Monday, 27 August 2012

Coexistence of trade marks: Brazil's new norm

A bulletin from Di Blasi Parente & Associados (Rio de Janeiro), "BPTO’s Normative Opinion on Trademark Coexistence Agreements is published", brings some important news for those seeking to register their trade marks on Brazil's increasingly crowded register.  It reads as follows:
"After a long wait, the BPTO’s Attorney-General issued normative opinion INPI/CPAPD No. 001/2012, which deals with the treatment of coexistence agreements submitted to the Office for the purpose of facilitating the registration of trademarks or for maintaining in force remaining registrations or applications in case of transfer of ownership. Trademark coexistence agreements are generally entered into by owners of identical or similar trademarks establishing limits and conditions of use, within which the proprietor of the earlier trademark will not attempt to prevent the use or registration of the later one.

Until 2010, the understanding set out in BPTO’s Interim Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks was that this kind of agreement could, under certain circumstances, prevent the application of the legal prohibition of registration of a junior trademark deemed to be similar or identical to a senior trademark registration. With the publication of the new guidelines in December 2010, the text in question was suppressed and a considerable part of the trademark applications involving coexistence agreements, were put in abeyance.

The normative opinion, which came to remedy this omission, determines the inclusion of the text in the Guidelines, setting in short that such agreements are not able to, per se, prevent the application of legal prohibitions to the registration of trademarks; yet, they will be considered as subsidies to the examination of trademarks by the BPTO. According to the normative opinion, if, despite the coexistence agreement, there still remains a likelihood of confusion, the examiner may issue an office action, determining the owner of the junior application (or the assignor of the trademarks) to restrain the scope of products or services identified by the sign.

Moreover, in a significant innovation, the normative opinion admits amendments to the trademark itself in order to exclude the conflicting element, provided that this is viable and that the distinctive character of the trademark is preserved. We should bear in mind that until today the BPTO has been denying the trademark owners the possibility of removing elements from the trademark after the publication of the relevant application.

This normative opinion has deemed to be similar brought clarity and publicity to a point of great importance for trademark proprietors in Brazil. This new guideline is effective as of now, being applicable to the analysis of pending cases involving trademark coexistence agreements".
Coming ahead of Brazil's hosting of the Football World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016, this would appear --  at least in theory -- to strike a reasonable balance between the legal provisions that restrict or prevent the registration of confusing marks, the ability for businesses to fine-tune their own branding strategies and the protection of consumers.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Copyright in Digital technology

Pack your bags...it is almost time to attend the next International Congress taking place in Latin America. Lima, Peru is the place to be on November. The event titled: “Copyright and related rights in the face of new technologies: compatible or conflicting interests?” will take place from November 8th to 10th inclusive.

The title appears to be quite self-explanatory but just in case you are still in doubt the conference refers to topics regarding the rights of authors in the digital environment. Matters that would be cover are: the responsibility of internet service providers in the digital environment; cloud computing; technological protection measures; the protection of audiovisual performers at national and international levels; the right to remuneration for private copying of sound recordings; access to copy for personal and private use of text and images in the digital environment; and the collecting societies in the digital environment, among others.

The panellists: well... you always expect the usual Professors from reputable Universities and highly regarded lawyers as well as directors of important IP Institutions...yes, they are the ones (coming from all over Latin America) BUT this Congress has the bonus to hear other experts in this area. You will also be hearing what other type of specialists and professionals have to say such as: singers, artists and of course even a comedian...what else could you ask for?

For more information here.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

British attaché to help boost IP exploitation in Brazil

Last week Sheila Alves began work as the new IP attaché for Brazil. Based in the British Embassy in Brasilia, Sheila will be working with representatives from UKTI and the Foreign and Commonwealth office.  According to the media release which accompanied this news, this position is central to the UK government’s plans to enhance trade relations and to support IP and innovation-led businesses abroad.  Sheila Alves is quoted as saying:
“Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world with one of the most rapidly developing economies so the potential market for British goods and services is enormous. 
My experience at Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian trade and investment promotion agency has provided me the opportunity to understand the difficulties faced by foreign investors trying to navigate the IP framework here. This is why I am really looking forward to making a positive impact for UK businesses which are already operating in, or looking to access the Brazilian market”.
With the football World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics both heading for Brazil, opportunities for British businesses to license their IP in Brazil will be considerable. It will be good to see what sort of difference, if any, it makes to have a person performing a role such as Sheila's in this context.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Desnuda por el copyright

En la Bienal del Libro de Sao Paulo el domingo recién pasado la escritora brasileña Vanessa de Oliveira se desnudó para protestar contra la piratería y en favor de los derechos de autor. 

La escritora acudió desnuda y con el cuerpo pintado en la presentación de su libro "Psicópatas del corazón", que calificó como "novela de auto-ayuda" dirigida a "aquellas personas que se casaron con un príncipe encantado que después se transformó por completo". En su performance junto con promocionar su texto, aprovechó de abogar por leyes más duras contra la piratería y que garanticen el respeto de los derechos de autor, y exigió a las autoridades brasileñas que reduzcan los impuestos que se aplican a la cultura.

Esta misma escritora había realizado en Lima en el mes de Julio la misma acción cuando estando de visita en Perú descubrió que copias piratas de su libro "El diario de Marise - La vida real de una prostituta" (basada en su propia vida), eran vendidas a pie de calle. En protesta se desnudó en la Plaza de Armas, frente al palacio de Gobierno peruano, y también reclamó un endurecimiento de las leyes que protegen los derechos de autor. Todo sea por el copyright.

Fuente: Emol

Chile: Primera solicitud de Denominación de Origen para sal de mar

El 13 de agosto en curso fue presentada en el INAPI la primera solicitud de registro de Denominación de Origen para un producto minero en Chile: la sal de Cahuil, Boyeruca y Lo Valdivia.

La solicitud fue depositada por el representante de los salineros de Cahuil -Boyeruca Lo Valdivia, Alejandro Chaparro, acompañado de la Emprendedora Social, Jeannette von Wolfersdorff, el presidente de la Corporación Hacer Chile y socio de Silva & Cia., Gonzalo Sanchez Serrano y con la presencia del Ministro de Economía, Pablo Longueira, y el ministro de Minería, Hernán de Solminihac.

La iniciativa se enmarca en el Programa Sello de Origen (www.sellodeorigen.cl) que desarrolla el Ministerio de Economía en conjunto con el Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial (INAPI), para proteger y potenciar comercialmente aquellos productos característicos de Chile. 

La sal de mar de Chile es considerada un mineral no metálico natural, con grandes cualidades proteicas para el ser humano. Su producción se concentra en la VI región, en las localidades de Pichilemu y Paredones, donde actualmente existen las únicas salinas de mar activas de nuestro país: las salinas de Cahuil, Barranca, La Villa, y las salinas de Lo Valdivia – Boyeruca. La cosecha de la sal de mar es elaborada a través de un proceso 100% natural, en que cooperan el hombre, el mar, el viento, el sol, y las condiciones naturales únicas de esta zona. La temporada de cosecha dura 6 meses; se inicia generalmente en septiembre y termina a fines de marzo, dependiendo del clima. La producción actual es de 6.000 toneladas en la temporada, con proyecciones de crecimiento el 2013 de 8.000 Toneladas. Esta producción tiene 3 categorías o tipos de sal, que se diferencian en su proceso, calidad, textura, sabor y periodo de cosecha: Flor de Sal, Espumilla, y Sal de Mar de 1ª. 

El representante de los salineros, Alejandro Chaparro, es demás representante legal y gerente general de la empresa Sal de Mar y Turismo Pacifico Central SpA., que reúne como socios a las dos Cooperativas Salineras de Mar: la Cooperativa de Salineros de las salinas de Cahuil, Barranca y la Villa, y la Cooperativa de Salineros de las Salinas grandes de Lo Valdivia- Boyeruca. Ambas agrupan al 100% de los salineros y productores de Sal de Mar de Chile. 

Fuente: Marcela Díaz O. (INAPI Comunicaciones Institucionales)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

It’s new, it’s great and it’s in English

I don't need one of this anymore ;)
The Brazilian Industrial Property Institute (INPI) informs of its new English version of its Internet portal. In a move to attract more investments and all that IP involves, Brazil launches its INPI website in English (here).

Source here.

Monday, 6 August 2012

SHOULDICE: Chile modifies trade mark opposition practice

With regard to oppositions and cancellation actions based on famous or notorious trade marks, oppositions against applications that contravened good business ethics, or oppositions against trade marks that were likely to mislead consumers as to the source of products, the former practice of the Chilean Institute of Industrial Property was to request that such actions be supported by either a trade mark registration or, at least, a trade mark application filed in Chile or abroad. In two decisions of 27 June, this doctrine was modified in respect of applications that were misleading or unfair, but was affirmed with regard to famous or notorious trade marks.

The two decisions of 27 June involved applications by one Urquhart to register as trade marks in Chile the words SHOULDICE and CLINICA SHOULDICE for a medical clinic specialising in the treatment of hernias. The applications were opposed by Shouldice Hospital, of Ontario, Canada, which argued that its trade mark was famous abroad, that registration of the mark in the name of a third party would mislead consumers and that registration of the mark would contravene business ethics. The hospital also cited Articles 6bis (misappropriation of a well-known mark) and 10bis (unfair competition) of the Paris Convention in support of its opposition. By way of evidence the hospital submitted documents demonstrating that Urquhart was a former director of the hospital, as well as press cuttings, copies of patient records and its own company reports -- but no domestic or foreign trade mark registrations or applications.

The opposition based on Article 6bis of the Paris Convention failed, since the Institute of Industrial Property still required that a trade mark on which an opposition is based be registered, whether in Chile or abroad. The opposition based on Article 10bis and on the provisions of local Chilean law was however upheld.

Source: "Institute of Industrial Property upholds oppositions based on unregistered mark" by Sergio Amenábar (Estudio Villaseca, Santiago, Chile) World Trademark Review, 3 August 2012

Friday, 3 August 2012

Brazil and China developing links

This week on an official visit,the Brazilian Industrial Property Office (INPI)’s President, Jorge Avila, is to sign a cooperation agreement with the Chinese Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). The Brazilian representatives will also visit Beijing representatives of the private sector and universities.

The aim of the cooperation is to encourage the use of intellectual property as a development tool. It provides for the development of a machine translation (Chinese - Portuguese – Chinese), as well as the development of collaborative tests, execution of projects in areas such as patents, traditional knowledge and genetic resources, training of examiners, discussion of best practices; and exchange of experience in intellectual property services.

Source INPI.

Classification of marks in Argentina: new rules for examiners

In May of this year the Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial (INPI) in Argentina have fresh instructions to examiners regarding objections based on the classification of goods and services. In essence
* If the examiner objects to the entire description of goods or services contained in a trade mark application and the applicant’s response does not meet the examiner’s criterion, the application will be rejected.

* If the examiner’s objections relate only to some goods or services of an application and the applicant’s response to the objection does not satisfy the examiner’s criterion, the application will continue -- but the goods or services to which objection has been made are now excluded ex officio.
Under the previous examiners' rules, if the applicant’s response to an objection regarding the classification of goods or services was not accepted, INPI would reject the entire trade mark application even where the objection applied only to specific goods and services.

Applicants who are unhappy about any decision rejecting or partially excluding goods and services may still appeal to INPI and thence to the Federal Courts.

Source: INTA Bulletin, vol.67, no.14, 1 August 2012