Welcome to our blog for Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Latin America!
¡Bienvenidos a nuestro blog de Derecho y Práctica de la Propiedad Intelectual en Latinoamérica!
Bem-vindo ao nosso blog sobre Direito e Prática de Propriedade Intelectual na América Latina!

Tuesday, 8 November 2022


Encounter 22, Open Science and Intellectual Property: The Dilemma

On 10 November 2022, FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 22, Open Science and Intellectual Property: The Dilemma.

The panellists are Richard Gold (James McGill), Roberto Caso (Italian Association for Open Science) and Julien Cabay (ULB). Prodromos Tsiavos (Athena Research and Innovation Centre) will moderate the session.

The suggested readings and the report on the session will be available on the Global Digital Encounters (GDE) website as time goes by.

The Encounter is offered free of charge, but registration is required. Register here now!

If you missed previous Encounters or you want to watch them again, click here.

Credit: The image is courtesy of FIDE.
Read More

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Mexico: Plagiarism and traditional cultural expression

    No comments:
I received an email yesterday morning with a link to the BBC Latin America News. I am always skeptical to open links due to virus (are you not?). On second thoughts, I read the link and it was clear that was a verified page and when I clicked there were some juice news for our blog 😊 The heading reads: “Ralph Lauren apologises after Mexico indigenous 'plagiarism' claim”. My reaction was, not again! It has become usual to see big business appropriating cultural designs. But I wonder whether this is due to social media and we, as a society, are more aware of it. The era of globalization surely has made us more aware of what is going on in every corner, but also may have brought in us an appetite for merchandise that is only available in certain regions, or cultures [would you agree?]. 

Back to the news. 
The wife of the Mexican President wrote on Instagram below the photo of the claimed item
“Hey Ralph: we already realized that you really like Mexican designs, especially those that are elaborated by ancestral cultures that preserve textile tradition. However, by copying these designs you incur in plagiarism, and as you know, plagiarism is illegal and immoral. At least acknowledge it. And hopefully you will compensate the damage to the original communities that do this work with love and not for millionaire profit. @ralphlauren (These designs are by Contla and Saltillo.)”
[translation, my own] 

Let’s put our IP hat on: is this plagiarism? Is there an infringement? Traditional cultural expression as such is not protected under the umbrella of IP. Yet, WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) on IP and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore is working on an international instrument for their protection. [for the drafts go to this page here). The matter is that IP has a period of protection (full stop). That is the terrible reality that traditional knowledge in general suffers. Added to this, is the fact that even if it were protected by let’s say copyright, there is the argument of ‘inspiration’ that designers rely heavily on. However, there is a fine line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘copy’, and this has been reflected more in recent years (or at least we have become aware of it). 
For instance, three months ago, we brought to you the news of Mexico vs Shein, for a garment deemed to be copied by the latter which contained Mayan’s traditional culture. Two years ago, we also posted about the Guna people in Panama vs Nike which contained a ‘mola’ design. I am sure there is not enough space to tell you all about this situation that seems to happen all over again, and again. 

Back to the news
Ralph Lauren has apologised and noted that months ago they remove it and were surprised to see the final products on display. This may be the end of the story, but not for the communities around the world. While waiting for the WIPO international instruments, there is nothing stopping governments to pass their own national laws protecting their traditional knowledge. Yet, this would be protection on their national territory, I am afraid, but at least, it is something. 

The suspicious link sent here.
Read More

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo

El Índice Mundial de Innovación de 2022: Latinoamérica y el Caribe

Hoy se anunció la publicación de la 15ª edición del Índice Mundial de Innovación (GII, por sus siglas en inglés). Publicado desde 2007, el GII ha sido una fuente útil de análisis para medir la innovación. Consulta mis reportes sobre el GII 2021 aquí y el GII 2020 aquí.

El GII de 2022 fue publicado por la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI), en colaboración con el Instituto Portulans y sus asociados corporativos.

El GII de 2022 contiene la más reciente clasificación mundial de innovación de 132 economías, basándose en 81 indicadores. El tema del informe de este año es “¿Cuál es el futuro del crecimiento impulsado por la innovación?”.

El GII de 2022 también destaca los efectos positivos de dos nuevas oleadas de innovación:
  1. Oleada derivada de la era digital, basada en la supercomputación, la inteligencia artificial y la automatización. Efecto: tener una amplia incidencia en la productividad de todos los sectores y en todos los ámbitos de investigación científica.
  2. Oleada de innovación en ciencia profunda, basada en avances en la biotecnología, la nanotecnología, el desarrollo de nuevos materiales y otras ciencias. Efecto: cambiar por completo las innovaciones en la salud, la alimentación, el medio ambiente y la movilidad (cuatro campos de importancia clave para la sociedad).
Algunas de las conclusiones del GII señaladas en el comunicado de prensa son las siguientes:
Read More

Monday, 19 September 2022


2.° Congreso Internacional de Propiedad Intelectual: Nuevas Fronteras de la Propiedad Intelectual y Tecnologías Disruptivas

El evento es organizado por el Centro de la Propiedad Intelectual de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Austral (CPI) y la Escuela Latinoamericana de Propiedad Intelectual (ELAPI).

El programa incluye más de 60 panelistas de diversos países. Los ejes temáticos son derechos de autor, digital, gestión y acción de inteligencia artificial y farma. El programa completo está disponible aquí, el cual incluye los siguientes temas:

  • El derecho de autor frente a la brecha de valor: ¿Una oportunidad para los autores o una grieta que no cesa?
  • La propiedad intelectual en el laberinto digital: usos del Blockchain e IA en la trazabilidad de obras.
  • Tejer redes: el uso de las obras y los creadores de contenido en redes sociales
  • Entre el verso y el metaverso: uso de propiedad intelectual en mundos digitales
  • NFT: ¿final de la euforia o nuevos usos en el desarrollo de la propiedad intelectual?
  • Captar valor, gestionar y construir calidad de vida: el efecto positivo de la PI en escenarios de desarrollo tecnológico
  • Del otro lado del mostrador: Experiencias de incorporación de nuevas tecnologías en las oficinas de LATAM
  • Player One: la vida como un videojuego

El evento es en línea y sin costo, pero se requiere inscripción previa. ¡Regístrate aquí!

Consulta más información sobre el Congreso aquí.

Crédito: la imagen es cortesía de ELAPI.

Actualización: Transmisión en vivo del evento en YouTube, día 1 y día 2.
Read More

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo

6th Session of the WIPO Conversation on IP & Frontier Technologies: AI Inventions

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will hold the Sixth Session of the WIPO Conversation on Intellectual Property and Frontier Technologies (formerly WIPO Conversation on IP and AI) from 21 to 22 September 2022.

The theme of the sixth session is “AI Inventions”, aiming to share information and build awareness around patent examination practices, tools, and guidelines for AI inventions. As such, it will be addressed:

  • What are the market trends, and how do these translate in terms of patent applications?
  • How autonomous is AI?
  • What role does it play as part of the inventive process or as an invention?
  • What questions does this raise for the IP system? 
  • How are IP Offices supporting AI inventors?

The provisional agenda is available here. The event will be held in a hybrid format. Registration is free and now open for WIPO members & Observers (onsite) and a wider audience (virtual)!

If you would like to participate in the Sixth Session by making a statement or a presentation, send an email to frontier.tech@wipo.int before 18 September 2022. Such participation is open to the Member States, IP Offices, and all participants (open floor intervention).

If you have a craving for more WIPO on IP and AI, do not forget to review here a list of sources at the bottom of the article.

Image by Tung Nguyen from Pixabay.
Read More

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru: the FIVE instruments of accession [I got it wrong]

    No comments:

On July the 18th we published in this blog that the executive president of the Peruvian Intellectual Property Office (Indecopi) submitted, during the Sixty-Third series of meeting of the Assemblies of the member states, five instruments of accession. 

At the time, the news was that one of them was the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (re. denominations of origin and geographical indications), and I was quick to ‘guess’ that one could have been the Madrid System. At the end I reported on others that were still pending. Well…I got it wrong, my wonderful and desirable guess was not so brilliant after all. Peru is putting this in the ‘long overdue’ to do list, and I said overdue because Colombia, a counterpart in the EU FTA together with Peru, started to work towards this back in 2012. 

The other guesses were: Locarno Agreement (re classification for industrial design); Strasbourg Agreement (re classification for patent); Nice Agreement (re classification for marks); and the Vienna Agreement (re classification for marks that consist or have a figurative element). All of them consist of international classification, which will appear in official documents and publications relating to the registration and renewals of the designs, patents, and marks respectively, the NUMBERS of the categories, DIVISIONS and SECTIONS of the Classification to which the design, patent and marks belong to. 

Photo: Proarándanos
During the encounter, Peru noted its effort to implement WIPO GREEN. This is an initiative that promotes ‘innovation and diffusion of green technologies’ (for more info, see here). The goal is to ‘connect providers and seekers of environmentally friendly technologies’ via an online platform where they can exchange information. Peru noted that they are focusing on the agro-industrial sector specifically prioritizing coffee, and blueberries. Peru has TWO denominations of origin for its coffee: Café Villa Rica and Café Machu Picchu – Huadquiña. While there is none for blueberries, this fruit has put Peru in the top list of exporters, for instance, this year has exported more than 5,000 tons of blueberries (Proarándanos). 

To read the news click here.

Read More

Friday, 29 July 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Mexico: cultural (mis) appropriation

    No comments:
Last week, the Mexican Secretary of Culture sent a letter to the company SHEIN asking to clarify the launch of the piece “Flower trim top with floral print” that is identical to a garment designed by the handicraft brand ‘ YucaChulas’.

The statement reads ‘” cultural elements whose origin is fully documented’, which generate economic rewards in the communities that sell them. The blouse, short huipil, was created in the Mayan communities of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo, and its design would not be possible without knowledge “transmitted from generation to generation, product of the collective creativity of the Mayan people.”’ YucaChulas also went to social media (here) to express their dismay against SHEIN due to the lack of recognition of the work made by local artisans and how plagiarism diminish and devalued their culture. Since then, SHEIN has removed the garment and noted in a statement that it was not their intention ‘to infringe anyone’s valid intellectual property and it is not our business model to do so.’

Photo: El Universal - YucaChulas left; SHEIN to the right

As you know, the protection of cultural expression through intellectual property is a heated debate. And now, WIPO has advanced in this topic – see early publication here. In the meantime, some countries, especially in Latin America, have some kind of legislation that regulates the use of traditional knowledge, but yet there is not clear procedure or enforcement, it seems like just ‘good practice’. However, one must say that the Panama Law No. 20 on the Special Intellectual Property Regime with Respect to the Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the Protection and Defence of their Cultural Identity and Traditional Knowledge, seems a solid one. Others, like Colombia, continues to use Geographical Indications protecting cultural expressions and traditional knowledge, although this protects the product linked to the origin, rather than the product per se. The same strategy is used in Peru, where you will notice several ‘collective marks’. Yet, IP is territorial and these legal tools, used in Panama, Colombia and Peru as examples, only will stop the ‘plagiarised’ product to be sold in their countries, but can continue to sell it in other jurisdictions. [sad]

Read the news at El Universal MX
Read More

Friday, 22 July 2022

Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo

Asamblea General de la OMPI avanza hacia la celebración de conferencias diplomáticas sobre diseños y conocimientos tradicionales asociados a recursos genéticos

El 21 de julio de 2022, los Estados miembros de la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI) aprobaron la convocación de conferencias diplomáticas sobre diseños y recursos genéticos, a más tardar en 2024.

Las conferencias diplomáticas son rondas de negociación en las que se adoptan o revisan tratados multilaterales.

La decisión de avanzar hacia conferencias diplomáticas se tomó durante las Asambleas de los Estados miembros de la OMPI, que se llevaron a cabo del 14 al 22 de julio de 2022, en relación con los siguientes instrumentos.

Propuesta de Tratado sobre el Derecho de los Diseños (DLT)

El Tratado tiene como objetivo agilizar el sistema internacional de protección de los diseños, haciéndolo más fácil, rápido y económico al acelerar los procedimientos y eliminar la burocracia.

En 2006, se iniciaron los trabajos de simplificación de los procedimientos para la protección de los diseños industriales en el Comité Permanente sobre el Derecho de Marcas, Diseños Industriales e Indicaciones Geográficas (SCT), evolucionado hasta convertirse en el borrador del DLT propuesto.

Proyecto de instrumento jurídico internacional relativo a la propiedad intelectual, los recursos genéticos y los conocimientos tradicionales asociados a los recursos genéticos

Este instrumento jurídico abordará aspectos de la propiedad intelectual sobre el acceso, la utilización y distribución de los beneficios de los recursos genéticos (p. ej., plantas, animales y microorganismos) y los sistemas de conocimiento.

La OMPI brindó ejemplos de tales aspectos de la PI, como “una de las ideas que cuentan con el apoyo de numerosos países es que los solicitantes de patentes cuyas invenciones utilicen recursos genéticos y CC.TT. conexos deberían divulgar ese hecho y demás información conexa en las solicitudes. Este punto constituye una propuesta de ‘requisito de divulgación en las solicitudes de patente’. Otras ideas [... incluyen] un mayor uso de las bases de datos de información sobre recursos genéticos y CC.TT., lo que permitiría evitar que los examinadores de patentes concedan patentes erróneas.”

El instrumento jurídico tiene como objetivo, entre otros, armonizar los sistemas nacionales, fomentar el desarrollo de las comunidades indígenas y locales, y mejorar la calidad, eficacia y transparencia del sistema de patentes.

La OMPI enfatizó que desde 2010, “en el Comité Intergubernamental sobre Propiedad Intelectual y Recursos Genéticos, Conocimientos Tradicionales y Folclore (CIG) se están llevando a cabo negociaciones sobre un instrumento jurídico internacional relativo a la propiedad intelectual, los recursos genéticos y los conocimientos tradicionales (CC.TT.) conexos, así como sobre la protección de los CC.TT. como tales y las expresiones culturales tradicionales o el folclore.”

Revise aquí el comunicado de prensa publicado por la OMPI.

Crédito: “Delegates at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2022” por Emmanuel Berrod está disponible a través de OMPI | OMPI en Flickr. Derechos de autor: OMPI. Foto: Emmanuel Berrod. Esta obra tiene una licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 4.0 Internacional.

La versión en inglés de este artículo fue publicada primero en el blog The IPKat.
Read More

Monday, 18 July 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru: WIPO Geneva Act

    No comments:

The Sixty-Third series of meeting of the Assemblies of the member states is taken place at WIPO headquarters (Geneva, 14th-22nd July). While the event is taken place in a hybrid format, the Peruvian delegates are present. Specifically, the executive president of the Peruvian Intellectual Property Office (Indecopi), noted face-to-face to the counterparts, ‘the initiatives and advances of Peru in the field of intellectual property’. [more info here]

The Geneva Walk - walking towards WIPO, June 2016

In particular, it was disclosed that Peru will deposit its instruments of accession to five treaties, including the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement, which shows ‘commitment as a country’. There is not other indication of what other Treaties or Agreements those would be, but if we are to guess, one maybe the Madrid System, which now covers 128 countries.  From Latin America:

  • Brazil (Madrid Protocol, October 2019; 
  • Chile (Madrid Protocol, 2022); 
  • Colombia (Madrid Protocol, August, 2012); 
  • Cuba (Madrid Agreement, December, 1989; Madrid Protocol, December 1995); 
  • Mexico (Madrid Protocol, (Madrid Protocol, February 2013). 
This is long overdue, Colombia, the first Latin America country to become a party, did it back in 2012 as a compromise - noted in the FTA with the EU (published in this blog here), which was signed same time (June 2012)  by both, Peru and Colombia (later on signed by Ecuador).

Regarding Geographical Indications (GI), the three countries, that is Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, amended and or adopted GI legislation in a manner similar to the EU. The EU deposited its instrument of accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on 26 November 2019, and in force since February 2020.

Any other guess? Peru is not yet pat of the Hague Agreement, Nice agreement, Locarno Agreement, Strasbourg Agreement, Vienna Agreement, Nairobi Treaty, Patent Law Treaty and Washington Treaty – which of these, do you think they are going to go for?

Read More

Monday, 27 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Paraguay: news with no news

    No comments:

From the Paraguayan IPO I read the news about the Mercosur – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Last week, the 6th round of negotiations seemed to end with some consensus on the matter of intellectual property, covering trade marks, patents, design, traditional knowledge and geographical indications. The meeting took place online and was led by the coordinator of the IP section Juan Esteban Aguirre, who is the Director of the International relations at DINAPI (Dirección Nacional de Propiedad Intelectual – that is, Paraguay national IP).

Previous round covered: access to the goods market, rules of origin, commercial defense, technical barriers to trade, investment, electronic commerce, services, telecommunications, government procurement and institutional aspects, trade in services, public purchases, and electronic commerce. The Foreign Trade Information System (SICE) publishes all documents relating to the negotiations, but it has not been updated (last doc is the 4th table of negotiation - April 2022). 

MERCOSUR is a trade bloc in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – Venezuela was suspended in 2017) and represents the 5th world economy. The largest exports from MERCOSUR in 2022 is to China (USD$ 31,532 M); same with imports.

In 2019, MERCOSUR concluded FTA with the EU (more info here). An FTA cut hassle involved in exporting and importing goods and services, could it be by the reduction or removal of custom duties and or simplifying custom procedures. 

Some FACTS on IP 

All FIVE countries are members of the WTO and consequently have incorporated the TRIPS agreement into their national legislation – minimum standard of IP. 

  • Madrid System (trade mark international register): Brazil and Singapore are members 
  • Hague System (design international register): Singapore is a contracting party 
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (patent international register): Brazil and Singapore are members 

Good to know – Brazil 

The Brazilian IPO may challenge clauses establishing that improvements developed by the licensor may only be used by the Brazilian company upon the execution of a new agreement. Law No. 4,131/1962 regulates foreign capital in Brazil .

INPI assessment and approval of Technology Transfer and IP licensing agreement are mandatory for the purposes of: 

  • authorizing remittance of royalties to foreign licensor, grantor of IPRs recognized in Brazil; 
  • trigger tax deductibility by the Brazilian party of amounts paid in connection with IP license, acquisition; and 
  • entitle the Brazilian party to enforce licensed, granted IP rights.

Other IP facts in Brazil:

  • INPI neither annotate agreements nor issue certificate of registration for the license of non-patented proprietary technological knowledge. 
  • INPI does not accept ‘technology’ licenses and establishes that the technology is permanently transferred to the Brazilian recipient. 
  • Software agreement registration is not required unless it involves the transfer of source code and know-how. 

For more information in Latin America, have a look at the vast information hold at Latin America IP SMEs Helpdesk here.

Source DINAPI.

Read More