While there has been much discussion online as to the disappearance from this year's INTA Meeting programme of the Regional Update for Africa, the Latin America Update is safe and sound. According to INTA's website, it takes place on Wednesday 18 May from 11.45am to 1pm and looks like this:
"CW22 Regional Update—Latin America and Mexico
Latin America has become an important emerging market after the most recent financial crisis, experiencing a fast recovery and larger growth rates. In IP, the result of such growth is seen in the increase in the number of filings in the region and the transformation of several regional companies into global players. Large Latin American corporations now have their own IP departments, but many still outsource a variety of services. Specialized courts have been created, and new IP laws have been recently enacted.
The main topics this panel will address include:
• Trademarks and social media: infringements, case law and fair use.
• Keywords and domain names.
• How soon will the Madrid Protocol take effect?
• The risk of confusion versus the risk of association.
• Recent case law on trade dress and three-dimensional mark issues.
• The effects of the expansion of broadband Internet access and the booming telecom industry that has increased e-commerce, social media participation and the need to enforce IP rights online.
• Valdir Rocha, Veirano Advogados Associados (Brazil)
Speakers:The title "Latin America and Mexico" fascinates this author, who had always thought that, while Mexico was handsomely located in the centre of the Americas, it is still part of Latin America even though (i) no-one there actually speaks Latin and (ii) English is understood by many and spoken by quite a lot of its inhabitants, albeit as a second language. Wikipedia adds:
• Roberto Arochi, Arochi, Marroquin & Lindner S.C. (Mexico)
• Cristina A. Carvalho, Arent Fox LLP (Brazil)
• Damaso A. Pardo, Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites Arntsen and Martinez De Hoz (h) (Argentina)".
"The term Latin America was supported by the French Empire of Napoleon III during the French invasion of Mexico, as a way to include France among countries with influence in America and to exclude Anglophone countries".Readers' comments are welcome.
Now for a warning: during the past couple of years INTA has gone to great efforts to put on very good programmes with well-informed, well-prepared speakers -- but these sessions have been very poorly supported by trade mark and IP practitioners from the region. Please support your region! The better attended it is, and the more greatly it is appreciated, the safer this regular slot will be within an increasingly crowded Meeting programme.