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 29 October 2021


INTA’s 2021 Annual Meeting: Registration closes soon!

The International Trademark Association (INTA) will hold the 2021 Annual Meeting Virtual+ from 15 to 19 November 2021.

The hybrid event includes virtual education sessions, business development opportunities, and social networking activities.

Likewise, one-day in-person mini-conferences featuring top-notch speakers and informal networking will take place as follows:

  • 16 November: New York, USA.
  • 17 November: Berlin, Germany.
  • 18 November: Los Angeles, California, USA.

This year, more than 150 speakers from 30 countries are on the agenda. The program covers the following topic tracks: building a better society through brands, the business of brands, enforcement and anticounterfeiting, innovation and the future of IP, and regional updates. Review here the virtual program.

The registration closes on 29 October 2021 at 11.59 (EDT). So far, more than 2 600 professionals from 100 countries have already registered. Out of these, 650 will also be attending the mini-conferences.

More information here.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

Update 29 October 2021: The registration deadline has been extended. New deadline: 8 November 2021 (EDT).
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Wednesday 27 October 2021

Patricia Covarrubia

The IPTango Experience in IP Studying and Teaching

    1 comment:
I have the wonderful experience and indeed the privilege to have been invited to participate in the European Intellectual Property Teachers’ Network (EIPTN). The aim of the network is to share good practices and ideas that benefit in not only the classroom but also education in general. My contribution was on how the IPTango blog has helped me as a student, researcher and teacher in the area of IP. As you can see, I needed to start from who I am, and share my journey. 

Blogs as communication technologies
I can confidently say that today we apply communication technologies in our classrooms, in our networks and even with family. It has become part of our lives. On education, it has improved our classroom with spaces that are open and flexible in the learning and teaching process. While we may agree that such tools can be used as ‘learning tools’ as the literature assert, I wanted to bring something else to the table, that of ‘inclusivity’.

Me and blogs 
I am from Venezuela and of course I am a minority in the English classroom but also I have a learning difficulty, I have dyslexia – again an ‘existing’ minority in the classroom. Certainly, as a student I felt alienated. Consequently, the impostor syndrome hit me (and still does, I am not going to lie) until the beautiful journey of a blog started. My formed LLM supervisor introduced me to the IPKat and the most new (at the time) Latin America blog IPTango. 
These were my steps:
1.- Knowledge construction: I used the blogs for education purposes. I learnt from them, as they were short pieces (digestible to me) – they were readable, the layout, colour and images were appealing to my mind. Once I felt comfortable, I move to the next stage 
2.-Collective Knowledge: reading the comments was in another league! So many ideas, controversial opinions, discussions where I started to open with confidence my ‘critical analysis’. The blog provided me with a space to do so by the construction of knowledge from different perspectives. 
3.- Reflective writing: I was brave enough to write a comment myself :) - but hey, making sure that mine was not the first one. The reflective writing came by acquiring the collective knowledge from both blogs, mainly I was enlighten by the legislation in Europe but reflecting on how on EARTH are we planning to practice this in Latin America, let alone in Venezuela. Why do we keep ‘borrowing’ legislations? Can we just not take good practices and see how we can build proper procedures to our society? 

The whole process made me feel a part of a community. I started to feel that I was included in the conversations, I felt representing a region – we did have a voice.

From a student to a teacher
I notice that a blog is more conversational (although I do not see many comments in the actual IPTango post, I do receive private messages, invitations, collaborations, etc apart from 99% junk messages). I also feel that the relationship between teacher and student becomes better using this tool, as a student I have great conversations with my teachers about recent post and now as a teacher there is not a class that someone will note a ‘recent post’. To extend the area, I invite my students to follow blogs as part of the further reading, my natural instinct is to follow the IPKat cousins (or friends) but I am sure everyone have their own favourite. 

Facilitating bridges
Blogs are a knowledge generator, it is a learning tool, it includes everyone and in all honesty, there is so much info out there that is not ‘legit’, that I rather guide them before they go surfing in troubled waters. Foreign students in EU classrooms come to this region to learn and therefore the information and knowledge must be of the region. However, are we as teachers not facilitators too? We need to encourage students at large to reflect in their learning. In the classroom, it works both ways: the foreign students may find their own voice by reflecting on their society. Local students get to know other societies and cultures. We then facilitate the classroom, corridors and cafeteria for that rich dialogue start among students. The use of a blog then creates a bridge in the students’ community. It allows the participants to create arguments, contradict practices, express hypothesis, or if to shy, by just reading and listening a blog builds on them knowledge and acknowledge their presence. 

The full EIPTN Conference papers can be found here.
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Monday 25 October 2021

Patricia Covarrubia

Guest Post: El Ámbito de Protección de las Indicaciones Geográficas bajo los Acuerdos Comerciales de la UE con América Latina

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Los acuerdos comerciales de la UE con los países de América Latina presentan importantes diferencias en lo que concierne a la protección de las indicaciones geográficas (IGs, término utilizado en el derecho comercial internacional para identificar diferentes tipos de indicaciones, como las indicaciones geográficas protegidas/IGPs, o las denominaciones de origen protegidas/DOPs). Una de estas diferencias atañe al ámbito de protección que las partes contratantes tienen que acordar a las IGs bajo estos acuerdos. Por lo tanto, cabe preguntarse cual es el ámbito de protección de la IGs con base al lenguaje adoptado por estos acuerdos. Esta pregunta es actual a la luz de las recientes decisiones del Tribunal de Justicia de la Union Europea (UE) basadas en la normativa europea de referencia. 

En particular, justo para citar tres casos recientes, en 2019 el Tribunal de Justicia de la UE aclaraba en su sentencia sobre el ‘Queso Manchego’ (asunto C- 614/17) que “la utilización de signos figurativos que evoquen la zona geográfica a la que está vinculada una denominación de origen […] puede constituir una evocación de esa denominación”, evocación prohibida por la normativa europea. Además, en 2020 en su sentencia sobre el queso ‘Morbier’ (asunto C- 490/19), el Tribunal de Justicia indicaba que queda prohibida “la reproducción de la forma o de la apariencia características de un producto amparado por una denominación registrada cuando dicha reproducción pueda inducir al consumidor a creer que el producto en cuestión está amparado por esa denominación registrada”. Finalmente, en su más reciente sentencia sobre el uso del nombre comercial ‘Champanillo’ (asunto C-783-19), el Tribunal establecía que la evocación “por una parte, no exige, como requisito previo, que el producto amparado por una DOP y el producto o el servicio cubierto por el signo controvertido sean idénticos o similares y, por otra parte, queda acreditada cuando el uso de una denominación hace surgir, en la mente de un consumidor europeo medio, normalmente informado y razonablemente atento y perspicaz, un vínculo suficientemente directo y unívoco entre esa denominación y la DOP.”
Manchego by ciclonebill

La cuestión del ámbito de protección de las IGs en los acuerdos comerciales surge exactamente a raíz del lenguaje utilizado en las disposiciones sobre el ámbito de protección de las IGs en los acuerdos comerciales de la UE. Al respecto, cabe subrayar que las IGs han sido en ciertos casos objeto de difíciles negociaciones, como en el caso del ‘Queso Manchego’ en el Acuerdo Comercial de principio entre la UE y México, cuyas negociaciones se concluyeron en 2018 (acabando las partes contratantes de debatir algunas cuestiones técnicas pendientes en 2020). El Acuerdo incluye, de hecho, la indicación ‘Queso Manchego’ entre las IGs de la UE protegidas en el territorio de México pero establece, al mismo tiempo, que los productores mexicanos podrán seguir usando esta denominación especificando que el queso se hace con leche de vaca (y no de oveja), evitando usar elementos que aludan al ‘Queso Manchego’ español (gráficos, nombres, dibujos y banderas), y aclarando su origen y composición. 

Es preciso destacar que el Acuerdo Comercial de principio entre la UE y México no utiliza el mismo lenguaje que los reglamentos europeos sobre las IGs. En efecto, el Acuerdo Comercial obliga las partes a adoptar las medidas jurídicas para evitar el uso de las IGs en incumplimiento del pliego de condiciones (incluso si la IG es traducida y/o acompañada de términos como ‘estilo’, ‘tipo’, ‘imitación’, etc.); el uso de cualquier medio de designación o presentación del producto que indique o sugiera que el producto se origina en un área geográfica diferente al lugar de origen verdadero de una forma que confunda el público; y cualquier acto que constituya competencia desleal bajo el Artículo 10bis del Convenio de Paris para la protección de la propiedad industrial. 

Al contrario, el Acuerdo Comercial de principio entre la UE y el Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur) así como la propuesta de la UE para la modernización del Acuerdo Comercial con Chile son más fieles a la normativa de la UE, ya que las IGs identificadas en estos acuerdos estarán protegidas, entre otras prácticas, contra cualquier uso indebido, imitación o evocación y cualquier otra práctica que pueda inducir a error al consumidor acerca del verdadero origen del producto (actualmente, Artículo X.33 de la propuesta de la UE sobre PI para el Acuerdo con Chile, y Articulo 7.4 del capítulo sobre PI del acuerdo con el Mercosur).

Por otro lado, el Acuerdo entre la UE y Colombia, Ecuador y Perú (Artículo 210), cuya negociación se concluyó en 2011, entre otras prácticas, protege las IGs listadas en el Anexo del Acuerdo así como las que se añadan con el tiempo contra cualquier uso indebido, imitación o evocación cuando esto cree confusión al consumidor. En el caso de las IGs que identifican vinos, vinos aromatizados o bebidas espirituosas, queda prohibido en general cualquier uso indebido, imitación o evocación, al menos, para productos de ese género. En este sentido, aunque no sea igual, también este Acuerdo se acerca a la normativa de la UE sobre IGs en lo que concierne a la protección contra la evocación de la IG para productos no amparados. 

Está claro que algunos de los textos de los acuerdos citados pueden sufrir modificaciones antes de su entrada en vigor definitiva. De no ser así, es probable que la UE y/o los productores y exportadores europeos de productos protegidos por las IGs identificadas en estos acuerdos intenten acogerse a la jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia de la UE sobre el ámbito de protección de las IGs. Por consiguiente, queda por verse cuan amplio es en verdad este ámbito de protección que podría ser, por lo tanto, mucho más extenso de lo esperado durante las negociaciones de estos acuerdos.

Written by Gabriele Gagliani
Lecturer at Bocconi University. Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (Ohio, U.S.A.).
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Monday 18 October 2021

Patricia Covarrubia

Collective Marks - a follow up

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From Argentina our friend (member of the IPTango community) Claudio Iglesias Darriba writes:

In Argentina, since 2008, the Collective Trademark Act (Law 26.355) provides that the registration of collective trademarks is free of charge before the Argentinian Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Intellectual INPI (art. 14). In addition, it provides that oppositions against these trademarks pay double the tariff provided for common commercial trademarks (art. 10).

Aside, the Act contains an advanced provision for its time: it provides for the possibility of filling a collective mark through the multi-class system. This is because it was not until the 29th March 2019, that the Argentinian Government issued Decree No. 242/19 regulating provisions of the amended Trademark Law opened the possibly to file “multi-class” trademark applications in Argentina.  

In accordance to the Act, collective marks are defined as those signs that distinguish products and/or services made or provided by associative forms aimed at the development of the social economy. (art. 1) In addition, the Law’s Regulatory Decree (Decree 1384/2008), provides that collective marks are applied to indications of cultural, ethnic, historical, anthropological origin and any other that serves for the better differentiation of products and services. (art. 1) 

A friendly hand
by Jesús Dehesa 
The Collective Trademark Act establishes that the Ministry of Social Development must provide free and specialized assistance during the registration procedures for collective trademarks (art. 15). Besides,  according to the Law, the ministry together with the National Institute of Industrial Technology, and the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, shall facilitate access to quality programs, training and technical assistance for holders and users of collective trademarks, which ensure better processes and products, and better socio labour conditions (art 16). 

The numbers - applications 
These figures developed strongly since 2009, reaching more than 350, both urban and rural, until 2016, when a change in government administration led to a decrease in its use as an instrument of social promotion. Yet INPI confirmed that there are 718 collective marks and the last one recorded was in 2018. Currently, they are expected to resume their boom with the arrival of the new government authorities. 

Collective Marks - a tool
Every year, Las Huellas del Vino, a well-known collective trademark from the city of Lavalle (in the Province of Mendoza) organises an international event attended by dozens of homemade wine makers and hundreds of people (more info here, and this 'From Mendoza to the world: Lavalle exports its know how about homemade wine' here

Thanks Claudio for this insight . IPTango members, is this something that is  happening in your jurisdiction? I remember Ecuador also run a project like this for national geographical indications (GI)- any one else out there? 

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Tuesday 12 October 2021

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru on Collective Marks: aiming to create a link among communities

    No comments:
Searching on the Peruvian Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Propiedad Intellectual (Indecopi)

webpage, I noticed that one of the most popular events and campaigns have been on ‘collective marks’. I was curious indeed, and perhaps to learn more on the trend I clicked on the news – to my surprise I became overwhelm by the great job that the IP office is doing. As a starting point, they have friendly videos covering what a collective mark is, and how they can be an instrument of economic value but crucial to my later discussion, associations. 

Then, it is good to see that since December 2020, Indecopi eliminated the fees for the registration of collective marks. A report published by Indecopi shows how the registration of this type of marks has blossomed. For instance in the 90s and until 2017 there were 236 marks, while during 2017 and 2019 there were 4,442 registrations. The report also notes how women are leading on this type of projects especially in the artisanal sector. [here and here] A remark that I could not miss was to see collective marks for traditional handicrafts and thus, promoting cultural identity and the diversity of national flora and fauna. 

QR Code

I also note with content the use of QR for the collective marks registered. Such QR Code allows “consumers to quickly obtain information related to the characteristics of the product, its history, the association that markets them, its members, the commercial contact information, in which market the products are traded, etc.” Indecopi permanently updates such information. 

Associations – what is the fuzz, if any? 

Collective marks are used by a collective group to distinguish a good or service (a product) from others that do not form part of such collective group. The pre-phase recognition or granting of such marks, invites the members to group the producers. Usually, as in the case of the collective marks recently registered, come from groups and communities where there are fewer resources. Therefore, the establishment of an association of producers is one of the crucial steps taking by the group and or communities. While this may sound easy, the first challenge is how to motivate the community to join a ‘group’. In addition, to build and follow membership rules. At the end, the goal is to have a harmonious group. How to find such balance? A recommendation would be by producing codes of conduct and practices early on the conversation, that is the pre-phase, but also that the guidelines should be feasible so can be used in the post recognition-phase, that is, after the collective mark is granted. Aside from the association been built to organize and prepare a collective mark, the idea goes far from this. Associations help a group to be and feel part of a community – creating a sense of belonging, and to work on the same aim, that of protection, as in the case of traditional knowledge, preserving cultural heritage.
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Monday 11 October 2021


C-IP2‘s Virtual 2021 Annual Fall Conference: Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

The Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy (C-IP2) at George Mason University will hold the Virtual 2021 Annual Fall Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property from 13 to 14 October 2021.

The C-IP2‘s Virtual 2021 Annual Fall Conference will address “the current state of AI, what is coming soon, the current laws regarding the protection of AI and IP, and what is necessary to keep pace with technology”.

This year, the conference is structured around the forthcoming edited volume Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (Professor Ryan Abbott, ed). Some of the authors will provide insights into their chapters at the event.

The program covers the following topics:

  • Panel 1: Artificial Intelligence – Challenges and Controversies
  • Panel 2: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property
  • Panel 3: Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences
  • Panel 4: Owning AI and Protecting AI Output
  • Panel 5: Trademark Law and Artificial Intelligence
  • Panel 6: Tech Policy in Artificial Intelligence

The keynote speakers are Grimes and Jaron Lanier, participating in a fireside chat moderated by Professor Sean M. O’Connor (C-IP2).

The speakers are from academia and industry, including Dr Ryan Abbott (University of Surrey), Professor Daniel J. Gervais (Vanderbilt Law School), Professor Sonia Katyal (Berkeley Center for Law and Technology), Professor Arti K. Rai (Duke University School of Law), Professor Daryl Lim (Center for Intellectual Property, Information & Privacy Law), Dennis Crouch (University of Missouri School of Law), Dr Anke Moerland (Maastricht University), Dr Harbir Antil (CMAI), Charles Kim (USPTO), Ian Slotin (NBCUniversal), Corey Salsberg (Novartis), and Trevor Cook (WilmerHale). Review here the complete list of speakers and moderators.

The event will be held via Zoom (Eastern Daylight Time Zone). Register now here!

More information is available here.

The image is courtesy of C-IP2.

Update: The registration is closed. Panel recordings will be available here in due course.
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Wednesday 6 October 2021


Encounter 16: Protecting Domain Names in a Worldwide Context

On 14 October 2021, FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 16: Protecting Domain Names in a Worldwide Context.

The panellists are Malcolm Bain (Across Legal) and Caroline Berube (HJM Asia Law). Joe Sekhon (University of Portsmouth) 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.

UPDATE: the recording of Encounter 16 is available here. 
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Saturday 2 October 2021


WIPO: Third Session on Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will hold the third session on Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property on 12 October 2021.

The online event is part of a series of sharing sessions in light of WIPO initiatives around Gender Equality, Diversity and Intellectual Property. As announced here, the first session took place in April 2021.

The third session theme is 'Looking at good practices' to close the gender gap in Intellectual Property.

The program “will look at good practices in IP service delivery, design and analysis by various stakeholders, in order to enhance women’s participation and contribution to the IP ecosystem”.

Panellists are representatives from the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), the Innovation & Technology Transfer Center (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman), the organization Grooming a Successful Woman with Intellectual Mind (GSWIM, Uganda), and IP Inclusive (United Kingdom). You can review here the full program and the list of speakers.

The event will be held in English, but interpretation in French and Spanish will be provided. The session is free of chargeRegister here!

Review here more information about the third session, and here about the first and second sessions.

Source: WIPO newsletter.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
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