Friday, 30 April 2010

Consulta Pública UE: Indicaciones geográficas de Colombia y Perú

Como muchos de ustedes sabrán, se están llevando a cabo negociaciones para un Acuerdo comercial entre la Unión Europea y sus Estados miembros, y Colombia y Perú.

En ese contexto, se está estudiando proteger en la Unión Europea, en calidad de indicaciones geográficas, las siguientes denominaciones:

- Cholupa del Huila (Colombia)
- Pisco (Perú)
- Maíz Blanco Gigante Cusco (Perú)
- Pallar de Ica (Perú)

La Comisión invita a cualquier Estado miembro o tercer país o a cualquier persona física o jurídica que ostente un interés legítimo y esté establecida o resida en su territorio a oponerse a la protección propuesta presentando una declaración debidamente motivada.

Las declaraciones de oposición deberán enviarse a la siguiente dirección de correo electrónico: AGRI-B1@ec.europa.eu

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Fundación de ILAPID, Instituto Latinoamericano de la Propiedad Intelectual para el Desarrollo


El pasado día miércoles 21 de Abril del 2010, fue fundado en la ciudad de Santiago de Chile el Instituto Latinoamericano de Propiedad Intelectual para el Desarrollo (ILAPID) con la presencia de Directores y Jefes de Oficinas de Propiedad Intelectual de países latinoamericanos como Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, República Dominicana, Uruguay, Ecuador y Chile.

El Instituto cuenta con Alfredo Scafati como Presidente y Flavio Arosemena, Carlos González, Mario Jiménez y Andrés Ycaza como Vicepresidentes.

Entre los principios fundacionales del Instituto cabe destacar: "El Derecho de Autor y los derechos conexos deben considerar y atender los siguientes intereses:

a) El interés privado del autor de que se respeten sus derechos patrimoniales y morales;
b) El interés privado de quienes inviertan recursos en la producción y difusión de las obras y prestaciones que las contienen.
c) El interés privado de quienes participan en la interpretación o ejecución artística;
d) El interés público de asegurar que el autor pueda seguir la suerte de su obra y de esta forma exista un mayor desarrollo de cultura y conocimientos; y,
e) El interés público de que toda la sociedad pueda acceder a dicha cultura y conocimientos de manera consistente con los derechos humanos de todos los interesados.

En consecuencia el Derecho de Autor para cumplir con su verdadera, histórica y natural finalidad debe en todo momento perseguir un equilibrio entre los intereses antes mencionados, para asegurar el bien común y los legítimos interéses del autor".

El instituto está abierto a Jefes de Oficinas de Derechos de Autor y funcionarios de las oficinas de propiedad intelectual de latinoamerica y del Caribe; quienes hayan cumplido dichas funciones por más de 3 años; académicos o invetigadores que hayan hecho un aporte significativo en el ambito de la Propiedad Intelectual. La incorporación se realiza por invitación de alguno de los miembros.

TELCEL, la marca más valorada de Latinoamérica.

La empresa Millward Brown ha publicado su informe sobre las marcas más valoradas del 2010.

Un año más, Google, por 4º año consecutivo ocupa el puesto número uno (114.000 millones de USD), seguida de otras 3 marcas del sector tecnológico, IBM (86.000 millones USD), Apple (83.000 millones USD) y Microsoft (76.000 millones USD).

Respecto a las marcas de Latinoamérica, como se observa en el cuadro, la marca mejor valorada es Telcel, con un valor de 10.850 millones de USD y ocupando el lugar número 69 del ranking global. Siendo junto con Petrobras y Bradesco las únicas marcas latinoamericanas que están dentro del top 100.

El informe completo aquí.

A late carnival present - the end of Viagra patent

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) in Brazil has decided that the validity of the patent which guarantees the right of exclusivity of Pfizer Inc. for the manufacture and marketing of Viagra, expires next June 20.

Brazilian law protects the exclusivity of an invention for a period of 20 years. However, the protection of patented products by pipeline system is calculated for the remainder of the original patent - first filing abroad. As the first patent for Viagra was deposited in England, in June 1990, the period of exclusivity expires in June 2010.

The appeal was brought by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) against the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region which maintained the validity of the patent until the day June 7, 2011.

Drug giant Pfizer argued that the claim filed in England was not completed and that the registration of the patent was only obtained in June 1991 at the EPO. Yet the pharmaceutical has the right to appeal the ruling before the Supreme Federal Court (STF), the last court of law of the country.

According to local media Viagra is the second most sold drug for erectile dysfunction in Brazil, behind Cialis (tadalafil).

Info here and here.
To follow this patent discussion here and here.

Mexico: revocación de la DOP "Chile Habanero de Yucatán"


El día 28 de Abril de 2010 se publicó en el Diario Oficial de la Federación la Declaración de insubsistencia de las condiciones que motivaron la Declaratoria General de Protección de la Denominación de Origen Chile Habanero de Yucatán.

Hay que recordar que la denominación de origen “Chile Habanero de Yucatán”, -picante típico mexicano- la cual inicialmente fue concedida en el año de 2008 exclusivamente a favor del Estado de Yucatán, México, por parte del Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI), fue impugnada por los Estados vecinos de Campeche y Quintana Roo mediante una acción de inconstitucionalidad presentada ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, toda vez que la hortaliza del Chile Habanero cumple no estatalmente sino regionalmente con las características morfológicas, formas de producción y de cultivo, procesos de elaboración de los productos derivados, así como vínculos naturales y humanos compartidos, por lo que a raíz de esta Declaratoria de insubsistencia se tiene por concluida formalmente la vigencia de la Declaratoria de Protección de la Denominación de Origen "CHILE HABANERO DE YUCATÁN", tal como lo indica el resolutivo segundo.

Entradas de IP Tango relacionadas con este asunto aquí y aquí.

Posted by Aurelio, prepared by Juan Angel Garza Vite (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Mexico, pharma patents and linkage: compositions can benefit too

"Supreme Court decision promises more efficient linkage system" is the title of an article by Juan Carlos Amaro (Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC) for International Law Office. The linkage system to which the title refers was created in 2003 by amending the General Health Law and the Industrial Property Law. It produces the consequence that only patents that protect an active substance per se are included in the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property's special gazette (which sets out the patents eligible for inclusion in this system). Other kinds of pharmaceutical patent, e.g. those granted to protect pharmaceutical compositions or formulations, are excluded.

Following some disagreement and indeed litigation concerning the correct interpretation of the amendments, the Supreme Court concluded that, on a the proper construction, the linkage system extends to pharmaceutical patents that do not protect an active substance per se and therefore includes pharmaceutical compositions. In result, patent holders can apply directly to the Institute for inclusion in the linkage system. Patents that protect processes however remain excluded. The author observes that, following this ruling, the linkage system will run more smoothly and costly litigation will be avoided. He adds:
"Patent holders will be particularly alert to the question of whether the health authorities observe the new provisions. The changes should help them to prevent the authorities from granting health marketing approvals for generic products to a party that is not a licensee or a patent holder, and will also be relevant in the context of public acquisition proceedings".

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

e-books in Latin American – a mistaken market?

The Latin American publishing industry has taken with caution new technologies said the director for the Regional Centre for Book Development in Latin America, Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (CERLALC), Fernando Zapata Lopez. In 2009, only 15% of the leading publishers in Latin America had electronic books in its catalogue and the electronic book titles were not more than eight.

Zapata, who is also a specialist in copyright, mentions that given the small number of electronic books published in Latin America, he wonders whether it is because there is no interest from publishers or there are no consumers. Referring to the latter, he refers to the situation with internet: first, access to broadband is still limited to certain areas in many Latin American countries and second, the connection is expensive.

One of the main objectives of CERLALC is to create readers not only to benefit the publishing industry but in favour of democracy. It is "producing better readers among citizens in order that they can participate in building democracies," he said.

Finally, Zapata recommends the governments of Latin America to support cultural identity, helping the book industry and have the will to fight piracy as any other criminal conduct. He adds that “The State must not make distinctions between tangible and intangible assets when it comes to fulfilling its obligation to protect”.

I do agree. Most Latin American countries do have well written legislations in the area of IP. Nonetheless there is a big gap between legislation and practice - they do not appear to go hand in hand.

La OMPI estrena nuevo logotipo.

Precisamente en el día de la Propiedad Intelectual la OMPI presentó su nuevo logotipo. La fecha coincide con el 40º aniversario de la entrada en vigor del convenio fundacional de la OMPI y el 10º aniversario del Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual.

En palabras del presidente de dicha Organización “el nuevo logotipo constituye la piedra angular de la nueva identidad visual de la OMPI y guarda sintonía con las nuevas orientaciones que se están tomando para mantener a la Organización a la par de la rápida evolución de la propiedad intelectual en el siglo XXI”.

Para los nostálgicos, aquí se puede ver la evolución del logo de la OMPI.

Monday, 26 April 2010

More on Bacardi – who owns a brand?

I need to refer today to the previous blog re: Bacardi Rum Havana Club. I have been contacted by Amy Federman, for Bacardi USA Inc., who has kindly sent me a better bottle image for the rum - I am afraid I do not know how to post a big picture (literally), so I hope you can see the label (right). She adds, “Puerto Rican Rum is clearly labelled on the front of the bottle”.

On the case, the judge held that the company was not misleading consumers. However, apart from the question of infringement is the issue, I believe, of using a well known geographical indication for the product –rum.

Now leaving aside these two issues, I found another one. By reading the label I noticed that underneath the words ‘Havana Club’ there was the term BRAND. The question then is who owns the brand? To answer this we are back to square one. A Geographical Indication may belong to a group of individuals or producers that share the ‘goodwill’. The real question is: Does Bacardi have any rights to use the words Havana Club? I would like to hear your views in this matter so don’t be shy and write a comment. It will be very helpful for my forthcoming seminar.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Chile: promulgación de la nueva Ley de propiedad intelectual


Hoy se promulgará en Chile la Nueva ley de Propiedad Intelectual, luego de casi tres años de discusiones en el Congreso. El Proyecto de ley que se promulga modifica la ley 17.336 de 2 de octubre de 1970 y desde su presentación ha tenido más de 250 indicaciones.

Su texto se refiere, principalmente, a la protección del derecho de autor en el entorno digital, nuevas tecnologías y protección de ciertas formas de acceso a la cultura. Con relación a la web, la norma contiene un Capítulo sobre Limitación de Responsabilidad de los Prestadores de Servicios de Internet que desliga de responsabilidad al proveedor de Internet por obras publicadas sin consentimiento del autor si se cumplen ciertas condiciones de aplicación, siendo responsable el usuario que ejecuta las subidas de los contenidos a la red, cuestión que se resolverá en sede judicial. El prestador de servicios sí puede ser sujeto pasivo de ciertas medidas procesales prejudiciales y judiciales según regula el artículo 85 R de la ley.

El Proyecto de ley fue aprobado en el control de preventivo por el Tribunal Constitucional en una sentencia de 31 de marzo de 2010. Luego de su promulgación sólo resta su publicación en el Diario Oficial para que tenga rango de ley. La noticia acá.

Prepared by Rodrigo Ramirez (Abogado de Ramos Pazos, Montecinos & Díez, Chile), posted by Aurelio

Bacardi Rum Havana Club – clearly not made in the Havana, uh?

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by Pernod Ricard against Bacardi. Pernord Richard, the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., requested for an injunction stopping Bacardi U.S.A. from using "Havana Club" as the name for a rum that is made in Puerto Rico, rather than in Havana, Cuba. The U.S. District Court in Delaware dismissed the lawsuit.

Who has the right to the Havana Club brand?
The Arrechabala family, a Cuban family, created the brand of rum in Cuba in 1935.
On one hand, Pernod argument was that by using the name Havana, which is a well-known city for rum, for non-Cuban rum would mislead consumers. On the contrary, Bacardi believes that they are entitled to the name because it uses the Arechabala formula to make its rum.

The judge ruled that Havana Club rum Barcadí has a "Cuban heritage,'' derived from the family recipe Arrechabala. The judge also ruled that, Bacardi labels indicate ''that the rum is distilled in Puerto Rico'' and so the company is not misleading consumers.

In a statement John Esposito, president of Bacardi USA based in Coral Gables, explains the importance of this decision. He said that it “protects our ability to properly introduce Cuban heritage and geographical origin of our rums”.

Some points
• Geographical Indication(GI): this is the thorny question. The reason being that I am trying to prepare a paper for the forthcoming seminar in Alicante and guess what? It is a mess. I did have a simple definition for it and I did understand quite well until...I start reading all the Latin America literature regarding this issue. It is so confusing how they (or us) interchange words and thus the result is, as my mother use to said, a ‘letter soup’. Or, is a GI the same as a Designation of Origin (DO), or a DO the same as an appellation of origin or GI the same as Appellation of Origin? and I also found geographical appellation! When I finished reading the material collected I could not remember what a GI was!

I then read the TRIPS where clearly states what is Geographical Indications – indications that identify a good as originating in a particular territory, region. This is indeed a very broad concept. For example the EU regulation in this matter identify between Designation of Origin, Geographical Indication and traditional speciality guaranteed. The first two are the most common. DO protects and cover products which are produced, processed and prepared in the said geographical area and GI which is the most common one, protects and cover products which at least one of the stages have taken place in the said geographical area.

Now, under which principal can Bacardi claim any right? There is the situation as in here where a group of manufacturers and associations can share the ‘goodwill’ of a product and thus are entitled to use the ‘mark’. But the question is, could a ‘recipe’ be the link claimed here?

There are many cases in the EU (Champagne, Sherry, Advoocaat, upon others) that said NO. There are also cases of parallel import where even same companies can stop the same product for entering the country (Colgate Palmolive- toothpaste case). The idea is that Geographical Indication indicates more than a simple link; it indicates quality that a particular area has.

• The United States generally opposes to the protection of Geographical Indications considering that they are commonly used as generic terms e.g. parmesan cheese, feta, camembert, champagne. Yet, it protects some of its own products, e.g. Florida orange juice, Idaho Potatoes, Vidalia onions.

I leave you then with some ideas, I am going to make a cake for my kids - I will follow my granny’s recipe and it will be the same!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Colombia counterfeit liquor industry – from a simple garage to a proper manufacture!

Browsing for IP news, I read with interest a report written by CAROL MALAVER from the Colombian newspaper EL TIEMPO. The statement informs that in Bogotá, the illegal business of counterfeit liquor has been transformed from a crime produced in a garage to and organised crime which operates in well equipped spots.

Diana Garcia, a pharmaceutical chemistry expert on the subject, said that this type of crime is nowadays controlled by organized criminals. She explained that the bottles used are often original and filled with a mixture of alcohol, water, dyes, and in some cases cheaper liquor. "The criminals would buy the bottles to recyclers. Therefore, we ask consumers to break their bottles from being used for crime". She also adds that lids, boxes and labels can be reused.

In another part of the report CAROL notes that Garcia adds that this crime "not only is affecting the industry and trade marks, but also Treasury departments and nationals, namely, health and future investments in education and sport departments.” To fortify this statement, the journalist also quotes Harold Parra Ortiz, revenue Director for the Government of Cundinamarca, who appears to agree with the previous statement. He said that this type of sell - counterfeited liquor, no only affects the department's economy but also the population at large:
1.- It is detrimental to business because they discredit their brands and reduce their income
2.- It affects public health because they put at risk the lives of people consuming adulterated liquor and,
3.- It reduces tax revenue that trade contributes to the department.

Jorge Baquero, Police Commander of Kennedy, explains that his department had dismantled 14 criminal groups in 2009 and 2 this year. He tells that on May 2009 he was stunned when he found a counterfeit liquor industry in the south of the capital. He explains that the manufacturing did have “nothing to envy to those operating legally”. There was a truck full of empty bottles (15,000) of different brands, ready to be repackaged with adulterated liquor. Inside the store, there was specialised machinery for the production, blending and packaging, as well as 12,000 lids, 800 labels and 150 bottles of whiskey ready for market. "There was even a section on quality control, sealing system and x-rays”.

The report basically deals not only with the situation of counterfeit and the industry in general but opens the mind of consumers – the risks. The blog in several occasions have mentioned the problem with counterfeits in medicines, foodstuff and alcohol and thus, I believe that the article on the newspaper is approaching the right audience. I believe that counterfeit will exist as long as it has consumers. We as a population are also responsible, don’t you think?

The article can be read here (Spanish).

México: Multas por publicidad engañosa

Desde principios del 2009 a la fecha, la Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (PROFECO) ha multado a 11 empresas de distintos giros económicos que operan en el país por difundir publicidad engañosa. El monto total de las sanciones fue por 7 millones 367 mil 357 pesos.

Estas multas indican que los códigos de autorregulación publicitaria del sector empresarial en México no han probado ser herramientas eficaces, no obstante, la Profeco considera que existen las condiciones adecuadas para que ese ejercicio [el de la autorregulación] sea eficaz o que consiga su objetivo.

Entre las empresas sancionadas por mentir a los consumidores en sus campañas publicitarias figuran Telmex, Genomma Lab, Kellogg’s México, Reckitt Benckiser, Nissan, VivaAerobus, Nacional Monte de Piedad, Industrias Alen, Clorox de México, el jardín de niños Mundo Chiquitines y Venta Universal.

A Telmex se le multó con 800 mil pesos por la campaña “inviértale”, que lejos de ser cierta “timó” a sus consumidores. Nissan por su parte tiene una multa de 32,000 por no ofrecer información completa sobre sus planes de financiamiento. Kellogg’s por ofrecer propiedades excepcionales después de consumir su producto. Viva Aerobus por ofrecer boletos con costo de un peso.

Sin lugar a dudas son unos buenos comienzos en la materia, aunque siempre sería de agradecer que los consumidores afectados recibieran una contraprestación de parte de las empresas sancionadas o de las multas recabadas (utopía?).

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Ecuador's compulsory licensing regime for medicines

Writing for International Law Office ("Compulsory licences for medicines"), Santiago R Bustamante of Tobar & Bustamante Abogados explains that, last November, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa issued Decree 118: this declares that it is in the public interest to have access to medicines used for the treatment of illnesses affecting the Ecuadorian people. The decree was drawn up in response to the suffering endured by people in various areas of Ecuador (in particular in its tropical regions) following severe outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever and other diseases. But what is the legal basis of the decree?

"Article 32 of the Constitution, which establishes that health is a right guaranteed by the state;

Article 31 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which recognizes the right of countries to grant compulsory licences for patented medicines in order to combat and mitigate the effects of illnesses;

and the Doha Declaration regarding the TRIPS Agreement and public health, which states that each World Trade Organization member state "has the right to grant compulsory licences and the freedom to determine the bases upon which such licences may be granted".

The country's Intellectual Property Institute has now issued an Instruction on the Granting of Compulsory Licences for Patented Drugs, in accordance with local IP legislation and is open to receive applications for the grant of compulsory licences, whether for commercial or non-commercial public use. It is for the applicant to show that the product or medicine which it will produce or import is primarily intended for supply within the domestic market. In the case of
an application for commercial public use, the applicant must show that it tried to obtain authorization from the rights holder on "commercially reasonable terms and conditions" and that a favourable response was not obtained within a period of 45 days.

For further details, please refer to the article.

Bolivia: winery industry asks for stronger sanctions against falsification and adulteration

The president of the Competitiveness Committee - Chain Grapes, Wine and Singanis, Jorge Canedo, requested to the MP (Tarija sector) to bring before the Legislature amendments to the Criminal Code. The purpose is to reinforce sanctions against smuggling, counterfeiting and adulteration of these products.

Mr Canedo also is seeking for resources which are freely available as a contribution of the regional government. The idea is to promote the industrialization of this sector in order to keep pace in international competition. He explains that this sector “contributes to the country with over 50 million dollars a year”. Therefore, it is important tougher penalties against people who damage productivity and the development of this industry.

Canedo lamented the lack of central government support. He claims and requests that the State recognise the designation of origin of products from this geographical area (note however that Singani was recognised in 1992 as a DO). The objective being to achieve better entries in both domestically and internationally markets.

Monday, 19 April 2010

15-16 April - my whereabouts


This past week (15-16 April) I attended the IV International Graduate Legal Research Conference (IGLRC) hosted by King's College London School of Law and Graduate School. Although the Conference and papers were not regarding IP in Latin America, I would like to share with you some ideas.

At the IP Session, chaired by Dr Tanya Aplin, I delivered a paper entitled “Registrability of Chemical Senses as Trade Marks – Looking Beyond Graphical Representation”. While the subject resulted on an interesting discussion and critiques, I would like to talk today about a paper that was delivered in the same session by Fiona Batt from Bristol University. The title of her paper was “Ancient Indigenous Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) and Intellectual Property Rights”. I believe that the paper launches a fascinating and attractive topic which because of the time, resulted in a short discussion and debate. For this reason I would like to hear you opinions on this matter.

On the paper, Fiona mentions that because of the developments in science, body parts and genetic material are becoming ‘property’ which is protected and controlled by IP rights. She starts from the obvious, Patent, and then explores Traditional Knowledge and even Trade Secrets. But at the end, the question is: who is the owner of ancient indigenous DNA when extracted? While this appears to be somehow clear, the main challenge is: who would be the owner to prevent such extraction? She brought into attention the American and Western cultures.

When she finished her speech I was the first to raise my hand, I was not sure if I wanted to ask a question, or make a comment or just to praise her for such a remarkable paper. However, my intervention was more as to asking what was sought. The situation is, I believe, a delicate one. On one hand, we have a community that according to philosophy of social justice owns such information and are entitled to any compensation; moreover, this is something that the indigenous people finds offensive in the first place. On the other hand, we have investigators and industries that invest to change information into useful commodities. Yet, I sometimes wonder if IP is too intrusive and thus would be nice for a change to see a prohibition within IP that ‘protect’ rather than exploit such heritage.

We just need to wait for the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property
and Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore to submit to the September 2011 WIPO General Assembly a text of an international legal instrument regarding this and other matters.

The fight against counterfeit of medical products

An International Conference called “Towards the practical implementation of the Council of Europe's Convention on Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving threats to public health (Medicrime Convention)” has taken place in Basel, Switzerland this past weekend -15-16 April. More than 140 participants, senior officials from health, law enforcement and judicial authorities from around 40 states, international organisations and institutions from around the world came together to examine the future MEDICRIME Convention.

The aim of this conference is to enhance significantly the fight against counterfeit medical products and similar crimes in Europe and worldwide by ensuring the required political support for the implementation of the future MEDICRIME convention.

This is indeed, the first international instrument providing for the
criminalisation of counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes in order to protect public health and establishing a framework for international co-operation on criminal law matters between Parties in this regard. The convention includes not only members of the Council of Europe but also will be open for accession to states which are non-members.

Speaking at the closing session of the Conference was the advisor of the Mexican Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (Cofepris), Agustin Alberdi Angeles. He described the situation in Mexico. He started by saying that the most consumed and confiscated counterfeit drugs in Mexico are Viagra, Cialis, and Aspirin. Adding, he said that free medical samples are also sold, the most common being: Humulin, contact lenses and condoms. In addition, he mentioned that pharmacies sell medicines to which the expiration date has been removed. He mentioned that Mexican authorities seized 25 tons of drugs between January and March 2010.

The substantive criminal law provisions included in the MEDICRIME Convention cover more than the counterfeiting of medical products; it as well covers the supplying and trafficking, the falsification of documents (linked to medical products). It also establishes preventive measures such as the introduction of quality and safety requirements for medical products and measures ensuring their safe distribution. This too includes awareness-raising campaigns, supervision of the distribution chain,
agreements with Internet service providers and domain registrars.

The final declaration calls for the counterfeiting of medicines to be considered "a violation of the right to life”, a right which is recognised by the Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Convention after all, brings everybody attention - an international cooperation to successfully combat counterfeit medical products.

The draft of the MEDICIRIME Convention can be read here.

More info here and here.

México. La piratería será perseguida de oficio y con mayores penas.

Como el IP tango informó anteriormente, la llamada ley antipiratería aprobada por el pleno de la Cámara de Diputados sigue (y seguirá) dando de que hablar.

De dicho proyecto, se destacan las importantes reformas al Código Penal Federal y a la Ley de la Propiedad Industrial para establecer la persecución de oficio al delito de piratería y endurecer las penas contra quien venda en vía pública objetos falsificados.

Ratificada por 359 votos, 26 en contra y 12 abstenciones, el dictamen turnado al Ejecutivo federal para su publicación en el Diario Oficial de la Federación y entrada en vigor, precisa:

“Se impondrá de dos a seis años de prisión y multa de 100 a 10,000 días de salario mínimo general vigente en el Distrito Federal, al que venda a cualquier consumidor final en vías o en lugares públicos, en forma dolosa y con el fin de especulación comercial, objetos que ostenten falsificaciones de marcas protegidas por esta ley".

“Si la venta se realiza en establecimientos comerciales, de manera organizada o permanente, se estará a lo dispuesto en los artículos 223 y 224 de esta ley. Este delito se perseguirá de oficio”.

Sin duda se trata de un paso importante en la batalla contra la piratería, pero dichas reformas ya están siendo cuestionadas por tratarse de medidas parciales, ya que, según la redacción de las mismas, se refieren únicamente a la piratería física, dejándose completamente de lado el tema de las descargas ilegales (piratería digital).

Otros, como era de esperar, las cuestionan completamente.

Bolivia: Coca-Colla drink hits store shelves

As reported early this year( see earlier post), the drink made from the coca leaf and named after the indigenous Colla people from Bolivia's highlands, is now being distributed and is on sale in Bolivia. Some 12,000 bottles were distributed last Monday to the capital city of La Paz, and also to Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.

Yet, there is not comment from Coca-Cola Co on this new red-labelled beverage which appears to have quite a similar name and trade dress, don’t you think? (right)

The Guardian reports that this is not the first time Coca-Cola Co has faced a South American coca rival. In 2005, Colombia started also making and selling a drink based on coca extracts – Coca Sek. However, the drink was banned a year latter due to pressure from the international narcotics control board.

Another situation which can also be seen is future markets. Victor Ledezma, president of the Social Organization for Industrialization of Coca Leaf (Ospicoca), which created, developed and promoted the drink, said that there are plans to export the product. So far he has received offers from China, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Japan. Will the export of Coca-Colla be the final straw for Coca-Cola Co?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Chile: Convenio INAPI - OEPM


Nos cuenta Rodrigo Ramirez que Alberto Casado Cerviño, con valentía está de visita en Chile y en representación de la OEPM firmó un convenio con el Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial (Inapi), representado por su Director General, el señor Maximiliano Santa Cruz.


El convenio servirá para establecer asistencia técnica recíproca, intercambio periódico de datos sobre patentes, intercambio de publicaciones y de información sobre medidas legislativas y actividades de difusión, además de cooperación en el desarrollo de aplicaciones y sistemas informáticos, entre otros aspectos.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

World Trademark Review (WTR) expands

It is with pleasure that I announce the launch of a new IP blog by the WTR.
However, do not expect the usual blog addressing legal updates and case reports because you are going to be disappointed. As you know, the majority of IP blogs are written by practitioners and/or academics (some wannabes also), but this blog offers info written by proper IP journalist.

Adam Smith, reporter for the WTR explains: "For eight years WTR has covered the most important trademark stories of the day, and has broken some of the most significant trademark stories of recent times, from exclusive analysis of the ECJ's recent decision in the Google keywords case to news of how the top 100 globally protected trademark list has resurfaced on the domain name agenda. WTR has the independence and objectivity to supply readers with information they cannot find anywhere else: we can interview the parties involved in a dispute, press trademark offices for their positions and statistics, and gather insightful opinions through speaking with leading brand owners. Assimilating this means that our specialist trademark journalists can strike at the commercial heart of every development in trademarks. WTR's blog will therefore complement lawyers' blogs and present new dimensions to industry debates, as well as highlighting and linking to other industry content."

If you would like to receive the free blog, click here.

To read the blog, click here.

Chilean Seed Industry

Marcel Bruins, the new Secretary General of the International Seed Federation (ISF), has recently visited Chile. One of the reasons for visiting was to see at first hand, the country's seedling which enjoys strong export growth. In fact, Chile is the main exporter of seeds in the Southern Hemisphere, with shipments of $ 382 million last year.

Another reason for his visit was to pressure Chile to sign the last convention that regulates intellectual property – plant varieties, known as UPOV 91. Chile had already signed the 1978 version of that convention. However, the 1991 is said to protect and defend intellectual property rights in seeds of plants much better. It introduces a number of important definitions, including "variety" and "breeder." Also it has developed the concept of "essentially derived varieties", in which any exploitation is subject to the authorization of the breeder of the original variety.

As in every story, there are two sides: seed companies say that this innovation is encouraged, but some farmers claim that their costs will increase. Yet, Marcel Bruins argues that farmers have much more to gain. He mentions that a strong system of variety protection ensures that breeders and the seed industry obtain a better return on their investment. He also adds that farmers will also benefit because they are able to buy improved varieties, which are easier to harvest, because they are more resistant to diseases (need less chemicals) and they are of better quality, so they can sell at higher prices. Moreover, with higher production comes a greater profit.

For more info read an interview made to Marcel Bruins by the magazine El Campo.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Intensive Law Courses



The IP tango’s friend Ricardo Antequera Parilli writes to inform the IP Latin American Audience of Intensive courses offered by Buenos Aires University, Argentina.

During July, the Graduate Department puts forward a variety of intensive courses in Law. These courses last for 60 hours in total and are during the winter break. They are addressed to anyone with a University degree in any discipline. The goal is to update and/or expands their knowledge.

The IP tango is pleased to announce that one of such courses will be an ‘Update on Copyright and Related Rights. Theory, Practice and Jurisprudence’. This course will be taught by Professor Pablo HERNÁNDEZ ARROYO, Abel MARTÍN VILLAREJO and Franz RUZ CÉSPEDES (Spain); Ricardo ANTEQUERA PARILLI (Venezuela); Mónica TORRES CADENA (Colombia); Roberto CORRÊA DE MELLO (Brazil); Santiago SCHUSTER VERGARA (Chile); Armando MASSÉ FERNÁNDEZ (Peru); Graciela H. PEIRETTI, Nelson AVILA and Roberto VÁZQUEZ (Argentina); Carlos FERNÁNDEZ BALLESTEROS and Eduardo DE FREITAS (Uruguay); Geidy LUNG and Marcelo DI PIETRO PERALTA (OHIM).

More information here.

Argentina's scientific data laws and TRIPs compliance

In their article "Scientific data protection: a new and autonomous IP category", written for International Law Office, Carlos O Mitelman and Daniel R Zuccherino (Obligado & Cia) describe the position in Argentina with regard to the protection of undisclosed test data. First setting the scene by remarking that the interpretation Article 39.3 of TRIPS on the legal protection of undisclosed scientific test or other data necessary for the marketing approval of pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical products is a matter of intense debate, they contrast the two main opinions. The first is that scientific data protection is a new and autonomous category of IP; the second is that it emphatically does not.

The authors then note the importance of the extent of scientific data protection to the pharma sector, where original research results are important for the generic companies too. Among other topics which they review are the Argentine Confidentiality Law (24,766), which is intended to be that country's implementation of TRIPS Articles 39.2 (trade secrets) and 39.3(scientific data).

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Chile: Patent publications as Non-prejudicial disclosures

According to the Chilean Patent Office’s (INAPI) notice No. 001, issued on February 4, 2010, some patent publications will be taken into account as non-prejudicial disclosures in connection to the novelty patent filing requirement in Chile. This notice comes to rule out a former one that did consider them as prejudicial.

Article 42 of Chile’s Industrial Property Law Nº 19.039 states that information regarding an invention that was disclosed within 12 months before the patent filing application date should be considered non-prejudicial, provided that the same was disclosed by the owner of the application or with his/her authorization, as well as if the disclosure is a result of abuse and acts of unfair competition.

The new criterion is important for applications which have lost the 12 months Paris Convention priority and/or for PCT applications, which were filed internationally on a date prior to June 2, 2009 (PCT entered into force in Chile on this date).

In this sense, if a patent application was filed more than 12 months ago, or a PCT application was filed prior to 2 June 2009, but the invention was only first disclosed less than 12 months ago by its owner or someone authorized to do so, or as a consequence of abuse and acts of unfair competition undertaken by a third party, the owner of the invention is entitled to file an application in Chile and thus will benefit from the 12 month grace period stated in article 42 of Chile’s Industrial Property Law No. 19.039.

The grace period can only be claimed if the Patent Publication corresponds to the first disclosure of the invention.

Prepared by Rafael Pastor (Abogado de Baker & McKenzie – Cruzat, Ortuzar & MacKenna Ltda. –, Chile), posted by Gilberto.

Mexico: Ley antipiratería


Desde la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Juan Angel Garza Vite nos cuenta que la Cámara de Diputados acaba de aprobar la reforma que adicionan los artículos 429 del Código Penal Federal y 223 Bis de la Ley de la Propiedad Industrial, a fin de que la piratería se persiga de OFICIO.

Sólo falta que la apruebe la Cámara de Senadores y el Presidente de México para su respectiva publicación. Esperemos que no haya observaciones por parte de éstos.

Para conocer más sobre la votación que tuvo lugar en el Congreso y a la que asistieron Armando Manzanero y el escultor Sebastián, aqui y aquí.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Seminario: La propiedad intelectual en los TLCs en América Latina








LA PROTECCIÓN DE LA PROPIEDAD INDUSTRIAL E INTELECTUAL EN LOS TRATADOS DE LIBRE COMERCIO EN AMERICA LATINA

Universidad de Alicante

(Sala de Juntas de la Facultad de Derecho)

Lunes 3 mayo 2010, 16:30 – 20.00

Con el patrocinio de IP Tango y LVCENTINVS

Como es conocido, existen un buen número de Tratados de Libre Comercio negociados por los países latinoaméricanos con Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea. Todos estos tratados incluyen un capítulo relativo a la protección de la propiedad intelectual. ¿Cuál es el contenido de dichas disposiciones? ¿Cuál es su finalidad a la vista de que, supuestamente, ADPIC asegura un nivel elevado de protección de la propiedad intelectual?. Los participantes en este seminario están invitados a presentar una breve ponencia sobre la incorporación de estos tratados a sus respectivos países y a dialogar sobre su finalidad y su utilidad. Ricardo Antequera, experto en negociaciones de estos tratados, hará de moderador.

16:30 – 16:45: Procesos de integración económica y Tratados de Libre Comercio en América Latina, Aurelio Lopez-Tarruella Martinez (Universidad de Alicante)

16:45 – 17:15: Ampliación de la cobertura de las indicaciones geográficas - la estrategia de la UE en los países andinos, Patricia Covarrubia (Brunel University, Londres)

17:30 – 18:30: Ponencias de los participantes: Incorporación en los Derechos internos de las disposiciones sobre propiedad industrial e intelectual de los TLCs con USA y Unión Europea en distintos Estados de América Latina

18:45 – 20:00: Debate: Ventajas y desventajas de la protección TRIPS+ ofrecida por los TLCs para los países de América Latina, moderado por Ricardo Antequera Parilli (Abogado Despacho Antequera Parilli, Doctor en Derecho)

Los interesados en participar pueden encontrar más información, aquí.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Promoting Latin American Intellectuals

Cuba has open the first House of ALBA (ALBA stands in Spanish for Bolivarian Agreement of the Americas). The launch of ‘La casa de Cuba ALBA’ is a project that ‘aims to promote and legitimise the intellectuals of the region without having to go through rich countries’ (I need to ask: what is wrong with rich countries? I believe that they have done pretty well promoting their intellect, don’t you think?).

There are plans to open other 'Houses' in each of the countries of ALBA and also in other countries of the region. The project is led by Venezuela and Cuba and seeks better integration between less developed countries. I must add that the Alliance was sought as an alternative to the Free Trade Area (FTA)of the Americas proposed by the United States.

The plan is to help young artist with the economic process and as the Vice Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas says, ‘it is an alternative to hegemonic industry’.

Ismael Gonzalez, responsible for the Cuban Cultural ALBA Project, explains that contests and prizes for youth includes money as wells as publication and dissemination of their work and/or awards for "the work of a lifetime" (I guess this one is for those that are not in their youth). He also adds that the project includes scholarships which will financially help the movement of researchers between Latin American nations.