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!

Friday 30 September 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

A dining table full of goodies: the relevance of Geographical Indications (GI)

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You may think that I am gluttonous or better say piggish but I really love food. It is not the fact that I eat a lot (which I do) but I like and enjoy myself every time I eat. Even sitting now having my simple lunch in front of the computer, I am thinking 'this is the best creamy carrot soup ever made' (by my mother).

Image result for coffee plantation mosquito bitesThe texture, the different flavours and fragrances that food provide us with, are to be appreciated. Perhaps I learned from a young age to value food... the preparation of the soil, the plantation, the harvest. I remember the no so pleasant mosquitoes when we were harvesting coffee but I also remember so vividly the best fresh coffee one could have.

Many countries claim to have dishes full of tradition and every time I visit a new country I will try national dishes (of course there are some that I have not enjoyed as much).
In this blog we keep reporting on GIs, the procedure, who got a new one, entitlements, infringements, but in any case we always mentione the importance and relevance that it has for the country, for the particular region and for its people. We sometimes acknowledge that a GI is not for everyone and that there is not always gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet, without a doubt if a product got that little certification i.e. GI label, it will turn heads. And it does so because the product that contains that GI label will tell you that it has a special quality and that such a quality is due to the geographical environment, including natural factors such as: climate, soil, minerals, water and the human factor. A GI is a cultural representation, a heritage.

Image result for grupo sanbornsI read therefore with enthusiasm that in Mexico, the ‘Grupo Sanborns’ is offering to the diners of their chain of restaurant, a menu which highlights the traditional Mexican dishes including particularly those that have a Denomination of Origin (DO). The news brought by the Instituto Mexicano de Propeiedad Industrial (IMPI) notes some of the agricultural products that customers will try such as: ‘Tequila, Mezcal, Arroz del Estado de Morelos, Vainilla de Papantla, Mango Ataúlfo del Soconusco Chiapas, Chile Habanero de la Península de Yucatán y Café Veracruz.’

In the same line, we heard from IMPI that they have granted the 15th DO to 'Cacao Grijalva' comprising 3 sub-regions and 11 municipalities. The quality is partly given due to domesticated forest which mirrors the rain-forest and prevents soil erosion. The climate is also accountable for the quality of the cocoa which is claimed to be in production since pre-Hispanic times.

More information here and here. 

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Thursday 29 September 2016

Rodrigo Ramirez Herrera @ramahr

Chile da inicio a acuerdo que permitirá a solicitantes un Procedimiento Acelerado de Patentes (PPH)

A través de una declaración conjunta en Santa Marta, Colombia, se dio inicio al proceso de ejecución e implementación del Programa Piloto de Procedimiento Acelerado de Patentes (PPH) en sus versiones Mottainai y PCT. El acuerdo fue alcanzado por representantes de Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay y Chile.

Este programa conocido como PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway, por sus siglas en inglés), permitirá que los solicitantes que hayan obtenido un pronunciamiento favorable de patentabilidad de parte de INAPI, como Oficina de Examen Anterior (OEA), puedan beneficiarse del trabajo realizado en Chile y solicitar que éste sea tenido en cuenta por las Oficinas Nacionales de Propiedad Industrial de los países involucrados como Oficinas de Examen Posterior (OEP).

Una de las novedades de este acuerdo, será la posibilidad de usar el producto del trabajo internacional PCT que elabore el INPI de Brasil y el INAPI de Chile, como oficinas ISA/IPEA, para beneficiarse del examen acelerado de patente en un país del PROSUR.

La mayor ventaja de este programa es que acelerará el procedimiento de examen de patentabilidad de las Oficinas y reducirá los costos asociados, evitando dobles esfuerzos en acciones administrativas, búsquedas y exámenes de patentes en paralelo por cada Oficina.

Participando del Procedimiento Acelerado de Patentes, los usuarios de solicitudes nacionales que cuenten con una resolución favorable podrán acelerar los tiempos de tramitación de sus solicitudes de patentes de invención o modelos de utilidad en un país miembro de PROSUR, lo que permitirá reducir los costos asociados.

La implementación se realizará conforme a las guías preparadas por parte de las Oficinas de Propiedad Industrial que establecen los requisitos, condiciones y procedimientos para participar en el Programa Piloto PPH, el cual estará a prueba por un periodo de tres años, pudiendo prorrogarse por uno adicional. Posteriormente, se evaluarán los resultados y su demanda para la implementación definitiva. Brasil y Ecuador implementarán PPH una vez que hayan obtenido la autorización interna competente.

Desde el 16 de septiembre de 2016, las guías que le dan operatividad al programa Piloto de Procedimiento Acelerado de Patentes (PPH) están disponibles en las Oficinas de Propiedad Industrial respectivas, junto con los instrumentos necesarios para su utilización.

Fuente: INAPI
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Patricia Covarrubia

Taking the highway: A Speedy procedure is here!

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This month the patent national offices of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay have started a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program.

What is PPH?
As part of protecting and managing an IP portfolio internationally, we usually advise on a cost effective and friendly process i.e. international registration (which is not really ‘international’ but a bundle of patent registrations facilitated by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) run by WIPO. The PCT allows to ‘simultaneously’ seek patent protection for an invention in a number of countries. This is done by filing a ‘single’ international patent application – no need to file ‘national’ patent applications per se. More than 20 Latin America countries are part of the PCT.

Image result for speedy gonzalesHowever, the granting of patents do remain under the control of the national patent office (which is known as the ‘national phase’). The positive of this is that once your PCT application fulfil the criteria required by the PCT, it cannot be rejected on ‘formal’ grounds by a national patent office. Still, this is a lengthy process.

So, when applying to foreign jurisdiction we also look at whether a national office has a PPH, meaning a ‘fast-track examination procedure’. This PPH will usually be an agreement that 2 states/jurisdiction may have; in Latin America, Mexico is the only country that has a PPH with the European Patent Office (EPO), and Brazil has one with the USPTO for example the same as with mexico and USPTO (which has recently extended until June 30, 2018).

A PPH, as in the case brought by this news, could cover a region. It also could happen that the national office will have a general PPH (regardless of a determined agreement with a specific jurisdiction or region). For example, Argentina has recently got one of these. Resolution P-56/2016 speeds up the granting procedure of Argentinian patent applications if an equal patent has been granted by another foreign patent office. This means that the ‘prior art’ search would be run only nationally. The PPH will apply if the said equal foreign patent has been granted with a similar patentability criteria to those applicable by the Argentinian Patent Office (INPI).

The PPH run by PROSUR will have a duration of three years, which can be extended to four years if the parties so agree.
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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

Innovation & health

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From Félix Rozanski, Director Ejecutivo del Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo de la Industria Químico Farmacéutica Argentina, we heard that the 7th LATIN-AMERICAN SEMINAR ON: “INNOVATION AND HEALTH” took place last 21-23 September 2016. The event took place at two venues: the Federal Court of Administrative Justice in Mexico City and the Mexican Industrial Property Institute (IMPI).

Image result for medicines biosimilar cartoonsNot only the agenda has to be praised but the quality of the speakers is to be commended. The agenda cover topics such as: Challenges to Promote Innovation and Development in Latin America; Biomedicines: Regulations and access in Latin America; Correct Identification of ‘Biosimilar’; Data Exclusivity; the Linkage between Patents and Health.

Debates and experiences were heard from Judges and lawyers in the handling of technical and controversial cases; Voluntary vs. Compulsory licenses; Medicine Counterfeiting; and the experts from different National Industrial Property Institutes were also engaged in discussions and revealing the experiences and strategic plans in Latin America. Speakers such as Félix Rozanski (Argentina); Sergio Rodríguez Soria (Director Innovation at Production Ministry, Peru); Elke Simon (Patent Division, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Germany); David R. Gerk: Patent Prosecution Highway (USPTO); Albert Keyack (EPO); Freddy Arias Mora (Costa Rica), Professor School of Pharmacy and Patent Judicial Expert; Laura M. Vargas Sanchez (Director, Regulation of Health Products in Costa Rica); Corey Salsberg (NOVARTIS, Switzerland); Eladio Torres Moreno (Pfizer, USA); Francisco Gomez, (Sanofi, México); Luz María Anaya Domínguez (Judge, Specialized I.P. Chamber Administrative Federal Court, Mexico); Ramon Ignacio Cabrera Leon (Judge, Administrative Federal Court, Mexico); Francisco de las Carreras (Judge, Federal Civil and Commercial Second Instance Court, Argentina); Marcia Flores (Judge in the Quito Court of Justice, Ecuador); Jaime Enriquez ( Judge, Administrative Litigations Court, Ecuador); Rubí Lucrecia Gamboa Barrera de Valvert (Judge, First Instance Civil Court, Guatemala); Mónica Rosell (Expert in the Andean Community Court of Justice); Eric Velasco (Panama’s Supreme Court); Lic. Matías Schweizer (INPI, Argentina); Claudia Baez and Belen Cubilla (Patent Office, Paraguay); Nubia Chedid (INPI, Brazil); as many other judges, officials, and experts.

According to Félix Rozanski the most debated issues were:
(a) How to attract private investments to R&D? How to promote cooperation? How to develop regional R&D projects - mainly in the Pacific Alliance?
(b) The international cooperation and the new agreement signed to speed up patent examinations;
(c) The decision making process in the difficult IP litigation with contrasting views between Chilean and Argentine judges as to the role of the judge;
(d) The value of incremental innovations for the national industries and researchers. Example in Argentina where the nationals do not obtain Argentine patents but do patent the incremental innovation in the US;
(d) The compulsory licenses in Colombia and Ecuador and in the latter case the proposed new code on inventions which in practice mean no patents at all;
(e) The drama of counterfeit medicines with Dominican Republic taking the most severe measures in spite of all the difficulties;
(f) The new plans of the Argentine INPI to promote innovation and take into account the examinations in other national patent offices; and
(g) What the new TTP means for the Pacific nations participating and the chances that it will be ratified.
Felix is open to answer any query you may have at cedieduca@cedi.org.ar

Here you can also find a highlight written by the Federal Court for Administrative Affairs, Mexico about the Seminar.
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Monday 26 September 2016

Rodrigo Ramirez Herrera @ramahr


Una de las soluciones de las oficinas de Propiedad Industrial del mundo para mejorar la calidad y eficiencia de la relación con sus usuarios es el trabajo colaborativo de intercambio.  La existencia de un gran número de solicitudes que se presentan en varias oficinas genera duplicidades innecesarias que pueden evitarse  compartiendo información de exámenes de patentes.

Con el objetivo de alcanzar esta colaboración, la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual – OMPI, desarrolló WIPO CASE, que es un sistema que permite a las Oficinas interactuar entre sí, bajo dos modalidades. (a) Una de ellas permite el acceso a la plataforma de documentos de examen, lo que permite beneficiarse del trabajo de otras oficinas y (b) un segundo rol consiste en que además de acceder, las oficinas puedan hacer disponible su propia documentación.

Desde enero de 2016 que INAPI es oficialmente "oficina de acceso", lo que significa que puede visualizar el trabajo ejecutado por las oficinas proveedoras a través de esta plataforma. Pero con la idea de ser un aporte al sistema internacional de patentes, hoy está en condiciones de ser "oficina proveedora". Por tanto, fueron "disponibilizados" un importante número de documentos chilenos en WIPO CASE, para que las restantes oficinas puedan trabajar con esta información.

El sistema es utilizado por las oficinas de Australia, Brunei, Camboya, Chile, China, Estados Unidos, Filipinas, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japón, Malasia, Mongolia, Nueva Zelandia, la Oficina Europea de patentes (EPO), la Oficina Euroasiática de Patentes (EAPO), Papúa Nueva Guinea, República Democrática Popular Lao,  Singapur, Tailandia, Reino Unido y Vietnam.

Con este mecanismo de poner a disposición de otras oficinas documentos propios, Chile se trasforma en el primer país de Latinoamérica en incorporarse a este grupo, con el objetivo de lograr una tramitación más eficiente de las solicitudes de patentes. 

Fuente: Constanza Zülch (Comunicaciones INAPI)
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Friday 16 September 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

A Presidential candidate that finished in a copyright infringement battle - welcome to Peru

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Back in February 2016 the blog reported about a suspected plagiarism case (s) blaming Mr César Acuña Peralta who was running at the time for the Peruvian Presidency.

Mr Acuña was accused of copying his doctoral thesis (submitted at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, in 2009) as well as his master’s thesis (submitted at the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia) and a whole book (authored in fact by Peruvian Professor Otoniel Oyarce Alvarado). As these accusations were so strong the Peruvian National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) decided to investigate the accusations (Organization and Functions Act and Decree Legislative 822 gives INDECOPI the powers to investigate acts affecting copyright and related rights within the country).

Image result for right copyLast week INDECOPI finally came to a conclusion sanctioning Mr. César Acuña Peralta and the Universidad César Vallejo (UCV) for copyright infringement in relation to the authorship of the book “Política Educativa – concepto, reflexiones y propuestas”. INDECOPI also sanctioned Mr César Acuña Peralta for his the doctoral thesis “Competencia Docente y Rendimiento Académico del Estudiante de la Universidad Privada en el Perú”.

In the procedure, INDECOPI’s Copyright Commission concluded that:
• Mr Acuña Peralta infringed the moral right of paternity: claiming to be co-author of the book although the only author is Otoniel Alvarado Oyarce.
• The UCV infringed the moral right of paternity since it published the book, attributing sole authorship to Mr César Acuña; and so giving authorship to the book to a third party other than its creator.
• The UCV made another publication which although correctly attributed authorship to Otoniel Oyarce Alvarado, on the credits page of that book the copyright sign ( © ) was added next to Mr Acuña Peralta name, who is also mentioned as an author in the preface. By this the publisher granted authorship to the book to a third party other than its creator.
• In these two published books the Commission noted that the moral right of integrity of the author was also infringed since at least one paragraph of that work was mutilated.
• The patrimonial right of distribution was also infringed since both publications are kept and loaned at the Resource Center for Learning and Research of the UCV. The INDECOPI has ordered to withdraw from circulation such copies.
• In the proceedings against the UCV INDECOPI also found that there was infringement of the moral right of paternity of the author of the prologue of such books. The prologue was written by the priest Otoniel Ricardo Morales Basadre for Oyarce Alvarado. Both publications were altered and so, changing the name for the person for whom he wrote the foreword.
Image result for doctoral thesis• As the prologue of the infringing copies were distributed for loan in the Resource Center for Learning and Research of the UCV, the Commission determined that the patrimonial right of distribution was infringed.
In regards to the doctoral thesis the Copyright Commission sanctioned with fines to Mr Acuña Peralta due to reproducing fragments of works of others without acknowledging the authorship of them; therefore the Commission concluded that Mr Acuña Peralta infringed the moral right of paternity of those authors.

INDECOPI notes that this “decision may be appealed to the Special Branch Intellectual Property of INDECOPI, which is the second and final administrative authority” of the INDECOPI.
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