Wednesday, 31 December 2008

WorldLeader 2008 awards

IPWorld.com has published a handsome brochure to commemorate its WorldLeaders International IP Awards 2008. According to this brochure, which has been distributed with the latest issues of Copyright World, Trademark World and Patent World, the Latin American/Caribbean sectional winners are as follows:
* In-house trade mark management: National Federation of Coffee Growers (Colombia).

* Excellence in trade mark practice/litigation in private practice: Ricardo Alberto Antequera (Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodriguez, Venezuela).

* Excellence in patent practice/litigation in private practice: Javier Uhthoff-Orive (Uhthoff, Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, Mexico)

* Law firm of the year: OMC Abogados & Consultores (Peru).

Monday, 29 December 2008

Costa Rica signs up to the UPOV Convention

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization press release UPOV Notification No. 107 the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica, on 12 December 2008, deposited its instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961, as revised at Geneva on November 10, 1972, on October 23, 1978, and on March 19, 1991. The UPOV Convention will enter into force, with respect to Costa Rica, on 12 January 2009. 

Monday, 22 December 2008

Enforcement of IP rights in Argentina

A short but informative English-language summary of the law and practice on enforcement of IP rights in Argentina has been posted on the Mondaq legal news service. Written by Andres Moncayo Von Hase (Bruchou Fernandez Madero & Lombardi), the article explains the position in Argentina post-TRIPs and concludes that, while there is still much to be done, the country is edging towards a genuine IP culture.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

7º Módulo Especial sobre la Marca Comunitaria

El Magister Lvcentinvs nos ha informado de la próxima realización de la 7ª edición del “Módulo Especial sobre la Marca Comunitaria", que tendrá lugar del 9 a 13 de febrero de 2009 en la Universidad de Alicante. Se trata de un curso intensivo y especializado de una semana de duración.

Durante este período los participantes realizarán un estudio detallado del derecho comunitario de marcas, de los procedimientos de registro y concesión. Por otra parte, podrán abordar el análisis de las diferentes estrategias alternativas de registro y de defensa de la marca.

Las clases serán impartidas por algunos de los profesionales más destacados del sector, incluyendo a miembros de la OAMI y académicos y profesionales de la Propiedad Industrial.

Este programa está destinado a agentes, abogados y profesionales en general de la Propiedad Industrial, así como a estudiantes de nivel avanzado (Master o Doctorado). Los participantes compartirán sus actividades académicas con los especialistas y alumnos del Magister provenientes de los países europeos y latinoamericanos.

Las clases serán impartidas en inglés.

Más información:

Mr. Pablo Lee
Magister Lvcentinvs
University of Alicante
Tel: +34 965 90 93 92
Fax: +34 965 90 93 84
http://www.ml.ua.es/site/eng/programa_modulos.asp
ml.modulos@uafg.net

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

MEXICO: Nueva Sala Regional en Materia de Propiedad Intelectual.


Nuevamente nuestros incansables amigos de ALHEN nos pasan ésta interesante noticia.

El Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa ha modificado su Reglamento Interior, creando una Sala Regional en Materia de Propiedad Intelectual que tendrá competencia en todo el territorio nacional y sede en la Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal.

Esta nueva Sala tendrá competencia material especializada para tramitar y resolver los juicios que se promuevan contra las resoluciones dictadas con fundamento en la Ley de la Propiedad Industrial, en la Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor, en la Ley Federal de Variedades Vegetales, así como en los demás ordenamientos que regulan la materia de Propiedad Intelectual.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Mexico tightens up consent letter practice

IMPI, the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property, has amended its practice with regard to letters of consent, which confirm that the owner of an earlier registered trade mark does not object to the registration and use of an identical or similar mark by a third party. Since there is no express legislation on this practice, IMPI had discretion to determine the parameters of its acceptability. Taking a more restrictive view than formerly, IMPI will now admit a letter of consent only where the trade marks are similar (not identical) and cover different or similar (again, not identical) goods and/or services.

This change seeks to avoid trade mark dilution and to protect the consumer's ability to distinguish goods and services as coming from different sources. Refusal to accept a consent letter is subject to judicial appeal.

Source: Sergio Olivares, Olivares & Cia, Mexico City, writing in World Trademark Review.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Trade Mark Office can't rule on copyright infringement

A Peruvian Administrative Court has declared a resolution of the Trade Mark Office void for having exceeded its legal competence under the law. In February 2007 Enrique Pajuelo Escobar applied to register as a trade mark for building materials for the construction industry (Class 19) a word and design mark LADRILLOS FORTE. Cementos Lima SA opposed, citing its earlier registered trade mark for the letters CL and design, maintaining that this design was protected as a literary work and that the mark applied for was confusingly similar to both its mark and its design. The Copyright Office confirmed to the Trade Mark Office that the Cementín design was protected as a literary work. The latter however rejected Cementos's opposition and allowed registration of LADRILLOS FORTE, rejecting the finding that Escobar's mark was confusingly similar to Cementos's earlier mark or design (regarding the designs, the Trade Mark Office held that there was no infringement either).

The Administrative Court overturned the resolution of the Trade Mark Office, holding that the Copyright Office was the only authority competent to determine whether a specific sign or mark infringed third party copyright. The Trade Mark Office had thus exceeded its competence in comparing Escobar's mark, as it was not empowered to do so under the law.

Source: note by Gonzalo Ferrero Diez Canseco, Lema Solari & Santiváñez, Lima, in World Trademark Review.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

It may work in practice -- but does the law protect it?

"Branding by the nose in Brazil", by Ana Paula Palombo Terzi and published here on BrandChannel, is an enjoyable read on the importance of scent and smell in branding -- a field in which Brazi leads the way. She writes (among other things):
"“Big global brands set the trend which spurred scent marketing in Brazil. Brazilian brands, big and small, are now creating their olfactive logo, a scent signature which helps generate brand recall,” explains Elaine De Oliveira, olfactive marketing consultant for Biomist, one of the pioneers of scent marketing in São Paulo, Brazil.

Marcelo Ginzberg from Air Berger, a French consulting firm that established an office in Brazil in June 2008, says, “A wide variety of businesses have been adopting olfactive logos—hotels, spas, medical facilities, pharmacies, gyms, restaurants, banks and supermarkets have capitalized on scent marketing to attract consumers.”

“Our culture is highly sensorial in many aspects,” says Janice Zanatta, olfactive marketing consultant for Good Smell Consultoria in Curitiba, Brazil. “Its colors, rhythms, textures and forms require a great spectrum of scents to express and communicate all this diversity.” Zanatta believes the growing interest in scent marketing in Brazil is a direct reflection of the country’s diverse and complex culture. She cites as an example Les Lis Blanc, a Brazilian fashion brand, with credit for linking its olfactive logo to its consumers’ positive experiences with the brand.

Brazilian baked goods brand Bauducco also strategized with olfactive marketing to appeal to a younger demographic in Brazil. A chocolate fragrance was diffused into movie theaters at the same time they ran a preview commercial for its signature product, the panettone. The campaign was a success".
What this article doesn't discuss is the extent -- if at all -- to which Brazilian law protects a business that uses olfactive logos against competitors who do the same. Perhaps some of IP Tango's readers would like to answer that one! You can post your comment below or email it to Jeremy here.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Colombian trade marks just got a little slower ...

A decision of the Colombian Trade Mark Office on 16 October 16 means that the Office will now wait a minimum of six months from the filing date of a trade mark application before deciding upon its fate. This period corresponds to the term granted within which third parties may file applications for registration claiming priority from applications filed in another country -- but the office will wait for a minimum of six months even where the application has been published and no opposition has been filed. This approach is derived from the Office's interpretation of Article 9 of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime.

Source: article in World Trademark Report by Margarita Castellanos (Castellanos & Co, Bogota).

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Brazil ponders pharma patent exclusions

Claudia Jurberg, writing in Intellectual Property Watch, reports that Brazil’s lower house of Congress held a hearing last month in which it discussed proposed changes to rules on pharmaceutical patents that would limit patents on (i) second-use drugs and (ii) polymorphs.

Both these areas are controversial. Critics say that second-use drugs are not truly novel or inventive because their medicinal function is already known, while polymorphs are just a way of retaining patent protection in respect of different versions of the same product. Supporters however point out that the costs of R&D and trialling of any drug are immense and the return is uncertain: absence of patent protection will steer R&D away from getting more and better uses from existing products which have known therapeutic effects, which may not be advantageous for patients.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Controversia por la Denominación de Origen ”Chile Habanero”


El gobierno de Quintana Roo informó que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) dio entrada a la demanda de controversia constitucional que interpuso por la denominación de origen del chile habanero otorgada sólo a Yucatán.

Derivado de la Publicación en el Diario Oficial de la Federación con fecha 10 de octubre de 2008 de la Declaración de Origen Chile Habanero de Yucatán que afecta intereses de los productores de Chile Habanero de Campeche y Quintana Roo, el Estado de Quintana Roo ha promovido diversas acciones legales tendientes a revertir el grave efecto en México y el extranjero de tal Declaratoria ocasiona a los productores locales.

Los gobiernos de ambos estados han mostrado su inconformidad porque el Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI) emitió la denominación a favor solamente de Yucatán y no contempló a Quintana Roo y Campeche, donde también se produce el picante.

Según sus representantes, ambos estados cumplieron oportunamente con los requisitos exigidos por el IMPI para adherirse a la denominación de origen.

La SCJN acordó suspender todo acto relacionado con la denominación de origen del chile habanero hasta que se resuelve la controversia constitucional.

Obviamente dicha resolución no afecta a México en cuanto a la tenencia de esta Denominación de Origen, toda vez que existen innumerables fuentes que indican la pertenencia del chile habanero a la cultura maya.

Agradecemos a nuestros compañeros y amigos de ALHEN por la información proporcionada. Seguro que nos mantendrán informados de los pormenores del asunto.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Brazil, Canada strike innovation deal

The Meridian Institute reports that Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology and Canada’s Minister of International Trade have signed the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology, and Innovation. This agreement seeks to increase bilateral research and development (R&D) in several science and technology areas -- these include nanotechnology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology. Canada is to contribute US$1.5 million to the agreement over the next two years, funding up to half the R&D arrangement costs between Canadian and Brazilian governments, academic, research institutes, and industry.

What will be interesting to see is how much of this money actually ends up in R&D rather than in paying for infrastructures and establishment costs, and what happens to the IP rights in any results of the innovation in question.