Friday, 28 October 2011

Media law in Venezuela: If you cannot show (or say) something nice, do NOT broadcast!

Thanks go to my Venezuelan friends for sending me this news regarding the situation of Globovision, a TV channel from Venezuela.

Broadcasting, Media Law and Venezuela
While broadcasting organizations are protected all over the world, countries have different legal traditions on how to provide protection. Indeed, everyone has the right to freedom of expression but this does not prevent a State from requiring to have a license for broadcasting and so, it establishes certain regulations and code of conducts. This area is controversial however; especially if you are in a country where Human Rights appear not to have much of a value – just law but not in fact [I am not finger pointing any country in particular].

In 2004 Venezuela adopted the Law on Social Responsibility on Radio and Television (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Televisión, known as Ley Resorte). Its purpose was to establish a legal framework for the social responsibility of radio and television broadcasters. Its aim is to strike a democratic balance between duties and rights and promoting social justice – taking into consideration values. At the time, the law received opposition and criticism for those that go up against President Chavez believing that the Law was once more another way for the Government to have control over the media.

In 2009, there was a post in this blog regarding the latest tendency of several Latin American countries concerning media and giving examples including Venezuela (at that time President Chavez had closed several radio stations; one TV station; and blocking in a ‘Book Fair’ the showing of a book for containing political views contrary to the President’s belief– all of these applying the Ley Resorte).

Are the rights of authors and owners stoppable?
There is no doubt that not only the law and code of practice must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material. Moreover, it is also desirable that factual matters must not materially mislead the audience. However in the other side of the coin we need also to consider that there are situations in which material which are violent needs to be shown – it is justified.

Having more or less this background I proceed to the news.
Last week, the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) of Venezuela fined the equivalent of about US$ 2.1 million to Globovision (a private television channel) by the treatment given to a prison crisis in June - a riot in which 20 people were killed. Tensions rose during Globovision coverage of the dispute in the jail, which showed security forces against armed prisoners – the riot lasted 27 days.

The CONATEL Official claimed that Globovision incurred in a "defence to crime" by encouraging ”public nuisance" and giving “anxiety to citizens" and promoting "hatred and intolerance for political reasons". In other words it appears that Globovision was condoning and glamorizing violent and seriously antisocial behaviour – likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour (they based its arguments in Articles 7, 27, and 29). The broadcasting also transmitted interviews with prisoners’ family members during the riot. Because of these fact Conatel argued that when the channel reported that the National Guard was "massacring" inmates it was promoting hatred and by airing the prisoners' mothers statements they created 'unrest'.

According to CONATEL the images and interviews were showed around 300 times [I guess that I do not have to be a mathematician to see that is the riot lasted 27 days, the images were produced at least 10 times per day which seems feasible bearing in mind that Globovision is a ‘News Channel’].

The vice president of Globovision, Maria Fernanda Flores, said that Marcos Hernandez, board member and president of Conatel called to ask for more balance in coverage of the riot. Flores requested access to the information and also to be allowed to go inside the prison – this was permitted to the Government TV station only [this is balance in a democratic society like Venezuela].

The International Association of Broadcasting has said that this fine and action against Globovision represents "a step toward total government hegemony".

The Human Rights Watch asked the Government to stop the harassment of the TV station and finalised its report by making the following declarative: "The decision to open an investigation and the application of sanctions for infractions of broadcasting laws are the responsibility of CONATEL, a body attached to the Ministry of Communication and Information. While defined in law as an autonomous body, CONATEL’s four-person board of directors and its director general are all appointed by the president of Venezuela and can be dismissed at his discretion."

The New Herald mentions that Globovision last year became the only opposition channel to President Chavez after another television station, RCTV, was forced to withdraw both cable TV and satellite. Other private TV channels have reduced their criticism of the President in recent years. Therefore I leave you with this last statement so you can draw your own conclusions – is Venezuela IP friendly?

Get me some popcorns please!

Who doesn’t like a good film? Moreover, who doesn’t like a happy ending especially if it is real life? I am afraid I was stuffing myself with popcorn when this news came because I did miss it!!

I guess you are familiar with the expression ‘innocent until presume guilty’. However, this common phrase appears not to exist in Mexico judiciary practice. Today’s topic is the Mexican film named ‘Presumed Guilty’ which recently won an Emmy in Los Angeles. This documentary is an independent film about a man wrongly convicted of murder. While this blog does not cover this area of law here you can check more about the criminal process run by the Mexican judiciary.

Two lawyers, Roberto Hernandez and Layda Negrete, became involved in Mr Zuniga's case and filmed their attempts to win his freedom. To make the story short, there was eventually a retrial, during which a prosecution witnesses admitted he did not see Mr Zuniga fire a gun. The judge nevertheless upheld the sentence, which was only finally overturned when Mr Zuniga's legal team appealed to higher judicial authorities.

Going back to the topic on this blog – the film

The documentary received a step back went on March 2nd a a Mexico City Judge banned the film after the directors were sued for filming one person without permission - privacy grounds. The person that brought the case was the prosecution witness in the documentary who argued that he had been filmed without permission and alleged his right to privacy had been violated. Yet, cinemas kept showing the film until being served with a formal demand.

Outcry: the judge's ruling provoked a storm of protest and complaints about censorship.

Happy ending: not only Mr Zuniga is free but on March 8th a different court ordered the ban lifted on public-interest grounds.


The Right to broadcast and inform
– any author’ right: the difficulty in this case was the questioning of how far confidential information can be kept or how far I can claim that my privacy is worth of protection. Indeed, I believe that the case managed to weight the situations and finally agreeing that the right to show the truth was worthy of protection.

The documentary has won a string of awards and I invite you to sit comfy in your coach this weekend and watch a true and sad (with happy ending) story bearing in mind that this is still the reality of the Mexican people – Presumed Guilty!

More info here and here.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

MISUSE OF SPONSORED LINKS UNDER THE BRAZILIAN LAW


Competition for clientele is no longer limited to street corners and avenues. The internet has been a stage to this business rivalry for a long time now and companies are more and more concerned about their websites’ functionality and design. They are also focusing on how to get their websites highlighted on internet searches in order to achieve a larger number of visitors.

From this modern ambition the sponsored link tool was born. Viewed by many as an internet marketing revolution, this tool enables a company’s website to appear directly at the top or on the side of the user’s search results. In order for that to happen, a company will pay a certain amount per access on its website to the companies responsible for search mechanisms. According to a Google executive, sponsored links represent 40% of all online media in the United States alone, the equivalent of US$4 billion.

In practical terms, a flower shop would hire a sponsored link for the word ‘’flower,’’ so that every time a user searches for flowers, their website would pop up right at the top of the search results. This is a common practice.

What happens is sometimes companies use this tool improperly, infringing upon international treaties related to Intellectual Property and even our local legislation, especially the contents of Brazilian Industrial Property Law. They hire sponsored links for brands and company names related to or resembling that of their competitors, who are usually well known companies in the same line of business.

For instance, company A would hire a sponsored link for the expression ‘’B’’, which already is a brand or company name that identifies a competitor. In this hypothetical situation, every time a user looks for company B they would be shown company A’s website first, many times accompanied by the phrase ‘’find it here’’, aggravating the situation. This would mislead users, making them believe they would find B on A’s website.

When users see this, they are also made to believe that company A owns B or even that company A is somehow related to company B, when in fact this is false. All this confusion benefits company A, however, which hired the sponsored link for the brand or company name of its competitor.

There is no doubt that this is wrongful conduct. Apart from the evident misuse of another’s brand or company name, what is happening here is an unfair trade competition, prohibited by the Brazilian Industrial Property Law, article 195, subsections III and V, and by article 10 from the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, enacted by Decree 75.572, from April 8, 1975.

To solve this matter, one could resort to our judicial department, but before that happens, it’s recommended that the victimized company immediately requests minutes of a Notary. This public act will unquestionably depict the disloyal action.

Brazilian Courts have already examined cases similar to the one represented above and have ruled, on their vast majority, that the company who hired the sponsored link should stop using their competitor’s brand and company names. This act, which is considered an intentional fraud to deviate and confuse the other company’s clientele, can be rectified by awarding damages to the victimized company.

The court decision from the Honorable Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub is worth mentioning. The decision is related to process number 2004.001.14955-4, handled at the 1st Business Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro and was ratified at the state of Rio de Janeiro’s Court of Appeals, through court decision number 2008.001.60797. The possibility that this decision will be taken to a superior court is still very viable. Appeals court Judge, Honorable Mário Assis Gonçalves, highlighted the mentioned decision stating that, “When intending to illustrate the Defendants’ actions, picture this analogous situation: the Plaintiff owns a store on a street parallel to one of the Defendants’ store in a certain city. The Defendant, then, decides to advertise his store by hiring people to stand on street corner placed on the surrounding streets and when asked about where the Plaintiff’s store is located, the Defendant’s employees would provide a route that would lead people to go through by the Defendant’s store.”

By EDUARDO RIBEIRO AUGUSTO (email: eaugusto@dvwcg.com.br), partner of De Vivo, Whitaker, Castro e Gonçalves law firm.

Pharmaceutical market moves serious $

According to the Ministry of Health, the Brazilian pharmaceutical market moves US$28 billion annually [as you will see this is backed strongly by the sale of generics medicines]. It is noted that since 1999 Brazil has accelerated its growth in the production of generic medicines - given the launch of the program in the country. Currently, there are about 540 registered pharmaceutical companies in Brazil, 90 of which are producers of generic medicines.

Generics account for 20.6% of sales in units throughout the Brazilian pharmaceutical market. However, the news clarifies that despite advances in the marketing of generic medicines foreign multinational manufacturing drugs still are more engage in the production of ‘new’ drugs because of the large investment in research they put in [is this a negative criticism?!].

The information continues feeding us with more numbers: as a result of the policy to encourage generic drugs in 2009 this represented 19.2% of the pharmaceutical market in Brazil. Between 2002 and 2009 sales jumped from $ 588 million to $ 4.8 billion.
Companies interested in manufacturing and importing generic drugs in Brazil must meet the basic requirements and this includes the need to registration at the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) - Resolution No. 135 of May 29, 2003.

Brazil has a saying in Adwords

IPtango has received an article for one of his Brazilian [no tango dancer but a samba dancer] members regarding the sitution of misuse of sponsored links on the Internet – the so-called Adwords.

It states the following:

Competition for clientele is no longer limited to street corners and avenues. The internet has been a stage to this business rivalry for a long time now and companies are more and more concerned about their websites’ functionality and design. They are also focusing on how to get their websites highlighted on internet searches in order to achieve a larger number of visitors.
From this modern ambition the sponsored link tool was born. Viewed by many as an internet marketing revolution, this tool enables a company’s website to appear directly at the top or on the side of the user’s search results. In order for that to happen, a company will pay a certain amount per access on its website to the companies responsible for search mechanisms. According to a Google executive, sponsored links represent 40% of all online media in the United States alone, the equivalent of US$4 billion.
In practical terms, a flower shop would hire a sponsored link for the word ‘’flower,’’ so that every time a user searches for flowers, their website would pop up right at the top of the search results. This is a common practice.
What happens is sometimes companies use this tool improperly, infringing upon international treaties related to Intellectual Property and even our local legislation, especially the contents of Brazilian Industrial Property Law. They hire sponsored links for brands and company names related to or resembling that of their competitors, who are usually well known companies in the same line of business.
For instance, company A would hire a sponsored link for the expression ‘’B’’, which already is a brand or company name that identifies a competitor. In this hypothetical situation, every time a user looks for company B they would be shown company A’s website first, many times accompanied by the phrase ‘’find it here’’, aggravating the situation. This would mislead users, making them believe they would find B on A’s website.
When users see this, they are also made to believe that company A owns B or even that company A is somehow related to company B, when in fact this is false. All this confusion benefits company A, however, which hired the sponsored link for the brand or company name of its competitor.
There is no doubt that this is wrongful conduct. Apart from the evident misuse of another’s brand or company name, what is happening here is an unfair trade competition, prohibited by the Brazilian Industrial Property Law, article 195, subsections III and V, and by article 10 from the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, enacted by Decree 75.572, from April 8, 1975.
To solve this matter, one could resort to our judicial department, but before that happens, it’s recommended that the victimized company immediately requests minutes of a Notary. This public act will unquestionably depict the disloyal action.
Brazilian Courts have already examined cases similar to the one represented above and have ruled, on their vast majority, that the company who hired the sponsored link should stop using their competitor’s brand and company names. This act, which is considered an intentional fraud to deviate and confuse the other company’s clientele, can be rectified by awarding damages to the victimized company.
The court decision from the Honorable Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub is worth mentioning. The decision is related to process number 2004.001.14955-4, handled at the 1st Business Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro and was ratified at the state of Rio de Janeiro’s Court of Appeals, through court decision number 2008.001.60797. The possibility that this decision will be taken to a superior court is still very viable. Appeals court Judge, Honorable Mário Assis Gonçalves, highlighted the mentioned decision stating that, “When intending to illustrate the Defendants’ actions, picture this analogous situation: the Plaintiff owns a store on a street parallel to one of the Defendants’ store in a certain city. The Defendant, then, decides to advertise his store by hiring people to stand on street corner placed on the surrounding streets and when asked about where the Plaintiff’s store is located, the Defendant’s employees would provide a route that would lead people to go through by the Defendant’s store.”

I believe that for those readers that are in this side of the pond inmediately thought of famous cases such as Google France and also Interflora – relating to keywords and advertisement. It appears that Brazil is not questioning this action as such becuase according to this article it is a ‘disloyal action’ however, what appears to be the big question is - as in any trade mark infringmenet case: would consumers be confused?

Many thanks to Eduardo Ribeiro Augusto (partner of De Vivo, Whitaker, Castro e Gonçalves law firm) for taking the time and will to produce and share his thoughts with us. Eduardo can be contacted at eaugusto@dvwcg.com.br.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Argentina: Más problemas para Taringa

Aunado al procesamiento del que les comentamos hace algunos meses, la Cámara Nacional de Apelaciones en los Criminal y Correcional de Argentina ha confirmado en tres causas el procesamiento de los responsables de Taringa.

En estás causas se investiga la reproducción de libros sin
autorización de sus autores. Según el tribunal, los acusados permitían que se publicaran obras que eran reproducidas sin el consentimiento de sus titulares.

El Tribunal señaló que “La imputación formulada por el a quo no sólo se construyó a partir de un tipo omisivo, el que es arduamente criticado por el apelante, sino también sobre una acción comisiva, consistente en facilitar los medios para que los usuarios pudieran compartir y descargar gratuitamente archivos que contenían obras sin las respectivas autorizaciones de sus autores”.

El texto completo de los fallos puede consultarse aquí.



Monday, 24 October 2011

A meaningful pact -- or just a Mexican wave?

Mexico: the UK's latest partner
in reducing the global backlog?
The UK government's News Distribution Service has issued a media release today entitled "A landmark agreement to support the growth of UK businesses operating in Mexico will be signed today by The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI)". According to the release:
"The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will improve international cooperation between the two nations on issues involving copyright, patents, trade marks and designs.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:
“This agreement will allow the UK and Mexico to share best practice in areas such as enforcing intellectual property rights and to address the issue of global patent application backlogs. It will also support SMEs looking to protect their rights in Mexico and the UK, giving them the best opportunity to grow their business and boost the economy. 
“Mexico is an influential voice on issues of intellectual property in Latin America. The Government is building links with international partners to encourage the growth of innovative business across the globe.”
Director General of IMPI, Dr. Rodrigo Roque said:
“We are excited to start our cooperation links with the UK on intellectual property matters. The execution of this MOU underlines our strong commitment to contribute to intellectual property rights enforcement, not only at a national level but also in the international field, particularly with landmark offices such as UK IPO. 
“In the midst of a globalised era, it is imperative for Governments to jointly collaborate on common understandings such as innovation. We are certain that this partnership will enrich our IP systems, and will benefit IP stakeholders in both economies.”
The agreement follows the UK Government’s acceptance of the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth; a focal point of the Government’s Growth Review set out in the 2011 Budget. The Review highlighted that the UK should continue to pursue international interests in intellectual property. This MoU will provide support for businesses in the UK and help them to achieve their growth potential overseas, benefiting the UK economy.

The UK’s International Strategy for Intellectual Property set out how the UK would do this, including building key bilateral partnerships.

The agreement was signed today (24 October) in Mexico City by the General Director of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, Dr. Rodrigo Roque and witnessed by David Frost, Head of Trade Policy at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The IPO’s Chief Executive John Alty had pre-signed the agreement in the UK".
Does anyone in either Mexico or the UK have any idea what the actual content of this MoU is?  Will the patent backlog be reduced by mutual recognition of examiners' reports in the two jurisdictions, for example? What is its projected impact on the enforcement of IP rights in Mexico by British SMEs, or vice versa? This blogger does not recall the various calls for evidence in the UK in recent years being met by complaints against infringements in Mexico -- which is hardly the China of Latin America.

ADDENDUM: while I was composing the above text, I received an email from an eminent UK lawyer who was as perplexed at this announcement as I was.  The lawyer (who has requested anonymity) has commented in blue on Baroness Wilcox's statement as follows:

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:
"This agreement will allow the UK and Mexico to share best practice in areas such as enforcing intellectual property rights [I wasn't aware that Mexico was terribly well-known for efficacious enforcement practices] and to address the issue of global patent application backlogs [So no Mexican stand-offs here, then.]. It will also support SMEs looking to protect their rights in Mexico [that will be a great relief to them - no longer will they have to rely on the famously corrupt local law enforcement agencies or judiciary] and the UK [Should we be told about additional training in Mexican enforcement techniques being given to those who sit in the Patents County Court?], giving them the best opportunity to grow their business and boost the economy [According to Europol, there is more (and safer) profit to be had from a kilo of counterfeit DVDs than from a kilo of cocaine, so maybe the Mexican drug cartels will decide to move across to counterfeit DVDs. I'm just puzzled about how that boosts our economy].

Thursday, 20 October 2011

INDECOPI shows the way to support an invention

Peru celebrates the tenth edition of its "National Invention Contest". There are 119 projects involved in this competition which is promoted by INDECOPI (supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID)), in quest of stimulation in a culture of innovation.

The range of creators come from different backgrounds and working in different fields (agriculture, health, telecommunications, etc) and it is open to men and women, from any age (including children and the elderly). The seeded must submit their prototypes between the 7th to 11th November and the exhibition of prototypes will be held on November 24 and December 7 this year - in the latter date the awards ceremony will take place.

Show me the award!!
The winner of the category of legal persons will receive financing of filing a patent application in Peru and abroad, through the Patent Cooperation Treaty(PCT), which involves more than 140 countries. In this way, it will not only promote the internationalization of the invention but it will give worldwide protection.

The winner of the category of individuals (natural person) will present his creation in the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland, to be held in April next year, and so, making it easier for inventors to reach foreign markets.

My invention didn’t win!
INDECOPI got it cover! Every finalist will receive free advice from the project ‘RAMP Peru’ to develop a business plan to commercialize their inventions.

I have to say to INDECOPI “Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh”.(lyrics of the song written by H.W. (KC) Casey and Richard Finch).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bringing down the baddies!

A month ago the special brigade that investigates intellectual property crimes in Chile was made aware of some ‘Solingen’ ™ products which were actually counterfeits. The complaint (a criminal action) was filed by Silva & Cia, the Solingen brand representative in Chile.

Last week it was announced that the special brigade managed to seize 4,656 pirated products. Moreover, marcasur informs that it was possible to catch one of the the leading importers and distributors of counterfeit goods in this country.

Certainly this is good news for IP owners.

Looking further than a mere trade mark:
In Germany, the mark ‘Solingen’ has been protected by law since 1938. What is more, it is protected under a specific law called the "Decree for the Protection of the Name Solingen" (Solingen Decree) and so, products bearing this mark need to meet rigid conditions. This is so, because the name ‘Solingen’ is a geographical name (however bear in mind that EU Regulations regarding Geographical Indication are non-applicable in this case because the products are not agricultural and/or foodstuff).

That said, being the name of a geographical origin we may think of unfair competition legislation and trade mark regulations. Indeed, in a number of international agreements, countries provide for the protection of geographical names, for instance:
1.- the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883: Germany and Chile are Members; and
2.- the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False and Deceptive Indications of Source on International protection of the name: Germany is a Member (Chile is not).
There is indeed concern with the protection of trade marks, but in this case I believe that Chile is not only protecting a brand and so its reputation but is defending a city. Well done!

More in ‘Solingen’ here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Let's tango in Venezuela

The Venezuelan Intellectual Property Office (SAPI) is inviting to two events:
1. ‘Seminar on Intellectual Property Trademarks, Patents and Copyright’ to be held on Thursday October 27, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm in the Auditorium Ramon Vicente Casanova (Corpoandes), Mérida.

The event is aimed at all age groups, students, teachers, professionals, entrepreneurs, communal councils and anyone interested in learning about Trademarks, Patents and Copyright.

2. Workshop 'Basics of Copyright' to be held on Friday October 28, 2011, from 08:30 am to12:00 pm in the Auditorium Ramon Vicente Casanova (as above).

The event will focus on: limitations and exceptions of copyright, collective management organizations, procedures for registration of copyright and its concepts.

More info here.

Monday, 17 October 2011

INDECOPI is happy to act ex officio - good results for a good cause

The INDECOPI’s Copyright Commission informs that between 2009 and 2011 has initiated 44investigations against cable companies across the country that appear to transmit television signals without authorization from the copyright owners. From the 44 investigation it is claimed that 24 investigations were initiated ex officio and the remaining were at the request of complainants. INDECOPI reveals that from this figure 39 cases have been solved applying fines.

Regarding the case of ‘Cable Orion Co’, as soon as INDECOPI’s Technical Secretariat of the Copyright Commission was aware, it initiated a preliminary investigation into the alleged infringement of cable television signal. The authority said that if the accusations are confirmed the process will begin and appropriate administrative sanctions will apply.

Source INDECOPI.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Long distance (and time) affair: the FTA between Colombia and the US

Finally the wait is over for Colombia. After five years from the signature of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, the United States Congress approved it and now it is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama.

The waiting...is it over? Not yet. One of the longest phases is to come: Oh, yes! The implementation of the agreement, which is the adequacy of the rules of each country to the content of the FTA and then, the exchange of letters between the two governments to certify that they meet the requirements.

Thinking ahead (in baseball language)
Colombia did not wait in the doghouse. In 2009 Colombia issued three laws: to the interest of this blog we have law 1343 (intellectual property right – trade marks). Last year legislative process started for the accession to the Madrid Protocol which this year was ratified – law 1445 (homerun!). In progress (stealing a base?) there is the Budapest Treaty (International Deposit of Microorganisms, patents).

There are three more initiatives in IP (hit & run): accession to the Treaty of Brussels (on the distribution of Programs-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite); accession to the Treaty on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91) and also copyrights.

According to Colombia’s president the FTA will bring “more investment for infrastructure, industry, and for rural development.”

Any strikes or outs?
As in any FTA there is always going to be some controversial issues. For instance, the head of Colombian trade union federation, affirmed that Colombia economy is not ready to compete. Moreover, the Colombia Agriculture Minister foresees that there are two sectors which are in threat to agricultural production - the rice and dairy products.

RemarksWhile there is so many issues cover in this FTA: from human rights to postal services, we need to concentrate on what this blog encourage – IPRs. In this regard, I do notice that Colombia is having a good game and probably they have all the bases full and ready to hit the next ball. Indeed, it appears that Colombia quite soon will be one of the big players in South America – that is, to be Member of the majority of important Treaty and Conventions that there are for the protection of IPRs.

INAPI de Chile e IMPI de México realizan talleres sobre Clasificador de Niza

En las ciudades de Iquique, Santiago y Concepción, el Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial, INAPI, realiza esta semana talleres itinerantes sobre marcas comerciales centrados en el "Clasificador de Niza" dirigidos a pymes, universidades, estudios jurídicos y organismos públicos como el Poder Judicial, Policía de Investigaciones, Carabineros de Chile, Aduana y el Ministerio Público. 

Cada una de las charlas programadas estarán a cargo de expertos del INAPI y contarán con la participación del Subdirector Divisional de Marcas del Instituto Mexicano de Propiedad Industrial, Gabriel Corres Benignos, quién además de exponer sobre la realidad de esta área en México, abordará temáticas específicas como: coexistencia de marcas; búsquedas al interior de la oficina; revisión de síntesis de las clases, y se analizarán casos concretos.

El apoyo del IMPI de México a estas actividades organizadas por el INAPI, se enmarca dentro del reciente memorándum de entendimiento en materia de cooperación técnica firmado por ambas oficinas, mientras se desarrollaba la Asamblea General de Estados miembros de la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI), en Ginebra, Suiza. Dicho acuerdo permitirá a futuro realizar intercambios de expertos para brindar asesorías en materia de recursos humanos en las áreas del sector de la Propiedad Industrial que ambas oficinas acuerden previamente; realizar seminarios y talleres, en el campo de la Propiedad Industrial adaptados a las pequeñas y medianas empresas de ambos países; desarrollo de nuevos sistemas de clasificación para documentos e información referente a la Propiedad Industrial y manejo administrativo de los procesos; entre otros aspectos. El primer taller itinerante sobre el Clasificador de Niza comenzó en la ciudad de Iquique el miércoles 12, luego continuará hoy 13 de octubre en Santiago y finalizará este ciclo de talleres en Concepción, el viernes 14 de octubre.

Lugar de los Talleres:

12 de octubre, Iquique, en la Universidad Arturo Prat. / Ver Programa

13 de Octubre, Santiago, en la Universidad Católica Cardenal Silva Henríquez (UCSH) / Ver Programa

14 de Octubre, Concepción, Universidad de Concepción (UDEC) / Ver Programa

Inscripciones e informaciones: seminarios@inapi.cl

Fuente: Comunicaciones INAPI (Diego Ponce)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Brazil upholds trade mark applicant's entitlement to relief

In August of this year the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice held that a trade mark applicant is entitled to enforce IP rights against third parties even before the trade mark registration has been granted. This ruling turned on a consideration of Article 129 of Brazil's Industrial Property Law (which provides that trade mark rights derive solely from a validly issued registration) and Article 130 (which confers on an applicant the right to take measures to preserve a the reputation and integrity of his trade mark in the market). The court's decision was based on the principle that delay in the issuance of a trade mark registration cannot run in favour of the infringer.

The decision has, unsurprisingly, been said to have been welcomed by the country's trade mark owners.


Source: "BRAZIL: Superior Court of Justice Confirms Trademark Applicant’s Rights to Enforcement", The INTA Bulletin October 1, 2011 Vol. 66 No. 17

Friday, 7 October 2011

Dealing with data protection: the Habeus Data right

Yesterday the Colombian Constitutional Court endorsed ‘Habeus Data’ ( ‘ you should have the data’) right to become law. Habeus Data as the term implies, grants individuals with a constitutional right designed “to protect, by means of an individual complaint presented to a constitutional court, the image, privacy, honour, information self-determination and freedom of information of a person.” In other words it gives the tools to update, or correct personal information stored in databases and archives of public and private entities.

The presiding Judge, Hon. Juan Carlos Henao, explained that previously, Habeus data applied to databases of financial institutions regarding the credit reports of people. Now, this new law is extended to other entities that handle databases, such as health centres, public utilities, educational institutions and public offices.

Among the limits imposed by the law it will require holders of databases to give notice to the owner of the data if information is to be provided to third parties and also, to have the authorization to do so. They will also have the duty to inform individuals of, as well as be informed as to, how the information is going to be used.

This are superb news, they are taking pretty serious data protection. By this Habeus data they are giving power to individuals to request the rectification, update or even the destruction of the personal data held in any databases.

AECUPI


Vía Blog Lvcentinvs se ha dado a conocer la realización de las  III Jornadas Internacionales de Propiedad Intelectual, que se celebrarán en Guayaquil (Ecuador) los días 10 y 11 de octubre 2011, organizadas por la Academia Ecuatoriana de Propiedad Intelectual (AECUPI). Mayores informaciones en la web de la AECUPI.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Iron Maiden declarada marca notoria y famosa en Chile logra nulidad de registro

Con fecha 30 de septiembre de 2011 la Corte Suprema de Chile ha resuelto acoger un recurso de casación en el fondo en contra de la sentencia de segunda instancia del Tribunal de Propiedad Industrial, anulando el fallo y declarando en la sentencia de reemplazo que la marca Iron Maiden es famosa y notoria, y la acción de nulidad de registro, en este caso, imprescriptible por el art. 6 bis del Convenio de París, aplicado directamente a la litis  (autoejecutabilidad del Convenio).

La sentencia de reemplazo, acogiendo la demanda de nulidad de registro de Iron Maiden por parte de Iron Maiden Holdings Limited, resolvió que al ser imprescriptible la acción de nulidad del registro marcario corresponde determinar la procedencia de las causales de nulidad invocadas por el demandante. Las marcas famosas tiene una protección especial que se traduce, entre otros aspectos, en que constituyen una excepción al principio de especialidad, ya que se puede entender que existe error o confusión en marcas de productos o servicios entre los cuales no existe relación de cobertura, pero de modo principal, en la circunstancia que a su respecto no rige la prescripción de la acción para pedir la nulidad de los registros que lesionen los intereses del titular de la marca notoria o renombrada, todo lo cual, a su vez, busca evitar en los consumidores la probable confusión sobre la procedencia empresarial de los productos. Por lo anterior, es aplicable la causal de nulidad fundada en la letra g) del artículo 20 de la Ley 19.039, y en la infracción al artículo 6 bis del Convenio de París para la Protección de la Propiedad Industrial, que se refiere a las marcas notoriamente conocidas, toda vez que conforme a la prueba documental, especialmente de los certificados que dan cuenta de registros de su marca en el extranjero para distinguir, entre otros, productos de la clase 25 y servicios de la clase 41, se acreditó fehacientemente que el demandante es el creador de la marca IRON MAIDEN, signo que, a su vez, ha alcanzado fama y notoriedad, a lo cual debe sumarse el hecho que las marcas son idénticas, circunstancias todas que impiden mantener la vigencia del registro impugnado. En consecuencia, se acogió la demanda de nulidad del registro N° 719.159, a nombre de Horacio Humberto Mardones Contreras, que corresponde a la renovación del registro N° 435.887, de la marca denominativa IRON MAIDEN que distingue todos los productos de la clase 25, debiendo procederse a la cancelación tanto del registro actual como del primitivo, antes individualizados. 

La redacción del fallo correspondió al Ministro Nibaldo Segura Peña (rol 6002-2010).

Chile: Primer encuentro internacional de transferencia tecnológica

Ayer fue inaugurado en Santiago de Chile el Primer Encuentro de Transferencia Tecnológica en el cual participan expertos internacionales de países que están a la vanguardia en valorización y comercialización de tecnologías. El evento fue organizado con el fin de generar un espacio de encuentro entre investigadores y empresas para que se conecten y puedan dar solución a necesidades que requiere el mercado.

El encuentro cuenta con la presencia del Ministro de Economía Pablo Longueira, Corfo, INAPI y FIA. Esta última es la Fundación para la Innovación Agraria (FIA) que a través de su programa FIA-PIPRA  apoya y articula a los distintos actores del ámbito agroalimentario de Chile que realizan I+D, para gestionar estratégicamente la propiedad intelectual y capturar el valor del conocimiento generado, con la finalidad de impulsar la innovación en el sector agrícola y alimentario. 

Durante ambas jornadas se expondrá sobre las tendencias en países desarrollados, en donde los Centros de I+D son generadores de tecnologías que salen al mercado gracias a la conexión que hay entre estos centros y las empresas.Entre los relatores se encuentran Stephen Ciesinski del SRI International (entidad que tiene en su trayectoria la creación del mouse para el computador), Rainer Fisher Director de Fraunhofer (creadores del MP3) y Phyl Speser CEO de Foresight. Además habrá una charla a cargo del gerente general del Fondo Copec UC, Enrique Pizarro, con el fin de transmitir en qué se fijan los venture capitals al momento de invertir en un proyecto con base de I+D.

Para hoy la jornada está focalizada en los aspectos de Propiedad Intelectual y su gestión para facilitar la Transferencia Tecnológica. También se dará a conocer herramientas y mejores prácticas de importantes instituciones nacionales e internacionales para lograr la comercialización de tecnologías. Entre los expositores se encuentra el estadounidense Alan Bennett, director ejecutivo de PIPRA, (Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture), de la Universidad de California; Elena Canetti, vicepresidenta de Transferencia Tecnológica de la empresa Marqera (empresa global dedicada a la comercialización de propiedad intelectual); Joel Saavedra, vicerrector de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso; y Rodrigo Cruzat, gerente de Biofrutales.Para esta tarde se consideran las exposiciones de Jorge Alzamora, subdirector de Transferencia del Conocimiento de INAPI; Juan Schneider, emprendedor e inventor chileno residente en Canadá, creador del primer proceso industrial continuo a nivel mundial para la fabricación de capas a nivel nanométrico, quien además es dueño de siete patentes que cubren 25 países en Europa, Asia y América; y Cristian Hernández, director de Negocios de la Fundación Ciencias para la Vida, quien presentará los primeros resultados de un proyecto conjunto entre dicha Fundación e INAPI para promover transferencia tecnológica en el país.

Fuente: Comunicaciones Inapi (Diego Ponce G.)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Brazil faces up to Fifa over World Cup 2014 Bill

Fifas's slogan for the 2014
World Cup tournament
Just over a week ago, IP Tango reported on the Bill which has been drafted to protect IP rights in the 2014 football World Cup.  The Irish Times reports today that this Bill is by no means pleasing to Fifa, the sport's international governing body.  According to the article:
"Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff will meet Fifa president Joseph Blatter in Brussels today in a bid to defuse mounting tensions between her government and Fifa over preparations for the 2014 World Cup. Football’s governing body is reportedly unhappy with a bill sent by Ms Rousseff to Brazil’s congress last month which will regulate the organisation of the tournament within the country.

Once passed, the legislation has the potential to upset Fifa’s financial projections for the tournament as it would place severe restrictions on its ticketing policy and potentially prevent its sponsor Budweiser from selling beer inside World Cup stadiums. ...

... Since her inauguration in January, Ms Rousseff has hardened Brazil’s stance in negotiations with Fifa. In August she reportedly told its executives she considered “absurd” their demands that the Brazilian state accept responsibility for any damages suffered by Fifa, its leaders and installations during the tournament. She has made it clear that Brazil will not let Fifa impose its demands on Brazil in the same way it did with South Africa ahead of the 2010 tournament.

As a result, Ms Rousseff has ensured that the new bill complies with Brazil’s constitution regardless of Fifa’s demands. It respects a national law that guarantees half-price admission for students and pensioners, a move vigorously opposed by Fifa which demands full control over the sale of tickets for the tournament. It also does not meet Fifa’s call to guarantee the sale of alcohol in stadiums during the tournament. Under Brazilian law, such sales are regulated by state governments. This means if the bill passes unaltered, Fifa would have to negotiate alcohol sales with each of the 12 state administrations with jurisdiction over the 12 host cities.

The bill also fails to meet Fifa’s demand that anyone caught distributing falsified World Cup merchandise be punished with between three months and one year in prison. Instead, the proposed General Law of the Cup follows more lenient Brazilian legislation that sets a maximum of three months in jail as punishment. ...".
This blogger is personally thrilled to see the President stand up to the bullying of the Fifa tyranny and to be prepared to uphold her country's constitution. He hopes that this will give heart to others to do likewise. He is of course willing to hear the opinions of others, if they care to let this weblog have their comments.

Source
: "Fifa to meet Brazil's president as row escalates over World Cup preparations", Tom Hennigan, Irish Times, 3 October 2011

IX Congreso Internacional AAAML: “Marcas Turísticas: puerta para la inversión y la exportación de la identidad local”

Como os informamos hace unas semanas, la AAAML ha organizado un interesante congreso sobre Marcas Turísticas, el cual se celebrará del 13 al 15 de noviembre de 2011 en Cancún. El programa completo puede consultarse aquí.

Toda la información se encuentra en la web de la AAAML.

En tan paradisiaco lugar y con tan interesante programa, seguro que será todo un éxito. No duden en apuntarse!!!