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 13 December 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

[GUEST POST] The Wiki Law Project: The use of open-source technologies in the dissemination of Intellectual Property and their benefits for teaching

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The IPTango is pleased to host the following post by Hernán Núñez Rocha, lecturer at the University of Alcalá and a qualified lawyer in Spain and Ecuador.

Hernan writes:

The use of open-source technologies in the dissemination of Intellectual Property and their benefits for teaching

by Hernán Núñez Rocha

The Wiki Law Project took place from 2013 to 2019 in Ecuador, where several governmental actors were discussing about the necessity to move from an economy based on the exploitation of natural resources to a model based on knowledge CITA.  The involved parts concluded that it was necessary to promulgate new regulations on Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Traditional Knowledge.  Considering the instrumental use of Intellectual Property, the IPRs were defined as one of the main tools needed for the transition to the knowledge economy. But there was a problem, most citizens were not familiar with IPR.  In fact, even most stakeholders neither understood the importance of IPRs, nor the use of new works and technologies.  Also, there was an additional problem, stakeholders, who were aware of the importance of IPRs, were divided into two groups that had opposed views. One group saw the IPRs as a profitable tool for their creations, and the other group, saw it as an obstacle for innovation.

Consequently, the idea of the Wiki Law Project about IP came up.  The site was developed jointly by the staff of the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (IAEN), NGOs, professional associations, chambers, and public institutions.  Moreover, the Ecuadorian Patent and Trademark Office (now SENADI) and the Ministry of Higher Education (SENESCYT) got involved and support the project.

The wiki was hosted in the domain of the Ministry of Higher Education, as http://coesc.educacionsuperior.gob.ec/. The site explained didactically all the IPRs and its main features, its daily uses, and its economic, scientific, and legal significance.  Also, the project included a juridical analysis of the IP Law in forced at that time, as well as a proposal of a draft Law.  The wiki had a basic design, based on the Wikipedia interface, and allowed to create an account, review the contents, edit certain texts and create discussion forums.

The wiki was online from 2013 to 2020. However, the period of greatest activity was from its launch in March of 2013 to October of 2016, when the new IP regime was approved within the Organic Code for the Social Knowledge and Innovation Economy, known as the “CÓDIGO INGENIOS”.  According to the wiki managers, there were more than 1.8 million visits and more than 38 thousand editions, in that period.  Additionally, the wiki generated a domino effect, and suddenly the IPR were in the public opinion.  A survey conducted by the IP Office reflected a growth in the news about intellectual property of more than 600% in the period of June 2014 to June 2016.

After the approval of the CÓDIGO INGENIOS, the wiki continued online, but the users’ interactions were gradually decreasing until 2020 when the wiki was finally switched off.  Despite this, the impact generated by the wiki in their first years was gradually moved to other places in the remaining years. The Academia was one of the main receivers of the benefits of this project.  If we analyse the statistics since the wiki was launched, it is possible to identify a significant and constant growth in the following aspects:

          There was an increase in the number of Technology and Innovation Support Centres located at the universities. Before the project, there was not any Centre according to the WIPO criteria. Today there are 11 universities that have their own Technology Transfer Office.

          Regarding the use of the IPR into the Universities, there is a growth in the average that goes from 1.3 patent applications until 2012 to 27.5 in the period 2012-2019.

          Regarding IP teaching, IP Master's programs increased from 1 to 5 nationwide.

          The number of IP courses in the curriculum of the universities also increased. Before the Wiki Law Project, only 7 universities offered the course of intellectual property as an elective subject, now there are 25 that have the course as a compulsory subject.  Before, it was only taught in the Law School, now there are IP courses in 8 different careers.

          Regarding final degree projects, a study conducted in 5 Ecuadorian universities shows an increase of more than 300% since 2013.

As we can see, the Wiki Law Project was not only a success by itself, but also generated several positive externalities. Nowadays, the information technologies allow us to do great things without a big budget. In the case of the Wiki Law Project, a generic website template with basic functions was enough.  It was not even necessary to get a hosting since the page was hosted in the domain of the Ministry of Higher Education.

The Wiki Law project is an example of the interaction between academia and society, which also generated an academic demand focused on issues related to intellectual property. It was a project without “owners”.  After the idea was launched, many institutions got involved and once the wiki was online, a huge collaborative work was generated.  There are also several papers that describe the Wiki Law as a platform that allows to recuperate the public and common sense of knowledge, throughout collaborative work.

However, the Wiki Law Project is just one example of the use of open-source technologies in the dissemination of intellectual property. What is important here, is not the instrument but the process. This process results in the use of information technologies to spread the general aspects of the IPRs and its daily uses. With this, is possible to create a communication channel in two directions. On one hand, universities can provide information to society; and on the other hand, universities could collect data about social and commercial needs.  Therefore, with the understanding of these facts, universities could adapt their activities and curriculum in line with the expectations of the society.

PS This blog post is based on the presentation made by the author at the 13th Anniversary EIPTN Conference 2021.

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Thursday 8 December 2022


Encounter 23: IP Enforcement and Cybersecurity

On 13 December 2022, FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 23: IP Enforcement and Cybersecurity.

The panellists are Richard Lane (World Intellectual Property Organization) and Prof. Tal Zarsky (University of Haifa’s Faculty of Law). Prof. Manuel Desantes (University of Alicante) 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 23 is available here. 

The recording of Encounter 24, "Vintage Brands And The New Bad-Faith Conundrum", is available here.
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Tuesday 6 December 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Some news and views from me to you

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I cannot deny that keeping up with the blog has been arduous to say the least. The matter is that joggling between a full-time academic job comes with presenting and attending conferences, writing papers and plenty of responsibilities not only academic but also administrative, and then a house, family, and a bit of Legal consultancy. Aside, the University of Buckingham, where I work, drives, and leads on personal mentorship – and I am proud of it, but it is time and energy consuming. On this fact, I got some news to share, well ...maybe there are not brand new, but indeed good news to share. However, I have to say, that at first, I did not make a fuzz of it, because I do not like to ‘show off’ but on reflection, the idea of obtaining any recognition is to acknowledge, and if someone feels that this is their right path and want to connect with me for further guidance then, I am more than happy to give a hand.

The Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights UK announced the listees in November, and I am one of them 😉. The campaign “seeks to shine a great big spotlight on leaders who are impacting others through kindness. We see this campaign as a unique chance to build a new status quo, sharing advice and expertise from leaders and recognising the contribution of kind leaders to business, the economy and society.” The 50 listees come from different industries (me as academic) [View the 2022 listees at https:// www.kindnessrules.co.uk/uk/] You can check my statement if you click on my name, and you can also watch a video (1 minute) here.

My second big news is more IP related. The 30th of November came out the e-copy of the edited collection Transboundary Heritage and Intellectual Property Law: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage. The book took a few years to materialise, but one cannot expect less as the calibre of the authors were of high standard and engaged in their own projects. I was indeed honoured for them to embark with me in this task. For more info on this, check this page

The Book Description reads

Since the Intangible Heritage Convention was adopted by UNESCO in 2003, intangible cultural heritage has increasingly been an important subject of debate in international forums. As more countries implement the Intangible Heritage Convention, national policymakers and communities of practice have been exploring the use of intellectual property protection to achieve intangible cultural heritage safeguarding outcomes.

This book examines diverse cultural heritage case studies from Indigenous communities and local communities in developing and industrialised countries to offer an interdisciplinary examination of topics at the intersection between heritage and property which present cross-border challenges. Analysing a range of case studies which provide examples of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and genetic resources by a mixture of practitioners and scholars from different fields, the book addresses guidelines and legislation as well as recent developments about shared heritage to identify a progressive trend that improves the understanding of intangible cultural heritage.

Considering all forms of intellectual property, including patents, copyright, design rights, trade marks, geographical indications, and sui generis rights, the book explores problems and challenges for intangible cultural heritage in crossborder situations, as well as highlighting positive relationships and collaborations among communities across geographical boundaries. Transboundary Heritage and Intellectual Property Law: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage will be an important resource for practitioners, scholars, and students engaged in studying intangible cultural heritage, intellectual property law, heritage studies, and anthropology.

Some of the chapters cover specifically Latin America

Chapter 3 ‘Scaling up and down the edible heritage: Food and foodways as terrains of cultural friction ‘by Raúl Matta, focusing on Mexico cuisine

Chapter 7 ‘Colombian/Panamanian molas: Coping with the challenges posed in protecting and commercialising transboundary intangible cultural heritage’ by Florelia Vallejo-Trujillo

Chapter 8 ‘The ‘Pisco War’: A Chilean-Peruvian conflict at the crossroads of an intellectual property regime and intangible cultural heritage’ by Bernardo Alarcón Porflidtt

Chapter 11 ‘Knitting a future for the Aymara’s weavers: The Andean project’ by Patricia Covarrubia

Hope you forgive me for not being as prompt with news and views in the blog as it should be, this has been a crazy year! And as always, please do contact me if you think you have what we need to make this blog shine with news once again.


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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.

UPDATE: the recording of Encounter 22 is available here. 
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Thursday 27 October 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Mexico: Plagiarism and traditional cultural expression

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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.
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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:
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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.
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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.
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Tuesday 2 August 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

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

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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.

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Friday 29 July 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Mexico: cultural (mis) appropriation

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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
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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.
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Monday 18 July 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru: WIPO Geneva Act

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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?

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Monday 27 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Paraguay: news with no news

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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.

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Friday 24 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Brazil: fakes in the agricultural sector

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Pesticides and agricultural products suffer the same fate as any other products in the market, that is piracy. While IP plays a role as to protect patents, trade marks and other IP rights, the matter of piracy in this particular sector goes beyond protecting the economy and the private rights of the owners (incl. harming the country’s economy). Pirate products in this market endangers the lives of human beings and animals and may pollute the environment. Because of this, the Brazilian Association of Industries of Fine Chemistry, Biotechnology and its Specialties (ABIFINA), is positively acting to deter this crime by 

  1. Raising awareness for society to stop such practice which is a ‘crime’ and a matter of public health; back in September 2021, ABIFINA launched the “Brochure to Combat Piracy of Agricultural Inputs – Agricultural Defenses and Veterinary Products”. 
  2. Launching “Monitoramento de Ilegais AgroVet” [“Monitoring of Illegal AgroVet”] initiative. This brings together actions by police, customs, and agricultural inspection authorities in the fight against fakes. To this effect, news is collected and sent in a weekly report to interested parties. 


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Wednesday 22 June 2022


Encounter 21: The Metaverse as a Challenge to Classical IP

On 29 June 2022, FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 21: The Metaverse as a Challenge to Classical IP.

The panellists are Dr Andrés Guadamuz (University of Sussex) and Greg Pryor (Reed Smith). Dr Michaela MacDonald (Queen Mary University of London) 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 21 is available here. 
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Tuesday 21 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Ready, Steady…GO – the invention competition is on

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The Peruvian IPO (Indecopi) launched this week the XXI National Invention Competition 2022 . The call is for all inventors and innovators who have until September 27, 2022 to submit their application. This initiative, which is in its 22nd edition, aims to encourage and recognize the inventiveness and ‘creative spirit of Peruvian inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs’. The contest offers three categories and offers a cash prize to the winners for a total of USD 5,000. 

The categories:

  1.  First Place Award, distinguishing the national ‘invention that is considered the most outstanding’, assessed as exceptionally due to the ‘potential economic, social and commercial/productive impact that it can generate’. 
  2. Green Patent Award, recognizing the invention with a great applicability in the area of environment and or climate change. 
  3. Peruvian Inventor Award which recognizes women in the field – this could be an individual or a group of only women, which invention is ‘considered the most inventive and with the greatest potential impact for the country’. 
To participate in this exciting event, you shall have a patent application pending at Indecopi - between January 1, 2021 and September 27, 2022, and not have participated in previous editions of this competition. 

Good luck my Peruvian friends! May the odds be in your favour. 

More information here

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Thursday 16 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

oriGIn on Geographical Indications compilations

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Yesterday afternoon I attended the event on oriGIn worldwide GI compilations. It comprises several speakers from around the world but relatable to Latin America, Sergio Chuez from INAPI was present.

The welcoming was led by Erik Thevenod-Mottet from the Swiss IPO, followed up by Massimo Vittori representing oriGIn. The idea was to share the wonderful tool, that much needed, GI compilation. The talk started by ‘some figures’ 

1. recognising that there are over 13,000 GIs around the world [oriGIn has compiled 9,047 – that are ‘recognized’], and here I made a pause. It was an important remark made by Massimo that ‘recognised’ may not label it as ‘registered’ as some countries may not legally registered a particular GI but still there is recognition. This is important to know because a GI is appreciated by us, society/consumers and while perhaps a GI has not obtained the legal status of registered GI, it still, in our minds, has goodwill. 

2. There are different legal systems, mainly sui generis around the world that protect GI e.g. China, the EU, Africa (OAPI), the Andean countries (South America), Canada, Mexico, Chile, etc 

3. GI is applicable to several sectors not only agro-products but also includes non-agricultural products such as craft [Brazil protects services too] 

4. International legal frameworks are in place: TRIPS, Lisbon Agreement and more recently the Geneva Act 

5. There are over 200 bilateral agreements covering GIs [mainly they follow the bilateral agreement between France and Germany signed back in the 60s - adding an annex with a list of GIs]. 

Massivo moved to explain how the search works (database can be accessed here). I must say that I have tried and it is not complicated at all [I do not consider myself tech-savvy] and it is, I may say ‘ straightforward’. You may search by regions (e.g., South America (you can see all 444); Central America (with 74), etc), or by country. There is also interesting data such as ‘legal protection’ under which the said GI is protected, for instance, sui generis, trade marks, legislative act, etc; as well as per ‘type of product’. Under this, I have been intrigued by ‘services’, knowing the case of ‘Porto Digital’ in Brazil reported in this blog here. The data shows THREE GIs for services; aside from the Brazilian case, there is one in Chile ‘Calidad Aysen Paragonia-Chile (protected as a trade mark); and another, that of ‘Duzdag’ from Azerbaijan as a sui generics GI. Under types of products there is a very meticulous selection e.g., food products/dairy; food products fruits; food products/vegetable oils and fats; non-food product/ wood; non-food product leather; etc. There are 7846 GIs protected under sui generic rights which Massivo asserted is a legal system which is more robustic and solid. 

While I (virtuality) attended all speakers, I engaged with a couple of question when Chuez spoke about the work they do at the INDECOPI. Relating to this report today was the fact that by mere coincidence, yesterday morning I had published in this blog, about collective marks, and the QR code as well as the application been done for free. I therefore asked if there were any incentives for nationals to apply for GIs, here is the answer: ‘…[while GI applications are not free], we offer free and complete technical assistance for the filing, including the organization of the regularity council’ . This is indeed a pretty good offer, and I am sure many micros and SMEs do and will benefit from this. Peru, as many other countries in Latin America, is rich on natural resources and traditional knowledge. Yet, as of today, there are only 10 national GIs: ONE for a spirit, ONE for handcraft and EIGHT for food related products. 

If you attended the event, what are your thoughts? The next GI event would be in Montpellier (5th July), I will be in (physical) attendance, would you? More info on the Worldwide Perspectives on GI here.

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Wednesday 15 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru: QR codes for Collective Marks and enhancing Micro Enterprises

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As part of the project run by the Peruvian IPO (INDECOPI), that is ‘Collective Marks Brand Promotion’, the office continues to advertise that by registering a collective mark, INDECOPI designs and produce their QR code for free. 

Such QR code will allow customers to learn about the association or cooperative that owns the collective mark and of course to learn about the product offered e.g., the product’s characteristics, its history, membership (who they are), business contact details, in what market the products are traded, etc. 

Micro enterprises 
In general, as any other IPO office, the INDECOPI provides a good platform aiming to favour ‘economic reactivation of entrepreneurs, businessmen and micro enterprises in the country’. That said, this month, it prepared an event where 222 registrations of collective marks were handed in. It is therefore noticeable that INDECOPI continues to provide a helping hand to micro enterprises which are abundant in the country, especially in the artisanal sector and other rural productions. [micro enterprises have at mots 10 employees. As a curious note, small and medium enterprises represent 99% of all business in the European Union , yet in 2021 micro-enterprises have a turnover of Euro2 million – see the European Commission report here). In Peru, there is an exemption from the payment of the fee for processing the collective mark applications which was in force until September 2019 -- such payment was definitively eliminated in December 2020. 

 INDECOPI reports that up to April 2022, there are 5761 collective marks registered noting that many of these association and cooperatives are formed by women. 

More info click here [in
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Tuesday 14 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Brazil: Patents and Transgenic Plants

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The Brazilian IPO (INPI) has initiated a public consultation on the Nota Técnica CPAPD nº 01/2022. The Nota ‘aims to define the guidelines to be followed by its examiners in the examination of patentability of inventions associated with transgenic plants’, specifically ‘elite event’. 

Art 2 of the consultation welcomes suggestions and critiques related to the note and invite these to be submitted to cpapd.patentes@inpi.gov.br (deadline 30 days from 31 May 2022). After the deadline, and in accordance with Art 3 of the note, INPI will present the contributions provided by the consultation together with the final text. Click on the note to read the consultation publication [Portuguese] 

The Nota Técnica CPAPD nº 01/2022 can be found here. [Portuguese] 

The application of genetic transformation technology and the role of patents have been discussed for decades, in particular the matter of patentability of ‘living organism’ (biotechnology) and the ‘public-good breeding’. A technical understanding is needed as the requirements of novelty (new) and inventive step (non-obvious) are crucial. Moreover, whether the subject matter can be patentable. In any case, Brazil is a member of the international union for the protection of new varieties of plants (UPOV Convention) since 1999 and thus, have laws on plant variety protection in line with such international Convention. 

Cisgenic tress by Oregon State University

In principle, biological matter is not patentable (in Brazil this is so by Art 18(III) of the Industrial Property Law – Law No 9.279/96). However, it does not mean that an invention is not patentable just because the product and or process contain biological material. Here is then when it gets complicated and thus, the guidelines are welcome. 

Article One of the CPAPD nº 01/2022 starts by providing a definition of what ‘elite event’ means. This is done by FIVE criteria, as follow: 

 1)the event transforms a plant 

 2) through the insertion of a transgene 

 3) by using a genetic construct 

 4) been stable, in which the insertion took place at a specific location in the plant genome, and 

5) gives the plant a superior technical effect when compared to other transformation.

 Because transgenic plants are the ‘inventive concept’ that links to the ‘accessory ones’, there is the need to discuss the potential patentability of the additional inventions that derive from the main invention. 

Source INPI.

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Monday 13 June 2022

Patricia Covarrubia

Peru: Football and Intellectual Property

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This week we have two news related to football. The world cup always brings some technological advances that result in better sporting equipment e.g., Brazuca (the official ball of the 2014 World Cup that was invented to improve the aerodynamics and to make it water resistant). Adidas has been championing the football ball, but we do not hear much about small ‘players’, are they also innovating? Hernan Garrido Lecca, a Peruvian writer, producer, and inventor this year obtained a ‘utility model’ patent (Resolution N°000889-2022/DIN-INDECOPI) for ‘a highly competitive football jersey that helps players "kill the rebound" when receiving the ball with their chest during long passes. Garrido is using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to protect his invention internationally (see info here at INDECOPI).

In the same line, at the Peruvian IPO (INDECOPI) YouTube Channel, I watched ‘Dreams of Entrepreneurships’: The story of ‘Pragol’ a registered trade mark. Carla Paredes, a young woman who has always be passionate about football, grew up on an environment where football was not meant to be played by ‘girls’ – so she was told, and to play with dolls instead. Paredes, now is a entrepreneur who developed the mark ‘Pragol’ for urban clothing’. The mark is dedicated to female football fans, supporters and players and thus, a mark that inspire girls to follow their passion for football ‘without stereotypes’. Her aim is to ‘change the misperception that football is only for men’. One of her first steps was to register her mark – she notes, ‘nobody will steal this football dream from me’.

Picture adopted from Paredes's Instagram account

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Saturday 11 June 2022

Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo

WIPO Podcasts on Intellectual Property (WIPODs)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has produced podcasts featuring stories and conversations on creativity, innovation, and Intellectual Property.

So far, WIPO Podcasts on Intellectual Property (WIPODs) include the following series:

WIPOD – Page Points. WIPO Knowledge Center’s collection. Conversations with authors, editors, publishers, practitioners, and academics. Episodes available:
  • Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence
  • Intellectual Property and Tourism
  • Intellectual Property in the Fashion Industry
WIPOD – International Trademark System Talks. It features practitioners discussing historical background, insights, and perspectives on WIPO’s Madrid System for the international registration of marks. Episodes available:
  • A History of Trademarks: The Birth of the Madrid Agreement
  • A History of Trademarks: The Road to Madrid from Paris via Rome
  • A History of Trademarks: From the Ancient World to the 19th Century
WIPOD – Arbitration and Mediation Matters. Conversations with practitioners, mediators, and arbitrators. It offers insights into Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. Episodes available:
  • A WIPO Mediation Case Study in the Life Sciences Sector
  • ADR for Copyright and Content Disputes in the Digital Environment
  • How to Resolve IT and Software Disputes with Arbitration and Mediation

Listen to the WIPODs here!

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay.
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Friday 3 June 2022


IViR Summer Course on International Copyright Law and Policy 2022

The Institute for Information Law (IViR) will hold the Summer Course on International Copyright Law and Policy (ICL) from 4 to 8 July 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The course is taught by renowned scholars and practitioners in the field of copyright law. Faculty is composed of Bernt Hugenholtz, Pamela Samuelson, Martin Senftleben, Séverine Dusollier, Daniel Gervais, Remy Chavannes, Sean Flynn, Paul Keller and João Quintais.

ICL is addressed to lawyers, academics, and other professionals. Participants should have some prior knowledge of the area. The programme includes the following topics:
  • International framework of protection and policy issues
  • Trade and investment agreements
  • Authors’ rights and remuneration
  • Copyright exceptions and limitations
  • Collective administration of rights in the digital era
  • Copyright, data and artificial intelligence
  • Intermediary liability and online copyright enforcement
  • Copyright and open information policy: international and EU updates
  • Policy exercise: draft treaty on copyright exceptions for research and access to knowledge
A boat tour through the canals of Amsterdam and a welcome dinner are also part of the programme!

Register and find more information here!

Credit: the image is courtesy of IViR.
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