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 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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