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Hola, bienvenido a nuestro blog de Derecho y práctica de la propiedad intelectual en Latinoamérica
Olá! Boa vinda a nosso blog para a lei da propriedade intelectual e a prática na América Latina

EU and Mercosur Trade Agreement - the lucky 20 (?)

 


Over the weekend, it was all over the news that after 20 years of negotiation and talks the EU and Mercosur agreed to a trade deal.

Mercosur is one of the largest trade bloc in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), the other been the Andean Community (CAN) (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia). Since 2013, the EU agreement with Colombia and Peru started to apply, and this was later on joined by Ecuador (2017). This last EU agreement has seen how the market has gradually opened for both sides and has increased an investment environment for the South American countries involved. Bear in mind that the EU is the third largest trade partner in the Andean countries -- you can check the external link containing the fourth annual report (2018). If we go back to the start of this agreement, you may recall that we talk about one of the requirements imposed by the EU, that of Colombia to sign the Madrid Agreement.

Was Brazil and the heavy pushy 2019 on the Madrid Protocol a perfect clue for what was happening?
In Brazil we saw 2 public consultations: The registration of marks as multiclass trade marks: the Brazilian law does not allow for this. A multiclass trade mark application is filed for the purpose of getting ONE trade mark registered under two or more classes of products/services at the same time i.e. a multiclass application rather than a single application (a registration per class – a separate application must be filed for each class). The other hint was the open consultation on co-ownership and division of registrations and orders. Amusing to see in this latter announcement, published on the 21st May 2019, a notice indicating that shortly there was to be an open consultation on registration of marks under the Madrid Protocol; although by next day, the Brazilian Senate approved the Brazilian adhesion to the system. They did however opened the consultation on the 28th May.

I am looking forward to read the agreement and specially the section ‘Intellectual Property, including Geographical Indications’. Now a holistic approach is noted in section 13, here. On trade marks it states that there is an important reference to the ‘Madrid Agreement’ – does it mean that they will have to become members as the Colombia’s example? But, then I read that in regards to patents, countries that are not part of the Patent Cooperation Treaty are encouraged to sign – well, this is directed to all except Brazil. So, no encouragement for Madrid then, uh?. We of course cannot expect less from the EU counterpart to have an ‘ambitious’  on the topic of Geographical Indications. And to be honest it appears to be quite balance if we compare with the FTA between the EU and the Andean countries wh
ere there was a complete unbalance. In this one, the EU listed 355 and the Mercosur 220.

Hold your breath, the agreement still needs to be ratified by the national parliaments of all member countries of both blocs, as well as by the EU Parliament and EU Council.

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