Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Chile: administradores de sitios web podrían ser responsabilizados por ofensas cometidas a través de Internet



En 2009 un “troll” provocó que la justicia brasilera condenara al bloguero Emilio Moreno a pagar más 8 mil dólares por un post anónimo calificado de ofensivo por el tribunal, dirigido en contra de una monja. Si hoy uno revisa el blog, podrá ver que está fuera de servicio.

Tal vez inspirados en este caso el 27 de agosto los senadores chilenos Pedro Muñoz, Camilo Escalona y Carlos Bianchi presentaron un proyecto de ley relativo a las responsabilidades civiles derivadas de los insultos y agravios cometidos a través del ciberespacio con el fin de colmar una laguna del sistema jurídico chileno relativa a la falta de posibilidades efectivas de persecución de responsabilidades civiles de los causantes del daño al honor a través de Internet, pues generalmente se ven amparados en el anonimato.

La iniciativa fue remitida a la Comisión de Constitución para su estudio pues modifica la legislación vigente estableciendo que "quienes difundan a través de Internet contenidos u expresiones ofensivas al honor y la honra de una persona serán responsables civilmente de los daños y perjuicios que ocasionen". Lo más destacable (y discutible) del Proyecto es que dispone que en los casos en que no pueda determinarse quien es el autor material de dicha acción (lo que será lo habitual), la "responsabilidad recaerá en los administradores de los respectivos sitios", como ocurrió con el caso del bloguero de Brasil. Pero, como es esperable, la iniciativa legal contiene una excepción, más bien aparente, pues libera de dicha responsabilidad a los administradores que puedan "eximirse acreditando que han identificado en forma fidedigna al autor de las ofensas y éste no ha podido ser habido por causas que no les sean imputables o que han procurado, con celo, evitar la difusión de aquéllas", lo que en la práctica los transforma en responsables solidarios, aunque el Proyecto les otorga la calidad de subsidiarios de la pretensión.

Esta iniciativa postula que la acción civil para obtener la indemnización por daños se regirá por las reglas generales del derecho civil, y se entenderá emprendida en forma subsidiaria contra el administrador respectivo, comprendiendo el daño emergente, el lucro cesante y el daño moral.

Los autores basan su iniciativa legal en que Internet, como muchos otros avances de la humanidad, concebidos con fines benéficos y utilizados de ese modo en la inmensa mayoría de los casos, puede prestarse, también, para conductas inapropiadas que pueden lesionar el honor y la privacidad de las personas, teniendo como escenario, en la mayoría de los casos, foros o sitios de Internet, donde muchas personas se amparan en el anonimato existente en la red y en las dificultades para dar con el paradero de quienes la utilizan con estos fines. Con esta idea pretenden además atacar el denominado "cyber-bullying" o las agresiones ocurridas a través de medios informáticos especialmente entre colegiales, las que ocasionan graves daños psicológicos a los menores.

Este Proyecto debe relacionarse con la recién aprobada Ley 20.453 que consagra el Principio de neutralidad en la red para los consumidores y usuarios de Internet , que modificó la Ley General de telecomunicaciones chilena, cuyo Reglamento de ejecución debe dictarse dentro de noventa días a contar del 26 de agosto, y que generará interpretaciones vinculadas a esta reciente iniciativa.

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

Monday, 30 August 2010

INPI WINS THE BATTLE AGAINST THE PATENT EXTENSION FOR LIPITOR


On August 27, 2010 the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) made public in its Portal (www.inpi.gov.br/noticias)the decision rendered by the 1st. Specialized Section of the Federal Court of Appeal of the 2nd Region on which INPI’s arguments were taken into consideration and the patent extension for Lípitor (atorvastatina), a medicine that controls cholesterol, was reduced. Accordingly, the Federal Court of Appeal affirmed unanimously (5 X 0) on Augaust 26 that the patent validity for Lípitor ended back in 2009, 20 years after the first registration in the US, not this year or in 2014.

This matter refers to the pipeline system, which granted to applicants the possibility for patenting chemical substances, compositions and products, in particular for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry although they were already known. The protection was secured under Articles 230 and 231 of the Brazilian IP Law. To obtain such protection and circumvent the novelty requirement, the applicant had to show to INPI that the (i) patent subject matter had not been marketed in Brazil, whether by the holder of by any third party with his consent, (ii) that no serious efforts were made by third parties to exploit such substance or composition in Brazil until 1996, (iii) that the patent was granted in the territory where the first application was filed and (iv) the patent application had to be filed by within 1 year, counting from the publication of the Intellectual Property Act in 1996.

Soon after the requirements were attended, patent holder passed to afford a protection term of 20 years, counting from the patent application filed abroad. However, this understanding was strongly opposed by the INPI, as it defends that the protection of such substances, compositions and products should count as from the first filing abroad and the validity period should not surpass 20 years after its first filing.

The end of the patent validity for Lípitor has been celebrated by INPI as this agency was the party who filed the reviewing appeal at the Federal Court of Appeals. Further to that, consumers are expected a drop of Lipitor's price of up to 35% of the actual price. Also, this decision followed the understanding previously dictated by the Superior Court of Justice in the Viagra case.

This is the second patent that Pfizer loses this year, but the representatives of this company already informed that they will appeal thereby holding back a little bit longer the dreams of the local companies. An interesting fact was posted on the news yesterday: It has been informed that hours after the decision was rendered on August 26, Pfizer announced an agreement with the local generic company so-called Eurofarma for the launch of a cheaper version of Lípitor. This product will enter the market this coming September. It is going to be generic or not?

Friday, 27 August 2010

Brazil: First Denomination of Origin for national product

On August 24, 2010, the Brazilian Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industriale (INPI) granted the first Denomination of Origin to a Brazilian product.

As it was mentioned on an early post, Brazil recognises Geographical Indication in two forms: Denomination of Origin (DO) and Indication of Source. DO recognises products whose characteristics are essentially due to the geographical environment. On the other hand, Indication of Source does not require a link with the environment.

The DO is granted to ‘Litoral Norte Gaúcho’, for rice. Accordingly, due to the climate of the region the product is more loose, translucent and docile. Annually, the region produces 600 000 tonnes of rice. It is expected that with the certification, it will add value to the product, develop the regional economy and produce new markets.

Brazil has already granted seven Indications of Sources to national products. There is also the application for a DO for ‘Vale dos Vinhedos’ – an Indication of Source already. It is also important to note that the INPI has granted four DO to foreigners: ‘Region of Vinho Verde’ (Portugal), for wine; ‘Cognac’ (France), for wine or distilled spirits of wine; ‘San Daniele’ (Italy), fresh pork legs and raw ham; and ‘Franciacorta’ (Italy), wines, sparkling wines and spirits.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Protecting databases in Argentina

How are databases protected in Argentina? One basic tool for obtaining protection is the unfair competition legal regime, which seeks to prevent parasitic conduct that takes advantage of the efforts of others. Since the taking advantage of others' efforts by means of parasitic activities is generally considered unfair. In the case of databases, the effort refers to the required investment of time and economic resources in compiling the database. However, Argentina's unfair competition legal framework, being made up of isolated rules, does not constitute a cohesive regime and judicial enforcement is rare.

Protection can also be obtained under the law of contract, but contractual provisions are un enforceable against third parties that are not bound by a database's licence terms.

Databases are also given substantial protection under the Copyright Law. However, it is generally believed that the protection granted by copyright law is exclusively limited to original databases.

In several court judgments (for example Errepar and Axesor, a decision under criminal law) the courts have acknowledged the need to provide protection for database creators who have suffered loss through the parasitic activities of competitors trying to take advantage of their efforts and investment.

Source: "Legal protection for databases", written by Daniel R Zuccherino (Obligado & Cia) for International Law Office here. This article reviews the subject in depth and discusses the position in terms of the Berne Convention and TRIPS too.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Denomination of Origin for Peruvian coffee

The Instituto Peruano de Defensa de la Competencia y de Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual (INDECOPI) has announced that next Friday (August 27) will grant Denomination of origin to Cafe Villa Rica. It adds that producers have shown, through technical study, that the product identifies certain characteristics given by the geographical environment where it is grown. It is claimed that the coffee has a particular quality, taste, and aroma due to the acidity levels of the land. Added to these, natural factors (soil, water, climate, etc) and human factors (production techniques) are said to influence the peculiarity of the coffee.

Cafe Villa Rica is grown in Villa Rica District which is located on Oxapampa in the Pasco area of Peru.

This is the fifth recognized Denomination of origin in Peru. The first was 'Pisco' (spirit drink), then ‘Maiz Blanco Gigante Cusco’ (corn), 'Chulucanas' (handicraft) and 'Pallar de Ica' (bean).

Will 'Cafe Villa Rica' be added to the FTA recently signed by the EU and Colombia/Peru?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Argentina: absence of 'safe harbor' attracts litigation

Given the length of its Atlantic seaboard, "No Safe Harbors in Argentina" might sound a surprising title for this piece for the New York Times, but Vinod Sreeharsha's article is about a rather different sort of harbour.

Internet service providers Google and Yahoo have both emerged successful on appeal following legal actions by Argentine entertainer Virginia Da Cunha (right), who sued them after it became apparent that her name and some photos were among search results connected with sex sites. The two companies argued that they weren't responsible for third-party content over which they had no knowledge. While this case involved defamation, the same point would apply to trade mark and copyright infringement too.

The United States has Safe Harbor legislation to protects technology companies from liability over third-party content but Argentina does not. While Google and Yahoo were successful in this action, there are apparently a large number of similar actions still pending and which are expensive for smaller and less well resourced companies such as start-ups to defend. Brazil is reportedly another problem area for internet hosts for the same reason, with Google being said to be facing up to 600 current actions. Of the countries in the region only Chile has enacted effective legislation, with a 'notice and takedown' system which is said to be an improvement on the US system on which it was modelled.

For an earlier IP Tango post on Ms Da Cunha's action see here.

Thanks go to our blogging friend and colleague Aurelia J. Schultz for this lead.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Moral damages cannot be assumed as an automatic consequence of counterfeit merchandise

A Brazilian Superior Court of Justice has held that the marketing of counterfeit merchandise does not necessarily cause damage to an image.

Grêmio Football Porto Alegrens, a football club, brought a case against Beneduzi Jachetti, a company marketing products under the name of the football club. An interim order and seizure of the counterfeited products were sought. The club also requested compensation for material and moral damages. The Court of the State of Rio grande do Sul upheld the interim order but the compensation for moral damages was dismissed.

Grêmio appealed arguing that the sale of fake products do not promote the image of the sports club, and it was evident the moral damage suffered, since it would be presumed to harm the reputation of the entity. However, the Terceira Turma do Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) and under the rapporteur of the case, Minister Sydnei Benetti, rejected the arguments explaining that despite all the reasoning presented by the plaintiff – regarding the damage to the image, “the facts actually make up material damage and do not necessarily cause damage to the image." For the minister, the case at issue did not lead to the conclusion that the fans and the general public were associating the brand of the club with the counterfeited (bad quality) products. Nevertheless, he added that “damage to an image can indeed be compensated, but losses were not in evidence in this case”. Affixing the brand in these products - hypothetically of poor quality, “does not induce the consumer to think that Gremio Football Porto Alegrense produces bad stuff, unworthy of respect.”

The sentence, which became final on that point, ordered the company Beneduzi Jachetti Ltd to compensate for ‘material’ damages only.

Marketing unofficial merchandise causes economic damage to the right holders, but does it produce moral damage? I will have to agree with the STJ in saying that there are circumstances when this could happen but this need to be proven by the plaintiff – what do you think?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A double Geographical Indication for Brazilian wines

On Monday, August 16, 2010 the producers of the Vale dos Vinhedos (Valley of the Vineyards) entered an application to the Brazil Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI) to register the region as a Denomination of Origin (also known in Brazil as Appellation of Origin).

Back in 2002, the name was registered as an Indicação de Procedência (indication of source) - the first GI granted by the INPI. The goal is to transform it in a Denomination of Origin. In Brazil these two forms are Geographical Indication (GI), but the latter is more valued because it depends on proof that the product has special characteristics due to geographic factors and human.

Since obtaining the Indication of Source, the INPI reports that there has been a great boost in tourism (which grew over 300% in this period) and on local production (the number of wineries has grown from 15 to 31). Besides the domestic market, the goal is to invest in exports.

The legal competence of the INPI, in respect of geographical indications, is born with the Industrial Property Law, Law No. 9279, May 14, 1996, under Title IV. Added to this, INPI promulgated Resolution No 075 which establishes the procedures for the registration of GIs. The INPI not only makes the registration, but also provide guidance and assistance directly to producers and service providers concerned.

Brazil is a signatory of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Madrid Agreement on Indications of Source and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Colombia: Interpretación del artículo séptimo de la Convención General Interamericana de Protección Marcaria y Comercial de 1929


En pasados días un importante diario colombiano informó que la Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC), en recientes decisiones, ha sentado criterios unánimes en cuanto al alcance del artículo séptimo de la Convención General Interamericana de Protección Marcaria y Comercial, relativo a la presentación de oposiciones a una solicitud marcaria.

Esta Convención, firmada en 1929 por 19 países américanos y en vigor para 10 de ellos, parte del principio del “Trato Nacional”, según el cual los Estados contratantes de la mencionada Convención deberán admitir oposiciones presentadas con fundamento en marcas no registradas en el país de la solicitud pero si en alguno de los países miembros. En virtud de lo anterior, el artículo séptimo de la Convención establece cuatro requisitos fundamentales a la hora de presentar oposiciones, a saber: (i) que la marca opositora se encuentre legalmente protegida en uno de los Estados Contratantes; (ii) que las marcas en conflicto sean sustancialmente iguales o susceptibles de producir confusión o error público consumidor; (iii) que se demuestre que el solicitante tenía conocimiento de la existencia y uso en cualquiera de los Estados Contratantes, de la marca en que se funda la oposición y (iv) que ésta se usaba y aplicaba y continúa usándose y aplicándose a productos o mercancías de las misma clase.

Con el fin de delimitar la viabilidad de las mencionadas oposiciones, la SIC ha determinado que, como resultado de la amplia difusión de la Internet a nivel mundial, las pruebas obtenidas a partir de ésta fuente son suficientes y podrían ser idóneas para demostrar el uso de la marca opositora, de conformidad con lo exigido por el artículo séptimo de la Convención.

Por su parte y en lo que atañe al requisito que exige demostrar que el solicitante tenía conocimiento del uso, empleo, registro o depósito en cualquiera de los Estados contratantes, de la marca fundamento de la oposición, para los mismos productos, la autoridad marcaria ha establecido que el hecho de que los signos en conflicto sean idénticos (sobretodo si se trata de signos de fantasía) y que el solicitante sea competidor directao del opositor son indicios importantes a tener en cuenta a la hora de analizar el caso concreto.

En efecto, se trata de importantes lineamientos que han venido consolidándose desde hace algunos años en Colombia y que propenden por la seguridad jurídica y la transparencia en una creciente cultura por el respeto de los derechos de Propiedad Intelectual.

Written by Natalia Franco (Magister Lvcentinvs), posted by Aurelio.

Ecuador: Media/Communication Law, a project which is restrictive of freedoms

Back on November 2009, this blog reported the debate over the final draft of the Communications Bill delivered to the National Assembly by the legislative committee responsible for its production. The Law project aroused the rejection of media and news organizations for being deficient and for blocking crucial freedoms.

This week the Ecuadorian papers once again retake the topic. El Comercio newspaper reports that, Catalina Botero, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States, conducted an analysis of the project for the second debate. She informs that “there has been progress in comparison to the text presented to the first legislative debate last December”. However, she believes that there are certain matters that are contrary to the American Convention on Human Rights.

According to the news, the most important matters are: the right of reply, compulsory licensing of journalists, the prerequisites for information, the conscience clause, the confidentiality of the source, possible censorship by the state, upon others. The law also establish monetary penalties, the suspension of business up to 30 days and even permanent closure. In addition, the project addresses that the news should be handled only by professionals journalist or licensed social communicators.

The newspaper also mentions that this is not the first complaint received by the Communications Act proposal from an international body. It refers to the Human Rights Watch which also sent a letter to President of the Assembly, Fernando Cordero, to warn of gaps in the legal project. One of the issues that the organization addresses is that by (the law) requiring the information being ‘genuine’ and ‘verifiable’, this could become a cause for censorship. In addition, the compulsory licensing is raised as being an attempted threat to international treaties as well as the system of sanctions (which is said to be broad and general).

El Universo newspaper also mentions all of the above but going further and publishing a list of critical points made by the Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States.

Fernando Cordero announced that the draft media/communication law will be discussed in September, when the assembly returns from holidays.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Afro-Brazil mixture

Brazil already has agreements and negotiations with 25 African countries. Areas that are covered are for instance: economics, agriculture, sport and health. Therefore, we can say that Afro-Brazilian relations have usually been secure.

With this opening we are pleased to announce that between the 19 and 20 of August, Salvador da Bahia (the Afro-Brazilian state capital) will hold the Inter-Regional Meeting between Brazil and Africa. This time the agenda involve Intellectual Property and Economic Development.

According to the INPI web page, the aim is to “discuss new alliances between Brazilians and Africans, with gains for both sides”. The attendance for this meeting includes national and foreign specialists, in addition to representatives from institutions such as INPI, Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), Fiocruz and Sebrae (Brazilian Service to Support Micro and small enterprises). INPI’s president, Jorge Avila, and the WIPO’s deputy director, Geoffrey Onyeama, will also participate.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Venezuelan Intellectual Property Institute, a service to whom?

Today I write with disappointment and despair. The reason? To obtain IP information in Latin American countries is an extremely difficult task. The information is not just out there and I have to juggle between high street newspapers and magazines – nothing legal. However, I have to say that there are three IP Institutions that have provided me along the way with good and reliable material; they are INPI (Brazil), INDECOPI (Peru) and SAPI (Venezuela).

Yet, for the past two months - day after day, I have been receiving only Government propaganda from SAPI. The information varies from distributing food to the poor, to opening new supermarkets for the deprived. They also cover the closing down of companies that sell regulated products at higher prices and welcoming visits from other Presidents. There is indeed so much info (re: political propaganda) but nothing to do with IP!

I have to admit that I see this with worry. The explanation is that as I read, in a daily basics, Venezuelan newspapers I can see how the country is deteriorating in all senses. Of course this is not the blog to discuss political agendas but certainly this is news that everybody needs to hear. If you go back to all past and present posts in this blog (regarding Venezuela), you will notice how IP legislation (or lack of it) as well as administrative and judicial process is leaving the country in a questionable position. Is it just me or is anyone else feeling the same way?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Panamá solicitará denominación de origen para su café

Los productores de café de altura de Panamá solicitarán la denominación de origen para la protección de su café. Con ello obtendrán una certificación oficial de la calidad del café que les permita comercializar mejor el producto.

La solicitud como denominación de origen tiene su origen en el compromiso adquirido por Panamá con la Unión Europea de obtener la denominación de origen en 2 meses.

La obtención de la DOP permitirá que el cafe de Panamá adquiera un mayor valor en el mercado de Europa.

Para cumplir con los requisitos de calidad que exige la obtención de la DOP, Panamá está actualmente trabajando en la puesta en funcionamiento del primer laboratorio de certificación de perfiles de origen del café así como un consejo regulador que vigilará que el café cumpla con los requisitos exigidos, entre ellos que para solicitar la DOP el tendrá que cultivarse desde mil 200 metros hacia arriba.

¿Conseguirá Panamá la denominación de origen en el tiempo ofrecido?

Written by Cristy Umaña (Magister Lvcentinvs), posted by Aurelio.

Gestión de la DOP "Café de Colombia"

CAFÉ DE COLOMBIA, fue el primer producto de éste país declarado como denominación de origen en el año 2005, de conformidad con la Decisión 486 de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones, y posteriormente pasó a ser el primer producto no europeo en obtener el reconocimiento de indicación geográfica en la Unión Europea.

En días pasados, la Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio, autoridad marcaria en el país, delegó en la Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, mediante la resolución 41083 de 6 de agosto de 2010, la facultad de autorizar el uso de la mencionada denominación de origen. Esta decisión se basó en el hecho de que dicha entidad gremial cuenta con la infraestructura necesaria para conceder el uso de CAFÉ DE COLOMBIA a aquellos agricultores y empresarios que cumplan con el reglamento de uso de ésta denominación de origen.

Sin duda este es un gran avance en la explotación de ésta denominación que no solo beneficiará al país en cuanto al creciente reconocimiento de la misma a nivel mundial, sino que favorecerá los intereses del sector cafetero colombiano.

Written by Natalia Franco (Magister Lvcentinvs), posted by Aurelio.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ampliación de la entrada: “Chile: Ley sobre la Neutralidad de la Red”


Como continuación a las entradas publicadas el pasado 15 de julio y el 4 de agosto, hemos tenido conocimiento de que la lucha por la neutralidad en la red, una campaña emprendida desde el año 2007 en Chile, finalmente encontró eco en el proyecto de ley aprobado hace pocos días por la Cámara de Diputados y que convierte a éste país en el primero en consagrar el principio de “Neutralidad en la Red ” en su legislación nacional.

La mencionada ley se encuentra encaminada a proteger al consumidor propendiendo por la mayor transparencia en la prestación de los servicios de Internet e imponiendo obligaciones estrictas para las compañías proveedoras de éstos servicios.

Con su promulgación, la ley busca evitar cualquier bloqueo, interferencia, o restricción del derecho de los usuarios a enviar, recibir u ofrecer cualquier contenido, aplicación o servicio legal a través de Internet, al tiempo que procura preservar la privacidad de los usuarios, la protección contra virus y la seguridad de la red. Así mismo, la ley establece la necesidad de la creación de un reglamento en el que se incluyan las condiciones mínimas que deberán cumplir los prestadores de servicios, quienes en todo caso se verán obligados a publicar información suficiente relacionada con las características del servicio de acceso a Internet que ofrecen.

Habrá que esperar para ver los resultados que traiga consigo la implementación de la mencionada ley para determinar si la misma se puede convertir en un ejemplo a seguir para otros países interesado en favorecer el desarrollo de la Red de una manera transparente y competitiva.

Written by Natalia Franco (Magister Lvcentinvs), posted by Aurelio

Promotion of Intellectual Property in Brazil

Academia
The Federal University of Sergipe has structured a laboratory for the development and research of intellectual property. The goal is to train students in the areas of technological forecasting, innovative entrepreneurship and business intelligence.

The laboratory activities are divided into ten hours to discuss theoretical issues and twenty hours for lab’s practice. The course topics include: innovation and invention; procedure for granting patents; and competitive strategy of enterprises by means of IP, among others.

According to Professor Carlos Alberto da Silva, coordinator of the lab, 40 students were trained in the first half of 2010. For the second half, another 30 students are enrolled.

More academic circles and Agreements
The Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI) and Eletrobras (Brazilian Electric Power Company) signed a technical cooperation agreement with the main objective of disseminating IP, through courses and seminars on the strategic use of IP by industry.

On August 13 there will be the first activity of the partnership, the seminar: "IP as a strategic tool for fostering innovation, dedicated to the public inside the company.

The Technical Cooperation Agreements promoted by the INPI in partnership with other institutions are the responsibility of DART (Diretoria de Articulação e Informação Tecnológica - Department of Organization and Information Technology), whose function is to promote and disseminate and train in IP. It also places the INPI in the national and the international scene.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Peruvian Anti-Biopiracy Commission seems to work

The European Patent Office rejected a request by the French multinational company Naturex to patent an alcoholic extract of maca, used in the treatment or prevention of sexual dysfunction and enhancing fertility.

Also, in 2000, Pure World Botanical Co in the US (now Naturex) applied for a patent for an alcoholic extract of maca. In 2002, INDECOPI assembled a working group consisting of public and private institutions, which concluded that the patent application should not be granted, because this use was already known and used. A year later, they presented scientific results showing lack of novelty of the application.

Ley Nº 28216 created the Anti-Biopiracy Commission which, since its creation, has been monitoring this action – Biopiracy and it has stopped eights patents overseas.

More info here and here.

México: Piñatas piratas

La fabricación como piñata de diversos personajes de ficción, como Buzz Lightyear, El Hombre Araña o Batman, hace que estos personajes estén metidos en líos en México.

Las imágenes de estos personajes se cuentan entre las favoritas para fabricar piñatas, pero ahora su popularidad les acarrea problemas. Sus fabricantes se enfrentan a la policía mexicana, que ha confiscado toneladas de mercancía por violar derechos de propiedad intelectual.

La denominada Guerra de las Piñatas, según los piñateros (artesanos que las realizan), no parece tener un fin próximo, pues mientras siga existiendo su demanda, originada en el gusto de los niños por dichos personajes, se seguirán elaborando las citadas piñatas.

Las autoridades mexicanas han actuado de acuerdo con las leyes de Propiedad Industrial y Federal de Derecho de Autor, según las cuales la reproducción de imágenes registradas no puede realizarse sin el permiso de su legítimo propietario. Es decir, debieron pasar por caja. La “guerra” no se presenta únicamente en México, también en los Estados Unidos se han confiscado ya miles de piñatas.

El uso y reproducción no autorizada de esta clase de personajes de ficción es muy común y no solo en piñatas, tal y como nos cuenta Rafael Giménez en su blog.

Más información aquí y aquí.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

New “face” for the Chilean Data Protection Law


Now that the nice “face” of the social networks is being questioned, the Chilean Legislative Chamber is working on a project which seeks to amend Law 19628 - personal data protection Act. The said amendment will prevent the use of the personal data which is available in this kind of web sites out of the context of the network. This initiative is the result of the need of adaptation of the Chilean law to an inevitable reality, as well as an attempt to include the advice that the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Directive 95/46/EC) has made in the European context regarding this matter.

The aim is to develop rules that ease an adequate use of the sensitive data included in the context of a social network and that could affect an individual (see our previous post “Chile: Ley sobre la neutralidad de la Red”). This is why the second paragraph of the project includes a provision regarding the use of personal data found on social networks and which may be available for employers or third parties that could take advantage of such.

This is a clear example of the need of an evolving legislation that can adapt to unforeseeable realities in a digitalized world where a social network can gather “together” more than 500 million users all over the world without moving from its places.

Further information in "Del derecho y las normas"

Written by Natalia Franco (Colombia), posted by Aurelio

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

La Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León y sus nombres de dominio


Juan Angel Garza Vite nos informa que la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) a ganado ante el Centro de Arbitraje y Mediación de la OMPI un caso más decybersquatting que versa sobre el nombre de dominio territorial uanl.com.mx (Caso No. DMX2010-0006), el cual había sido registrado de manera fraudulenta por una persona en Puerto Rico.

Esta resolución se suma a las anteriores decisiones: uanl.com (Caso No. D2009-0805), autenticostigres.com (Caso No. D2009-0385), resueltos mediante la transferencia a la UANL; y casos uanl.net(D2009-1087) y tigresuanl.com (D2009-0652), archivados por la cesión voluntaria a la UANL.

Asimismo, próximamente el Centro resolverá la controversia referente al nombre de dominio genérico universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com (Caso D2010-1160), lo cual viene a confirmar el compromiso de esa Máxima Casa de Estudios en materia de propiedad intelectual.

No hay que olvidar que la UANL es propietaria igualmente del equipo de fútbol soccer profesional de la primera división en México TIGRES y del equipo de fútbol americano estudiantil AUTÉNTICOS TIGRES.

Más información sobre los casos de nombres de dominio de la UANL aquí.

Judges of Rio de Janeiro Discuss Patents and Trademarks Infringement: How Much the Enforcement System Can Be Improved?


It is recognized that the weakest matter of the Brazilian IP System is the enforcement. Brazil’s bad reputation in enforcing IP rights comes from the judges’ lack of knowledge on patents and trademarks and the authorities’ permissive behaviors towards infringers, grounded on the need to protect the “local industries”.

Some courts in Brazil have taken a pro-active role to change the misconception that IP Enforcement System is lax and protects only the locals. This is the case of the State Court of Rio de Janeiro (TJRJ), which maintains specialized courts on commercial matters, including industrial property, and affirms the view that enforcing immaterial rights and hampering unfair competition are beneficial to secure foreign and local investments in production.

The intensive work led by the judges in Rio de Janeiro resulted in the reduction of the time frame for rendering a decision in the first instance. Matters involving patents and/or trademarks take approximately 18 months to be delivered. An appeal is examined and decided in 12 months. Moreover, the rendered decisions are usually regarded of good quality.

Nevertheless, the judges of the TJRJ seem not to be satisfied with this improvement, as it was organized from July 30 to August 1, 2010 in Angra do Reis, a Seminar on “Trademarks and Patents in the Court Room”, promoted by the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), the INPI, the Instituto Justiça & Cidadania, the American Consulate in Brazil and the law firms Mayer Brown LLP and Di Blasi, Parente, Vaz e Dias Advogados & Associados.

This Seminar addressed important issues faced by IP owners at the TJRJ, such as the evidence damages requirement for a plaintiff to obtain injunctions and prevent infringers from ceasing the use of IP rights. Another aspect was the proof of evidence on patent infringement and the relationship between the judges and the technical assistants, among others

Further to that, Chief Judge Randall Rader from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit delivered a special speech on “The Role of the Courts in the Defense of the Industrial Property Rights System: The American Experience”, which reinforced the importance of the Brazilian judges to address attentively IP rights owners and enforce them.

This Seminar is the beginning of a required deeper education of the judges in Rio de Janeiro, since they will be now the main actors of the Brazilian IP System. One has to remember that conflicts involving TRIPS, patent revalidation and extension have been resolved in June by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ). Now, it is time to pick the weaponS and fights for its IP rights.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Chile: Nice Classification

According to a new Resolution published on July 20 in the Chilean Official Journal, from September 1st 2010 the registration of trade marks will be made only based on the International Classification of Goods and Services under the Nice Agreement 9th edition.

The Chilean Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Intelectual (INAPI), reporting the news, explains that this “adoption will help to harmonize our practices of classification of goods and services trade marks with other countries, and greatly simplify the process by allowing the applications to refer to the version that, is being used by similar offices abroad.”

The communication continues by mentioning that it will “greatly facilitate the preparation of applications, as the products and services to which a mark is applied will be classified in the same way in all countries that use it. This 9th edition is available in several languages (English, French and Spanish), which saves work to the applicants who must submit a list of products and services in a language other than the country of origin of the trade mark.”

The Nice Classification consists of a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trade marks and service marks which is open to Member States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Chile is member since 1991.

Costa Commons!

A team in Costa Rica is currently working on adapting the Creative Commons licences to Costa Rican copyright law. The team has now reached the public discussion phase, in which they ask for comments and feedback from the local community about the proposed Costa Rican licences.

The public discussion page that outlines the changes and asks for comments can be found here.

The Costa Rican team is led by Rolando Coto, Carlos E. Saborío Romero, the legendary Technollama Andrés Guadamuz, and Denis Campos. Andrés is a law professor at the University of Edinburgh and has also worked on the CC Scotland and upcoming Unified CC UK licences.

The team is hosted by the University of Costa Rica and you can find more information about the team and affiliate institution here.

IP Tango thanks Aurelia J. Schultz for this information.