Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Exporting is Great

Last week the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) did a road-show around the UK. The campaign was regional focusing on trade and investment for Latin America.

I have the opportunity to make a presentation alongside the UKIPO as part of my role for the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk and while the room was not packed the feeling was the same: is IP important for my company?

One of the key issues that Rahul Rahhavan (UKIPO) and I emphasised was that IP is territorial. And before that, it was important to point out that the protection of IP is essential for a company; be it a logo, slogan, the packaging, the invention, at the end it is your time and money that have been invested. It was your company that made such a product; your name, logo, colour are the ones that have made the public aware of ‘your’ good/service that differ from the competition. Why then not protect it?

Image result for exporting is greatIn the road-show there were different representatives from Latin American countries. I have the opportunity to speak with the UKIT from Venezuela, Richard Hyde and talk about my beautiful home country: are there any opportunities for investment? As we all know, many Latin American countries are suffering from political issues and economic (in)stabilities and one cannot turn a blind eye on this. So, I rather not disclose Venezuela's state of affairs.

One of my roles was to address the weakness of IP in the region such as the backlog presented in some of the national IPO and the lack of specialised IP courts. But even so, it is good to see that the region has good legislations in place that fulfil international IP standards. Moreover, it is good to know that the majority are members of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (anyone from Argentina that can enlighten us on the country status? It appears that Argentina signed but has not ratified the Treaty as yet). There is also the possibility to include countries for the international trade mark registration system (Madrid system). This part went well since everything cannot be gloomy - otherwise will scare the UK to invest in our continent!

Hopefully after this event that took place in Cambridge, London, Reading and Midlands we will see some investors crossing the pond and interchanging some know-how, technology, and skills.

Thanks UKIPO for extending the invitation to the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk. We are here to make it easier for SMEs to protect their IPR in our region.

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