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!

Monday 31 October 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

A monetary push: Patent applications

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Image result for wipoColombia was the only Latin America country chosen by the World Organization for Intellectual (WIPO) to implement the Program of Assistance to Inventors (PAI). Other countries chosen were Morocco and Philippines.

The program, as can be guessed by its name, give assistance to investors. In this particular case the assistance in in the form of free legal advice to natural and legal persons (of limited resources) to complete the process of filing patents.

The pilot of this program started back in 2015 and recently the Deputy Superintendent for Industrial Property (SIC) visited Geneva, Switzerland to present the balance of the program. It counted 11 projects and 24 lawyers have already been chosen by WIPO to provide services pro bono.

According to SIC, the project will also help to “reduce the level of dropouts in the patent application”. In Colombia the withdrawing of patent applications is approx. 50%.
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Thursday 27 October 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

Economic growth of a country: technology transfer

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From Stephany Soto, Clarke Modet & Co we hear of a Plan for Technology Transfer (TT)in Peru. The plan is taken effect from 2016 to 2021 and the aim is to promote technological development in the country. This plan is to contribute to the existing one called ‘National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation for Competitiveness and Human Development (PNCTI 2006-2021)’.

Webinar available at Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk
Technology progress is linked to the economic growth and high income in countries and this plan involves both the private and economic sector. Universities will play a crucial role since they encompass ‘Research’. Research usually leads to development of new products and processes which are followed by commercialisation - providing economic returns. Miss Soto says “The plan was created with the aim of promoting the development and transfer of technological innovations in companies raising the competitiveness and productivity, added value with criterion of economic and environmental sustainability”.

In this line, the State intention is to organise “technology meetings, technology fairs and other events to create networking among entrepreneurs and researchers in order to make easier the interaction and promote collaborative projects.” This will hand in hand with imparting training in intellectual property (IP).

Why IP should matter for TT?
Technology is valuable, provoking copies or imitations. If technology is copied and/or imitated it reduces the possible profits of the inventor: and who would like to invent without rewards where time and money have been spent and you will not have recognition?

What IP does it’s to encourage innovation by (the government) granting successful inventors a temporal monopoly over the invention.

In Peru if companies have a TT agreement/contract, such license must be in writing and registered before the INDECOPI to be enforceable before 3rd parties. And it is good to know that Peru is member of the PCT.

In closing I would like to see more policies in TT and of course giving incentive to this matter. For example in Costa Rica there is a Law (No. 20.241) on R&D which provides incentives: 35 % tax credit on the amount invested in R&D, when duly certified by the National Production Development Corporation; remaining 65 % can be considered as ‘expenses’.

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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

Red card for Mexican composer: passion for football

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From Mexico and Spain we read a debate about a potential case of copyright infringement.
The Mexican football club ‘Club America’ has released this month a new hymn celebrating its centennial. The song was launched during the half time of the game against Tijuana on Saturday October 15th.

The hymn created much controversy in social media since it is claimed that the hymn is similar to another football club, that is the ‘Sevilla’ from Spain (the hymn can be heard here).
Image result for club america himno centenario
The authorship of the alleged infringed song belongs to the Mexican group Matute, headed by Jorge D'Alessio. After the social media war, he claimed that "there is no copying or plagiarism" in the hymn while the football club separated from any responsibility. The band also noted that there was no ‘intention’. In this regards it is important to note that intention is not needed for an action of infringement since it is strict liability.

Finally, the Mexican football club released a communication stating that "although the musical work is an original work, it has caused some discomfort, therefore this song will never be used by the Club". Why this reaction? the work was commissioned and depending on the contract, they may be the owner of the song and even if the club wants to separate itself from this controversy and keep using it, they are liable (Art 231 of the Mexican Federal Law on Copyright) .

Jorge D'Alessio also published a statement: “Club America asked me to conduct, through the figure of commissioned work, the anthem of the 'centenary', not the official anthem, which I lovingly did as I am fond of the America. You should know that there is no mutilation, copy, distortion, or so-called plagiarism, nor in the letter or the music composed.” It continues “experts in the field are already making the necessary expertise in order to compare the two compositions.”

Good to know:

  • The Mexican Federal Law on Copyright for the purpose of ensuring legal security of authors and owners of copyright, advice authors to register the work in the Public Copyright Register (art 162). However the same provision of law clarifies that even if literary and artistic works and neighbouring rights are not registered, the law still protect them. This goes in line with the Berne Convention which grants this right without the need of any formality.
  • Practice of infringement can be for direct or indirect profit-making purposes (art 231).
  • The use of language in D’Alessio’s statement i.e. ‘distorted, or mutilated’ are type of infringements covered in art 231(iv).
  • The author of a work is the perpetual owner of the moral rights in works created by him (art 18).

Sources and more info here, here and here.
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Monday 10 October 2016

Patricia Covarrubia

In Peru the Right of the Authors are enhancing

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From the Peruvian National Institute for Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) I read 3 different set of news but all relating to the same: the ‘right of authors’.

Image result for writing1.- GUIDANCE: A reminder to all music producers and creators that there is a booklet providing guidance and promoting awareness of the rules and respect for intellectual property: ‘Guia especializada de derecho de autor para musicos’.
The booklet is written in a simple way explaining the ‘rights of authors in their musical works and how they can obtain economic benefit of its creation’. It is accessed here.

2.- NO TO PIRACY: In light of the national film premiere La peor de mis bodas ('The worst of my weddings), INDECOPI ‘urges citizens to support national film production, rejecting any pirated material’. INDECOPI acknowledges the effort made by the Peruvian people in putting the movie together including artist, directors and production team, and thus, invites the public to support the movie and go to the cinema.

3.- COUNTING YOUR PENNIES: INDECOPI installed a web application called 'Sintoniza’ (Tune). It allows property’s owners (such as bars, shopping centres, dance schools, etc.) to see an estimate of the rate it would have to pay for the use of national and international musical repertoire - administered by collecting societies. The application is free of charge and it is said to be an easy and comprehensive tool for the general public. INDECOPI says that through this tool, they encourage ‘the payment of duties that by law, shall receive authors, artists and producers.’
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Wednesday 5 October 2016

Rodrigo Ramirez Herrera @ramahr

INTA abrirá una Oficina de Representación para LATAM en Chile en 2017

La Asociación Internacional de Marcas (International Trademark Association, INTA) aprobó la creación de una Oficina de Representación para América Latina en Santiago de Chile, durante la reunión de la Junta Directiva en Beijing, China, a principios de este mes. A través de esta oficina, que se inaugurará oficialmente en el primer semestre de 2017, la INTA atenderá a sus miembros, tanto en América Latina como en el Caribe, y a aquellos en el extranjero que quieran iniciar o expandir sus operaciones en estos mercados. 

La expansión internacional es una prioridad estratégica para la INTA y el establecimiento de la Oficina de Representación para América Latina le permite a la INTA estar más cerca de cumplir este objetivo. Algunas de las prioridades iniciales de la Asociación para esta oficina son:

1. Una interacción más estrecha con los miembros de América Latina y el Caribe.

2. Mejor participación política.

3. Desarrollo de relaciones más sólidas con las oficinas y las asociaciones de marcas a nivel local y regional.

4. Más programas educativos.

Santiago fue seleccionada como sede de la Oficina de Representación para América Latina después de un extenso estudio de debida diligencia. “Por una serie de razones, Santiago es un lugar ideal para esta oficina y estamos muy satisfechos con la decisión”, señaló el director ejecutivo de la INTA, Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “Un número significativo de organizaciones internacionales de alto nivel tienen oficinas en Santiago y es una buena ubicación para que una organización como la INTA establezca una oficina. Desde esta oficina estaremos bien posicionados para atender a nuestros miembros en toda la región”. 

La Asociación Internacional de Marcas (INTA) es la asociación global de los titulares de marcas y los profesionales dedicados a respaldar las marcas y la propiedad intelectual relacionada con el fin de proteger a los consumidores y promover un comercio justo y eficaz. Entre los miembros hay más de 6700 organizaciones de 190 países. En conjunto, ellos aportan casi 12 billones de USD al PIB mundial cada año. Las organizaciones miembros de la INTA representan a unos 30 000 profesionales de marcas e incluyen a los propietarios de marcas de grandes corporaciones, así como de pequeñas y medianas empresas, estudios de abogados, organizaciones no lucrativas, agencias gubernamentales e instituciones académicas. Los miembros de la INTA se benefician de los recursos globales de marcas, el desarrollo de políticas, la educación y la formación, y de la red internacional de la asociación. Fundada en 1878, la INTA tiene su sede en la ciudad de Nueva York, con oficinas en Bruselas, Shanghái, Singapur y Washington, DC, y representantes en Ginebra y Nueva Delhi. 

Los miembros de la INTA en América Latina y el Caribe tienen su sede en Anguila, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belice, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brasil, Islas Vírgenes Británicas, Islas Caimán, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curazao, Dominica, República Dominicana, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, San Cristóbal y Nieves, Santa Lucía, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Surinam, Trinidad y Tobago, Islas Turcas y Caicos, Uruguay y Venezuela.

Fuente: Comunicado INTA

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