will be appealed immediately by Peru, in order to continue opposing any attempt to register because these are obvious errors of fact and law.
A Pisco sour for a sour battle
Years of international dispute have persisted over the origin of Pisco which both Chile and Peru have produced since colonial times. Both countries recognize it in their own jurisdiction as a Denomination of Origin. Additionally, back in 2018, Chile was open to accepting the name of Peruvian Pisco if Peru accepted the name of Chilean Pisco – a qui pro quo that did not go far since Peru did not accept such a proposal.

The case brought appears straightforward. If the Thailandese Registry of Industrial Property recognized Pisco as a Denomination of Origin (DO) produced in Peru, it does then prevents the registration of the name and any marketing of Pisco within the Thailand market if it has not complied with the Peruvian national regulation. Clearly, if Pisco was not made in Peru it cannot be called as such. Well, it is not that simple. In India, the dispute over the name went over 9 years (finally won by Peru) and this appears to be the case now in Thailand. The dispute is over a year on, so get ready for a long battle.

The whisky exchange webpage (where I get my inspiration from:) ) notes that ‘Pisco is a grape brandy produced in Chile and Peru’. In the EU (oh BREXIT is coming…who will register first in the UK, Chile or Peru) both, Chile and Peru, were granted geographical indication. Chile had an association agreement (2002) where recognition was given, and then Peru applied for the registration of Pisco as GI (granted in 2013).

Intangible Cultural Heritage, Intellectual Property and the Politics of Development

The Enredados network (policymakers, academics, and practitioners in the fields of intellectual property (IP) and intangible cultural heritage (ICH)) is pleased to invite you to a seminar and panel discussion.

Intangible Cultural Heritage, Intellectual Property and the Politics of Development
Christoph Antons (University of Newcastle, Australia)

In countries of the “developing world”, intangible cultural heritage is important for both national development policies and the rights claims of local and indigenous communities. All intangible cultural heritage is originally local, but national governments tend to shift it to the national level in the interest of nation building and income from tourism. Where communities have migrated or live across borders drawn by colonial powers, this has triggered disputes between neighbouring countries, whereby governments use different national histories and interpretations of an often mystical past to support heritage claims. Law as an instrument of the state has supported this centralisation of heritage claims and administration in the initial stages.

Image result for christoph antons
Antons' latest edited volume
Recently, however, communities have begun to articulate their own regional and local interests in heritage and are finding some support from constitutional reforms strengthening human rights and supporting decentralisation policies. Such decentralisation policies in turn were triggered by a paradigm change in development policies which aimed at a reduction of what was perceived as central government corruption and at a better sharing of resources with regions and provinces. The presentation will show the bargaining in this context about intangible cultural heritage (and related royalties) between communities, communities and governments and between the governments of neighbouring countries. In claiming what they perceive to be their rights, the parties involved use frequently changing combinations of legal principles with varying degrees of validity and legitimacy, drawn in particular from intellectual property law, international law, environmental law, constitutional law and customary law. The presentation will focus on examples from Southeast Asia, with brief comparative observations related to developments elsewhere.

Place: Coventry University London Campus
Middlesex Street, London, UK
Date: Monday 23 September 2019
Time: 5.30pm-8pm

Enredados aims to encourage debate on the following issues:

  • the relationship between IP and ICH safeguarding;
  • the intersections between IP and ICH-related policy; and
  • how IP protection might be used as a tool for safeguarding ICH.

See you there.

Illegal Streams: shutting down in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI) currently named SENADI (National Intellectual Rights Service) is the state entity that regulates and controls the application of IP. The Organic Code of the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity, and Innovation is the IP legislation applicable.

SENADI has different divisions, one of them is the Órgano Colegiado de Derechos Intelectuales, which is the office in ‘charge of attending all administrative resources and cancellation actions that are presented before it’.

The latest measure by SENADI is seen as a ‘milestone’, but why?

Background: in August 2019, DIRECTV Ecuador C. Ltda., and the National League of Professional Football, LALIGA, presented an administrative action against MEGAPLAY and LIKETV in Ecuador. SENADI carried out an inspection of a property in which supposedly there was equipment that allows access to TV signals without authorization.
How did it work? MEGAPLAY  and LIKETV were retransmitting unauthorized audio and video signals to their clients. The clients paid an amount to watch the programs as well as having a device called TV Box, that received the retransmitted signals.
The result: SENADI ordered the blocking of Internet Protocols (IP) that allow access to internet television MEGAPLAY and LIKETV in Ecuador.

This is not, however, the first time SENADI blocks illegal sites. Back in June 2019, SENADI blocked 5 sites belonging to ROJA DIRECTA which also specializes in streaming sports. Ecuador follows other countries in the region. In Argentina, the video streaming Cuevana.tv site (12 million monthly users) was blocked in 2011. In 2017, the Mexican national IPO suspended SPORTFLIX (the NETFLIX of sports ) due to copyright infringement. Just because is a new way to communicate and distribute TV programs, it does not mean that they are outside the IP legislation – watch out.

Chile on promoting national products

In Sept 2019, the Chilean Intellectual Property Office (INAPI) and Pro Bono Foundation signed a cooperation agreement seeking to promote the ‘education and culture of industrial property protection.’ The aim is to disseminate and guide users about ‘how to protect their brands and innovations’.

Background: Pro Bono is a NGO and a non-profit organization launched back in 2000. The organization ‘promotes and facilitates democratization in access to justice for the benefit of vulnerable people and groups and social organizations.’ It is made of 39 legal firms, 10 companies and an array of lawyers.

Image result for sello de origen chileOne of the key areas will be the use of ‘sello de origen’ - seal of origin, which aims to preserve and stimulate particular forms of traditional manufacturing/production, traditional crafts, and unique ‘national’ products. The purpose of ‘sello de origen’ is to promote the ‘adequate use of industrial property tools for the recognition and protection of Chilean products through the registration of Geographical Indications (GI), Denominations of Origin (DO), Collective (CoM) and Certification Marks (CeM)’. Check our previous post on this here.

There are six regions in continental Chile and as on the 12th of Sept 2019, the following products are benefiting (or to benefit) from these tools:

Norte Grande
Oregano de la Precordillera de Putre (oregano) – registered as GI
Aceitunas de Azapa (olives) – registered as GI
Maíz Lluteño (corn) – registered as GI
Limon de Pica (lime) – registered as GI

Norte Chico
Aceite de Oliva del Valle del Huasco (olive oil) – registered as DO

Manos de Isla negra (textiles handicraft) – registered as CeM
Dulces de Ligua (sweet pastries) – registered as GI
Sabor Limachino (tomatoe) – registered as CeM
Chicha de Curacaví (alcolic drink) – registered as DO
Dulces de Curacaví (sweet pastries) – registered as GI
Viñedos Casablanca Route (wine products) - registered as CoM
Sandía de Paine (watermelon) – registered as GI
Corazón de Paine (watermelon_ - registered as CoM
Chamantos y mantas corraleras de Doñihue (textiles) – registered as DO
Sal de Cahuil - Boyeruca Lo Valdivia (salt) - registered as DO
Alfarería de Pomaire (traditional clay jars) – registered as DO
Crin de Rari (miniature knitting) – registered as DO
Loza de Pilén (clay pots) – registered as DO
Puerro Azul de Maquehue (leek)– pending as GI
Mieles Altos de Cantillana Producida en Alhué 100% Natural (honey) – pending as a CoM

Alfarería de Quinchamalí (sweet pastries) – registered as DO
Tomate Angolino (tomatoes) – registered as GI
Prosciutto de Capitán Pastene (ham) – registered as DO
Piedra Cruz (semiprecious stone) – registered as DO
Sidra de Punucapa (cyder) – registered as DO
Cerveza Valdiviana Región de Los Rios (beer) – registered as CoM
SIPAM Chiloé (agricultural patrimony products) – registered as CeM
Cordero Chilote (lamb) – registered as GI
Chupallas de Ninhue (traditional handmade hats) – registered as DO

Calidad Aysén Patagonia-Chile (products and services) – registered as CeM

Atún de Isla de Pascua (tuna) – registered as GI
Langosta de Juan Fernández (lobster) – registered as GI
Cangrejo Dorado de Juan Fernández (crab) – registered as GI
Joya Negra del Pacífico (handicraft) – registered as CeM

New Brazilian slogan 'Brazil, visit and love us' challenged for copyright infringement

Image result for brazil, visit and love usBrazillian’s Tourism Institut (Instituto Brasileiro do Turismo – Embratur for short) has launched a slogan that is intended to be used abroad in order to foment Brazil as a tourism destination: 'Brazil, visit and love us'.

The slogan has been criticized for different reasons, for example, displaying a sexual overtone relating to the use of the pronoun 'us' instead of 'it'. Former Embratur's President noted that 'Brazil has been struggling to erase the image of being a sex tourism destination'; and this is also supported by the view of Mr. Lopes, President of the hotel association of Rio de Janeiro, who noted that '"us" needs to be taken out. "It's bad for us'.

From the IP arena, the slogan has been challenged for being a copyright infringement. A few days after announcing the trademark, Benoit Sjöholm, a French artist, has claimed that the font used infringes his copyright. The font is called Fontastique and can be freely downloaded (here for instance) but only for personal use. For commercial use, however, his previous authorization is required – which Embratur has not done.

After the slogan's short appearance, it is already back to the office for an adjustment. Embratur has announced that it will adapt the trademark in order to no longer use Mr. Sjöholm’s font. Instead, it will look for a free font on the Web (hopefully, commercial purposes allowed). One keeps the hope that, by changing the font, Embratur will also change the pronoun 'us' to avoid the lost in translation issue.

Post was written by Eloísa Deola Borges, Brazilian attorney
Lecturer (external) at Humboldt University, Berlin
Eloisa also works on the development of publications in Open Access at QUCOSA.