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!

Thursday 31 January 2013

Patricia Covarrubia

INPI: patents disseminate information

I read with attention some information posted by the Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propiedade Industrial (INPI) regarding patents. The news broadcast educates the readers about the justification of patents. While the report is quite short – just a couple of paragraphs, it does indeed mentions the 3 functions of patents i.e. to stimulate inventive activity; to encourage investment (and so recovering the investment) and; to disseminate information.

Yet, the info focus more on the latter one, and this can be perceived by INPI's chocen title – ‘Patents provide fundamental information for research’. Then, it explains that a “patent reveals everything that has been invented and thus, allows to depart from the prior art i.e. no need to reinvent the wheel”.

The reason for my consideration in this [perhaps no so fashionable] information is that I have later on noticed how much we are focusing on the economic rights of a patent. At the moment I am revisiting the specs of the IP module that I run and I am making sure that I do spend a little more time in this issue – not just in the introduction of the course but in every single IP right. For example by reading INPI’s report I learned that 70% of the information that is disclosed in a patent are not to be found in any other source – did you know that?

The full report can be read here.
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Tuesday 29 January 2013


Will Mexico really shorten medicament patent term?

From a newsflash today, IP Tango learns that Mexico is planning to exploit the fact that there are few votes in patents.  It reads, in relevant part:
"On January 23, 2013, the Mexican Senate published a Bill adding article 23 bis to the Industrial Property Law (IP Law). This Bill intends to establish a "special" life term for patents claiming a substance or a mix of substances regulated by article 221, sections I to III of the Health Law that is: drugs, active ingredients and raw materials related to drugs.

According to this Bill, the 20 years life term for patents claiming such subject matter would start from the date of filing of first patent application abroad (priority date), instead of the filing date in Mexico, as currently set forth by the IP Law, which could reduce life term up to one year ...".
The opinion expressed in this news item is that
" .. this Bill contravenes International Treaties adopted by Mexico related to Intellectual Property, mainly as it means an arbitrary shortening of the life term of a particular kind of patents, which is privative and would be considered unconstitutional".
The proposal certainly goes against the general trend in recent years towards lengthening the life of drug patents, a policy that is currently being revisited by Australia too (see The SPC Blog here, here and here).

Source, "Bill to diminish the life term of patents for medicaments", Olivares & Cía., S.C., 
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Monday 28 January 2013


Colombia slashes official fees, assists local artisans and SMEs

As a result of Colombia's programme of 'democratisation of industrial property', the country's National Patent and Trade Mark Office has issued a new table of reduced official fees. This reduction was effected via a resolution which entered into force on 1 January 2013.  According to our source:
Colombian artisans will benefit the most, with a 90% reduction in trademark application fees. Micro and small Colombian companies will benefit from a 40% reduction in official fees for the registration of product and service marks.

The decision to reduce official fees follows studies carried out by the National Patent and Trademark Office, which determined that Colombia was among the four most expensive countries among a group of 50 countries, including European, Latin-American, Asiatic and Middle Eastern countries [it would be good to know the reasoning of the study: countries do not compete with one another in terms of price competition for national trade mark registrations. Is there evidence that the fees constitute a deterrent to obtaining protection? It is usually a lot cheaper to register a trade mark -- even in an "expensive" country -- than it is to litigate it once you have got it].

Foreign applicants will also benefit from the reduction in official fees, mainly with regard to the filing of additional classes within a multiclass application, which will be 50% cheaper than the regular trademark application fee. The official fee for the renewal of trademark registrations has also been reduced by half compared to last year’s tariff, making the maintenance of trademarks a less expensive exercise.... 
Source: "National Patent and Trademark Office reduces official fees by up to 90%", written by Margarita Castellanos, Castellanos & Co, Bogota, for World Trademark Review, 25 January 2013.
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Tuesday 22 January 2013

Gilberto Macias (@gmaciasb)

AAAML XI INTERNATIONAL COGRESS - Geographical Indications and Trademarks

The AAAML (@aaaml) has organized its XI International Congress to be held at Parma on 15-16 March, 2013.

The Congress will be focused on a global approach of Geographical Indications and Trademarks in the market place and the latest developments and best practices in EU, USA and China at a glance.

This Congress will provide participants with an overview of international legal framework for Geographical Indications and its relationship with the trademark system. The Congress also focus the EU GIs sui generis systems (agricultural products and foodstuffs, wine sector and spirit drinks) and relevant new Regulation on quality schemes, as well as the new examination practice of Articles 7 (1)(j) and 7 (1)(k) CTMR and the protection of GIs in the CTM system. Enforcement measures of GIs and crucial Case Law will be addressed to provide attendees valuable practical legal tools. The experience of the Groups and related Association will conclude the Congress.

The Consejo Regulador del Tequila will provide the perspective of Latin-American Geographical Indications.

The Congress includes two very interesting visits to a Parmigiano Reggiano PDO dairy and to a Prosciutto di Parma PDO producer.

Evidently this event is a must!! You cannot miss it.

Please take in account that there is an special fee until February 22, 2013. Hurry Up!!!

Complete details here

Contact: aaaml@ua.es
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Friday 18 January 2013

Patricia Covarrubia

Brazil 2012: economic uncertainty and registration of IP

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Economic crisis has affected many markets worldwide, and there is of course global uncertainty. This scenario can be reflected in the numbers of application of IP in their respective offices.

In Brazil we learned that patent applications remain high – for both: foreign and domestic patent applications. The Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propiedade Industrial (INPI) reports that the increase is of 6% compared to previous year (i.e. 2011). Moreover, it states that the “number of applications has been rising since 2010, after the fall observed between 2008 and 2009 due to the first impact of the international economic crisis. Since 2009, the cumulative increase in patent applications is nearly 30%.” INPI clarifies that several factors such as a growth in domestic innovation through research centres (attracting foreigners to the country), and companies, universities and research centres working on innovation. INPI, trying to encourage further application, especially from small and medium enterprises, is preparing to launch the e-patent system this year.

However, the case of applications has not been the same for trade marks. In 2012 INPI saw a decline in the number of applications (negative growth of 2% comparing to previous year). Yet, micro and small businesses, as well as individual entrepreneurs, increased their applications by 30%. INPI explains that the economic crisis has led many businesses “to postpone investment and thereby not launching new products and brands.”
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Thursday 10 January 2013

Patricia Covarrubia

Chile: Charging VAT to mass entertainment

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The Chilean Culture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies has agreed to ask the government to sponsor a bill to end the tax differences between foreign and domestic mass entertainment.

The proposition is based on the fact that this reality is based on 1974 law which sought to open the international market. According to Deputy Alfonso De Urresti “the law is simply outdated today.” Actors also addressed the Commission of Culture requesting "equal treatment" and "a stronger institutional framework that aims to protect and promote national artistic creation."

Parliamentarians do agree that national artists and creators are at a disadvantage in this area. Finally the news from the Chamber of Deputies (here) reports that the Culture Committee is to establish a “technical committee to discuss this topic, and make a commitment to hold a seminar in March, which is attended by all concerned parties.”

Uh? Are we seen an infringement of an economic right in disguise?
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Tuesday 8 January 2013

Patricia Covarrubia

Genetic resources and the debate over legacy

    1 comment:
Looking to protect and prevent the illegal use of genetic resources and also to protect traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, Chile is exploring a Bill introduced in December, 20th 2012 (Bulletin 8751) which seeks to amend the Chilean Constitution.

The Bill explains that countries like Chile which is rich in flora and fauna and moreover, rich in know-how from its peoples, has become imperative in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and biotechnology industry.

The Bill’s authors also highlight the concept of biopiracy and ask for the Chilean authorities to take a more proactive attitude. In this regards the authors claim that Chile must make his own the genetic heritage of its nation, and that it should be part of the public domain of the Chilean people. It also noted that Chilean genetic heritage should not be patented by other countries and that “any type of use that is made of this national genetic wealth should be given under the Convention on Biological Diversity”.

Source Camara de Diputados de Chile.
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Monday 7 January 2013

Rodrigo Ramirez Herrera @ramahr

Chile: Seminario sobre caducidad por falta de uso de marcas

En  Chile está próximo a ser despachado el proyecto de ley por parte del Ejecutivo, que introduce modificaciones a la Ley 19.039 de Propiedad Industrial, una de las cuales es el establecimiento de la institución de la "caducidad de marcas".

Para analizar el proyecto de ley se ha organizado el seminario “Caducidad Marcaria” que busca principalmente que los asistentes conozcan el contenido de la reforma referida a la causal de extinción del derecho marcario por falta de uso del signo. El análisis será desde su procedencia constitucional, como desde una más perspectiva especifica, estudiando los cambios que se provocarán en la Ley 19.039, así como el conocer los aspectos probatorios involucrados en el no uso de la marca objeto de caducidad.

Además se analizará la normativa internacional que en su mayoría ya tiene incorporada esta institución, por lo que es muy importante que los asistentes tenga claridad respecto de cómo funciona esta causal en términos prácticos en otras legislaciones, con el fin de tener una noción más completa de la caducidad marcaria, en general, y los resultados que esta tiene en el derecho comparado.

El grupo de ponencias y expositores es el siguiente:

- “Efectos en la propiedad marcaria, constitucionalidad y derecho  de propiedad”.   Marcos Morales,  Vicepresidente de la Asociación Chilena de la Propiedad Intelectual ACHIPI y Director de Marcas y Patentes de Alessandri & Compañía Abogados.

- “Como opera la caducidad en derecho comparado”. Marino Porzio, Director de la Asociación Chilena de Propiedad Industrial (ACHIPI) desde 1993 hasta 2005 y presidente de la misma en el período 2003-2005.

- “Pérdida de  Distintividad; ¿Suficiente razón de caducidad?”. Rodrigo Cooper, profesor de Pre y Post grado de Propiedad Intelectual y Derecho Comercial de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Chile, 
y de Post Grado en LLM U. de Heidelberg.

- “Visión restrictiva del derecho de registro de una marca, visión competitiva”. Alfredo Montaner,  profesor de Derecho de  Propiedad Intelectual e Industrial de la Universidad Finis Terrae y del Diplomado de Propiedad Intelectual de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

- “Institución de la caducidad marcaria en Mexico”. (Invitado Extranjero) Martín Michaus, abogado mexicano, ex Presidente de ASIPI.

Fecha: 8 de enero de 2013, 18.00 hrs.

Auditorio Arturo Alessandri, Facultad de Derecho Universidad de Chile
Organiza: INAPI y Centro de Estudio en Derecho Informático (CEDI) de la Universidad de Chile.


Inscripciones, objetivos y programa

Fuente: Derechomarcario.cl
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Patricia Covarrubia

The Madrid Protocol in Latin America: Is Colombia changing business strategies or acting as a guinea pig?

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The most recent issue of the European Intellectual Property Review (EIPR) i.e. January, 2013 Vol 35 No 1, brings us an article which aims to “analyse the consequences of Colombia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol, a system which grants an international trade mark with the filing of one application only: the central question is whether Colombia’s accession will produce a “snowball effect” in Latin America.”

In fact, the question appears to be already answered since Mexico, as previously reported here, is now also part of this protocol.

The article's title is the heading of this post and is written by Andres Echeverri Uribe, Organizacion Corona, Bogota, and I.  While the article embarks on studying the advantages and disadvantages of accession for the Colombia’s market in an era of globalization, it also explores the reality of its own small and medium enterprises (SMEs) when trade mark is at issue.

The article can be accessed through Westlaw or Lawtel.
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Gilberto Macias (@gmaciasb)

IMPI estrena el 2013 con nuevo Director General

El Secretario de Economía, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, por instrucciones del Presidente de la República, Enrique Peña Nieto, dio posesión a Miguel Ángel Margáin González, como nuevo Director General del Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI).

Miguel Ángel Margáin, es Licenciado en Derecho por la UP y realizó sus estudios de Maestría en Derecho en la Universidad de Cambridge, antes de su nombreamiento fue socio del despacho Arochi, Marroquín & Lindner.

Ha sido miembro de numerosas asociaciones relacionadas con la Propiedad Industrial e Intelectual, entre ellas la Asociación Mexicana para la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual (AMPPI) de la que fue presidente; la Barra Mexicana Colegio de Abogados; la Asociación Internacional de Marcas (INTA); la Asociación Interamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual (ASIPI); la European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA); la Asociación Internacional para la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual (AIPPI), además de Vicepresidente y vocero del Comité de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual de la American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AmCham, por sus siglas en inglés).

Desde IP Tango le deseamos la mejor de las suertes a @mikemargain y al @IMPI_Mexico en sus objetivos de promover la protección y defensa de la Propiedad Intelectual.
Fuente: IMPI

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Friday 4 January 2013


Turrialba: a first for Costa Rica

According to the January 2013 issue of the INTA Bulletin, Costa Rica has secured its first appellation of origin protection. The object of this protections is the designation "Turrialba" for cheese. This landmark took some years to achieve, since the application process was apparently commenced as long ago as February 2008.

Turrialba is a soft white cheese which has been produced in its volcanic environment since at least 1870
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