Wednesday, 31 December 2008

WorldLeader 2008 awards

IPWorld.com has published a handsome brochure to commemorate its WorldLeaders International IP Awards 2008. According to this brochure, which has been distributed with the latest issues of Copyright World, Trademark World and Patent World, the Latin American/Caribbean sectional winners are as follows:
* In-house trade mark management: National Federation of Coffee Growers (Colombia).

* Excellence in trade mark practice/litigation in private practice: Ricardo Alberto Antequera (Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodriguez, Venezuela).

* Excellence in patent practice/litigation in private practice: Javier Uhthoff-Orive (Uhthoff, Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, Mexico)

* Law firm of the year: OMC Abogados & Consultores (Peru).

Monday, 29 December 2008

Costa Rica signs up to the UPOV Convention

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization press release UPOV Notification No. 107 the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica, on 12 December 2008, deposited its instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961, as revised at Geneva on November 10, 1972, on October 23, 1978, and on March 19, 1991. The UPOV Convention will enter into force, with respect to Costa Rica, on 12 January 2009. 

Monday, 22 December 2008

Enforcement of IP rights in Argentina

A short but informative English-language summary of the law and practice on enforcement of IP rights in Argentina has been posted on the Mondaq legal news service. Written by Andres Moncayo Von Hase (Bruchou Fernandez Madero & Lombardi), the article explains the position in Argentina post-TRIPs and concludes that, while there is still much to be done, the country is edging towards a genuine IP culture.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

7º Módulo Especial sobre la Marca Comunitaria

El Magister Lvcentinvs nos ha informado de la próxima realización de la 7ª edición del “Módulo Especial sobre la Marca Comunitaria", que tendrá lugar del 9 a 13 de febrero de 2009 en la Universidad de Alicante. Se trata de un curso intensivo y especializado de una semana de duración.

Durante este período los participantes realizarán un estudio detallado del derecho comunitario de marcas, de los procedimientos de registro y concesión. Por otra parte, podrán abordar el análisis de las diferentes estrategias alternativas de registro y de defensa de la marca.

Las clases serán impartidas por algunos de los profesionales más destacados del sector, incluyendo a miembros de la OAMI y académicos y profesionales de la Propiedad Industrial.

Este programa está destinado a agentes, abogados y profesionales en general de la Propiedad Industrial, así como a estudiantes de nivel avanzado (Master o Doctorado). Los participantes compartirán sus actividades académicas con los especialistas y alumnos del Magister provenientes de los países europeos y latinoamericanos.

Las clases serán impartidas en inglés.

Más información:

Mr. Pablo Lee
Magister Lvcentinvs
University of Alicante
Tel: +34 965 90 93 92
Fax: +34 965 90 93 84
http://www.ml.ua.es/site/eng/programa_modulos.asp
ml.modulos@uafg.net

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

MEXICO: Nueva Sala Regional en Materia de Propiedad Intelectual.


Nuevamente nuestros incansables amigos de ALHEN nos pasan ésta interesante noticia.

El Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa ha modificado su Reglamento Interior, creando una Sala Regional en Materia de Propiedad Intelectual que tendrá competencia en todo el territorio nacional y sede en la Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal.

Esta nueva Sala tendrá competencia material especializada para tramitar y resolver los juicios que se promuevan contra las resoluciones dictadas con fundamento en la Ley de la Propiedad Industrial, en la Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor, en la Ley Federal de Variedades Vegetales, así como en los demás ordenamientos que regulan la materia de Propiedad Intelectual.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Mexico tightens up consent letter practice

IMPI, the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property, has amended its practice with regard to letters of consent, which confirm that the owner of an earlier registered trade mark does not object to the registration and use of an identical or similar mark by a third party. Since there is no express legislation on this practice, IMPI had discretion to determine the parameters of its acceptability. Taking a more restrictive view than formerly, IMPI will now admit a letter of consent only where the trade marks are similar (not identical) and cover different or similar (again, not identical) goods and/or services.

This change seeks to avoid trade mark dilution and to protect the consumer's ability to distinguish goods and services as coming from different sources. Refusal to accept a consent letter is subject to judicial appeal.

Source: Sergio Olivares, Olivares & Cia, Mexico City, writing in World Trademark Review.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Trade Mark Office can't rule on copyright infringement

A Peruvian Administrative Court has declared a resolution of the Trade Mark Office void for having exceeded its legal competence under the law. In February 2007 Enrique Pajuelo Escobar applied to register as a trade mark for building materials for the construction industry (Class 19) a word and design mark LADRILLOS FORTE. Cementos Lima SA opposed, citing its earlier registered trade mark for the letters CL and design, maintaining that this design was protected as a literary work and that the mark applied for was confusingly similar to both its mark and its design. The Copyright Office confirmed to the Trade Mark Office that the Cementín design was protected as a literary work. The latter however rejected Cementos's opposition and allowed registration of LADRILLOS FORTE, rejecting the finding that Escobar's mark was confusingly similar to Cementos's earlier mark or design (regarding the designs, the Trade Mark Office held that there was no infringement either).

The Administrative Court overturned the resolution of the Trade Mark Office, holding that the Copyright Office was the only authority competent to determine whether a specific sign or mark infringed third party copyright. The Trade Mark Office had thus exceeded its competence in comparing Escobar's mark, as it was not empowered to do so under the law.

Source: note by Gonzalo Ferrero Diez Canseco, Lema Solari & Santiváñez, Lima, in World Trademark Review.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

It may work in practice -- but does the law protect it?

"Branding by the nose in Brazil", by Ana Paula Palombo Terzi and published here on BrandChannel, is an enjoyable read on the importance of scent and smell in branding -- a field in which Brazi leads the way. She writes (among other things):
"“Big global brands set the trend which spurred scent marketing in Brazil. Brazilian brands, big and small, are now creating their olfactive logo, a scent signature which helps generate brand recall,” explains Elaine De Oliveira, olfactive marketing consultant for Biomist, one of the pioneers of scent marketing in São Paulo, Brazil.

Marcelo Ginzberg from Air Berger, a French consulting firm that established an office in Brazil in June 2008, says, “A wide variety of businesses have been adopting olfactive logos—hotels, spas, medical facilities, pharmacies, gyms, restaurants, banks and supermarkets have capitalized on scent marketing to attract consumers.”

“Our culture is highly sensorial in many aspects,” says Janice Zanatta, olfactive marketing consultant for Good Smell Consultoria in Curitiba, Brazil. “Its colors, rhythms, textures and forms require a great spectrum of scents to express and communicate all this diversity.” Zanatta believes the growing interest in scent marketing in Brazil is a direct reflection of the country’s diverse and complex culture. She cites as an example Les Lis Blanc, a Brazilian fashion brand, with credit for linking its olfactive logo to its consumers’ positive experiences with the brand.

Brazilian baked goods brand Bauducco also strategized with olfactive marketing to appeal to a younger demographic in Brazil. A chocolate fragrance was diffused into movie theaters at the same time they ran a preview commercial for its signature product, the panettone. The campaign was a success".
What this article doesn't discuss is the extent -- if at all -- to which Brazilian law protects a business that uses olfactive logos against competitors who do the same. Perhaps some of IP Tango's readers would like to answer that one! You can post your comment below or email it to Jeremy here.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Colombian trade marks just got a little slower ...

A decision of the Colombian Trade Mark Office on 16 October 16 means that the Office will now wait a minimum of six months from the filing date of a trade mark application before deciding upon its fate. This period corresponds to the term granted within which third parties may file applications for registration claiming priority from applications filed in another country -- but the office will wait for a minimum of six months even where the application has been published and no opposition has been filed. This approach is derived from the Office's interpretation of Article 9 of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime.

Source: article in World Trademark Report by Margarita Castellanos (Castellanos & Co, Bogota).

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Brazil ponders pharma patent exclusions

Claudia Jurberg, writing in Intellectual Property Watch, reports that Brazil’s lower house of Congress held a hearing last month in which it discussed proposed changes to rules on pharmaceutical patents that would limit patents on (i) second-use drugs and (ii) polymorphs.

Both these areas are controversial. Critics say that second-use drugs are not truly novel or inventive because their medicinal function is already known, while polymorphs are just a way of retaining patent protection in respect of different versions of the same product. Supporters however point out that the costs of R&D and trialling of any drug are immense and the return is uncertain: absence of patent protection will steer R&D away from getting more and better uses from existing products which have known therapeutic effects, which may not be advantageous for patients.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Controversia por la Denominación de Origen ”Chile Habanero”


El gobierno de Quintana Roo informó que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) dio entrada a la demanda de controversia constitucional que interpuso por la denominación de origen del chile habanero otorgada sólo a Yucatán.

Derivado de la Publicación en el Diario Oficial de la Federación con fecha 10 de octubre de 2008 de la Declaración de Origen Chile Habanero de Yucatán que afecta intereses de los productores de Chile Habanero de Campeche y Quintana Roo, el Estado de Quintana Roo ha promovido diversas acciones legales tendientes a revertir el grave efecto en México y el extranjero de tal Declaratoria ocasiona a los productores locales.

Los gobiernos de ambos estados han mostrado su inconformidad porque el Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI) emitió la denominación a favor solamente de Yucatán y no contempló a Quintana Roo y Campeche, donde también se produce el picante.

Según sus representantes, ambos estados cumplieron oportunamente con los requisitos exigidos por el IMPI para adherirse a la denominación de origen.

La SCJN acordó suspender todo acto relacionado con la denominación de origen del chile habanero hasta que se resuelve la controversia constitucional.

Obviamente dicha resolución no afecta a México en cuanto a la tenencia de esta Denominación de Origen, toda vez que existen innumerables fuentes que indican la pertenencia del chile habanero a la cultura maya.

Agradecemos a nuestros compañeros y amigos de ALHEN por la información proporcionada. Seguro que nos mantendrán informados de los pormenores del asunto.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Brazil, Canada strike innovation deal

The Meridian Institute reports that Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology and Canada’s Minister of International Trade have signed the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology, and Innovation. This agreement seeks to increase bilateral research and development (R&D) in several science and technology areas -- these include nanotechnology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology. Canada is to contribute US$1.5 million to the agreement over the next two years, funding up to half the R&D arrangement costs between Canadian and Brazilian governments, academic, research institutes, and industry.

What will be interesting to see is how much of this money actually ends up in R&D rather than in paying for infrastructures and establishment costs, and what happens to the IP rights in any results of the innovation in question.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Get more involved, Gurry tells LA

A news item in Managing Intellectual Property Week informs IP Tango that WIPO Director General Francis Gurry has urged Latin American countries to participate more actively in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This call was made by video-link during the recent ASIPI 14th Work Session and Administrative Council Meeting during an all-day colloquium on the PCT.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

TLC China-Perú entrará en vigor en 2009 / China Peru FTA to enter into force in 2009

Gracias al IP-Dragon, un interesante blog sobre propiedad intelectual en China, en IP Tango hemos sabido que, en la cumbre de la APEC celebrada en Lima la semana pasada, los representantes de la delegación china y el gobierno peruano han acordado celebrar un acuerdo de libre comercio. Dicho acuerdo, entre otros aspectos, incluirá disposiciones en materia de propiedad intelectual y aduanas y se tiene previsto que entre en vigor en 2009. La noticia suministrada en el IP-Dragon incluye también un enlace a un interesante Informe sobre la viabilidad de este acuerdo donde se tratan cuestiones de propiedad intelectual (pp 137 - 141).

Costa Rica approves CAFTA

Via Conservation Commons comes "Indigenous knowledge safe — for now" by María Flórez-Estrada, Yorleny Gamboa. This piece explains that Costa Rica has approved the last of 13 laws to implement the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA), concluding just over a year of intense debate and two postponements. On IP the text reads:
"The final law —- and one of the most hotly debated —- originally included an article that would have risked intellectual property rights for Costa Rica’s indigenous population. But a last-minute omission of the article allowed for the law to pass.

That first version of the proposal, dubbed “the sweeping bill” for the number of issues it grouped, called for allowing private companies to limitless patents of animal and vegetable species, a clear threat to ancient knowledge, specifically of medicinal plants".
This proposal was reportedly rejected by the Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber for failure to consult the country´s indigenous peoples.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Adhesión de El Salvador del TLT

El pasado 14 de noviembre entró en vigencia en El Salvador el Tratado sobre el Derecho de Marcas de 1994 (TLT por sus siglas en inglés) y su Reglamento. Con El Salvador son 42 estados los contratantes de este Tratado el cual es administrado por la OMPI. Por lo anterior, los únicos países centroamericanos que quedan pendientes de ratificar dicho Tratado con ocasión del DR-CAFTA son Guatemala y Nicaragua. Algunos consideran que este tratado es obsoleto porque mucho de su contenido ya se encuentra en el Tratado de Singapur (2006) el cual aún no ha entrado en vigor por ser muy pocos los países que forman parte de este. En todo caso y mientras El Salvador y el resto de países de la región centroamericana formen parte de este último tratado, el TLT tiene algunas ventajas como la aplicación del sistema multi-clase (el cual ya es posible en Nicaragua) y su posterior división por causas como una posible oposición; la no obligación de legalizar los poderes otorgados en el extranjero hasta los respectivos consulados aunque en este caso tanto El Salvador como Honduras ya son parte de la Convención de la Apostilla. El TLT no se aplicará a los hologramas ni a las marcas que no consistan en signos visibles (marcas sonoras y olfativas) ni a las marcas colectivas yde certificación y garantía.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Búsqueda on-line en Guatemala

Desde hace unas semanas es posible efectuar búsquedas on-line en la página web del Registro de la Propiedad Intelectual de Guatemala (www.rpi.gob.gt) en el sistema electrónico de consultas. Como primer paso debe incribirse por medio de un usuario (dirección de correo) y una contraseña. Posteriormente podrá efectuar búsqueda de patentes y marcas registradas y en trámite. También podrá verificar trámites de Derecho de Autor y alguna jurisprudencia. El sistema aunque es muy fácil de utilizar aún no es del todo confiable ya que en algunos casos la información no se encuentra del todo actualizada con lo cual esta herramienta debe usarse prudentemente y en todo caso confirmar los datos posteriormente por medio de una búsqueda ante el Registro.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Costa Rica decriminalises IP offences

This August Costa Rica amended its Law of Enforcement Proceedings of Intellectual Property Rights (Law No. 8039), apparently decriminalising proceedings for infringement of trade secrets, patents, industrial drawings and utility models. The justifications for doing so were based on issues relating to local constitutional law, but the amendment has drawn criticism from the IP community.



Source: INTA Bulletin Vol. 63, information supplied to INTA by María del Pilar López, Zürcher Law, San José.

Monday, 17 November 2008

CHEROKEE rolls out in Peru

According to Trading Markets, licensor and global brand management company Cherokee Inc has announced the launch of its Cherokee brand in Peru, distributing its products through the local branches of Falabella's Tottus Stores. A spokesman for Cherokee Brand Development explains that this is part of its "world brand" strategy. Cherokee next plans to take its brands in Spain with Grupo Eroski and to the Middle East with Geant, a division of Al Hokair, within the coming year.

Brands owned or managed by Cherokee can be found here.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Fiocruz in technical collaboration deal to enable production of Mozambique ARVs

In "Brazil, EU Collaborate On Local Production Of AIDS Drugs In Mozambique", published on Monday in the excellent IP Watch, Claudia Jurberg describes an unusual and potentially invaluable exercise in life-saving tech transfer exercise between two Portuguese-speaking nations, Brazil and Mozambique. This article features Brazilian support for the establishment of a pharmaceutical plant in Maputo that will produce HIV/AIDS drugs such as antiretrovirals (ARVs). Claudia reports:
"The project has been developing in Mozambique since July 2005 under a partnership between the Mozambique Health Ministry and Farmanguinhos, the unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Portuguese abbreviation Fiocruz) that produces medicines.

Fiocruz is one of the biggest public health institutions in Latin America and is dedicated - in addition to the production of drugs - to vaccines and kits to diagnose diseases. It also is responsible for the training of human resources for the public health system.

... [T]he plant in Africa will be inaugurated in the first semester of 2009 and is expected to begin production in the same year. The plant will produce ARVs and drugs against malaria and other diseases. The factory location is being adapted for the necessary equipment. The project is not expected to result in medicines being shipped to Brazil, but rather is intended to represent a commitment to helping Africa.

The investment is aimed at advancing science and technology in Mozambique, lessening economic dependence and, specifically in this case, dependence on the development of ARVs. Currently, they are purchased from other countries at higher costs".

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

SOUTH AMERICAN COOPERATION PLAN ON IP RIGHTS


On last October 8, a fund proposal regarding the cooperation of eight South American Patent and Trademark Offices on IP matters was presented to the Inter-American Development Bank (hereinafter only IDB) for approval. The objective of the proposal is to obtain financing for the technical integration of Patent and Trademark Offices from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Surinam and Uruguay.


The answer of the IDB (created to promote and finance the economical and social developments of Latin American countries) is expected to be issued on March 2009 and its approval may represent the first step to the creation of a regional integration system regarding a single and common IP database platform in a nearby future.

This proposal has been regarded as a good example of possible technical regional integration and strengthening of IP rights in the South American countries. Further to that, the Proposal is an effective mechanism to secure the sharing of database information and current different IP pracrtices regarding the prosecution of patents and trademarks.

The expected practical consequences of the proposal by IDB are the reduction of the current time frame for IP registration procedure and the quality improvement of the services due to the share of information and proceedings.

Venezuela’s 1955 Law is Revived

Richard N. Brown (De Sola Pate & Brown Abogados, Caracas) has sent IP Tango this article. It makes depressing reading for the world's intellectual property fraternity.

"Venezuela has revived the 1955 Venezuelan Industrial Property Law. Venezuela was a member of the Andean Pact Community until April 22, 2006. On that date Venezuela left the Andean Pact Community. Because Venezuela’s Trademark and Patent Law was contained in the provisions of the Andean Community Decision 486, the withdrawal from the Andean Community left Venezuelan IP law in question. Decision 486 was the Andean Communities common Patent and Trade Mark Law used by Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The Venezuelan Registrar of Intellectual Property continued to apply the provisions of Decision 486 after April 22, 2006 for all patent and trade mark matters in the absence of any order from the legislative or judicial branches of Venezuela’s Government.

However Venezuela’s Registrar of Patents and Trademarks published on September 12, 2008 a notice that as of September 17, 2008 the Venezuelan Patent and Trade Mark Office will no longer apply the provisions of Decision 486 but will begin to reapply the provisions of Venezuela’s 1955 Intellectual Property law. The 1955 Law was never repealed but had been pre-empted in most aspects by the Decisions 313 and 486 of the Andean Community.

Venezuela’s Copyright Law of August 14, 1992 was adopted by the Andean Community as Decision 351. Venezuela’s Registrar of Copyrights has been applying the provisions of Venezuela’s 1993 Copyright Law since April 22, 2006. The change in the Copyright Law presented no difficulties as the Laws of the Andean Community and Venezuela were identical. However the change back to the 1955 IP Law is very troublesome. Among the problems created by the move back to 1955 are the following:

* The status of the Registrar's actions based on Decision 486 after April 22, 2006 is potentially open to attack
* The International classification is replaced by a sui generis 50 class system.
* Protection is limited to the class in which the mark is registered
* Service marks are not specifically protected
* No injunctions are provided for in the 1955 law
* No consents are possible
* The registration term is 15 years instead of 10 years.
* There is no grace period for renewals
* Pirate registrations become incontestable
* Pharmaceutical patents are forbidden but, since no patents have been granted in the past three years, patent protection is very limited in any event
* Only chemical processes can be patented.
* Patents of introduction are back. In the past pirates patented public domain items like bottle caps to extort licences for patents on public domain technology.

It must be pointed out that from April 22, 2006 to September 17, 2008 all the decisions and actions of the Venezuelan IP Registry were based on Decision 486. It is not clear what the effect is of the actions taken during the 21 months between April 22, 2006 to September 17, 2008 when the Registry applied Decision 486 which they now say is inapplicable.

A problem is what is the status of registrations granted between April 22, 2006 and September 17, 2008. There seems to the possibility of problems with registrations granted under terms of a law which Venezuela’s Registrar now says is inapplicable. Owners of Venezuelan registrations granted after April 22, 2006 need to consider their situation. Venezuelan Law provides that the Acts of the Government are to be held as valid. Venezuela is a member of TRIPs and the Paris Convention. Venezuela’s college of IP agents is challenging the Registers reimplementation of the 1955 law in Court. However trademark owners are in the position of persons vaccinated in April 2006 who are now informed the vaccine may or may not have been effective. The chance of successful challenge to a trade mark granted after April 22, 2006 appear to be less than ten percent because Venezuela Law provides the government acts are to be recognized. However the possibility of nuisance suits exists and, since litigation in Venezuela is very slow, problems could arise.

As an example of the problems, the 1955 law does not provide for service marks. Venezuela granted service marks from 1992 to 2008. The 1955 Act which is now in force does not provide for service marks. The Registrar has stated that service marks will be accepted in class 50 MC. How this will work is uncertain.

Great uncertainty has resulted from the Registrar's decision. In a seminar held on April 24, 2008 by the Venezuelan IP Registry the Director General of the IP Department, the economist Jumersi La Rosa said that since 2002 the Registry no longer celebrates the International Intellectual Property day because “it would celebrate the subjugation of public and salaried workers to the continued expropriation throughout history of the collected scientific techniques and intellectual wealth of human kind impending that this treasure be used to satisfy the needs of people and protection of the environment”.

Churchill, Perez Jimenez, Franco, Nehru, Krushchev and Peron were in power in 1955 Cars sprouted tail fins, Nicolas Sarkozy was born. Queen Elizabeth II was Queen –she and the 1955 Act are survivors and Venezuelan gasoline is still 12 cents (U.S) a gallon. Apart from that the world has moved on. We suggest contacting your Venezuelan associates. The new (old) classification follows:

“Article 106: The following classification for the registration of trade marks is established:

1. Raw materials or partially processed materials
2. Receptacles
3. Leather and prepared hides and other manufactured leather articles that are not clothing
4. Substances for polishing and cleaning, detergents, common soaps, candles, matches, bluing and other washing products.
5. Apparatus for use in architecture and construction
6. Chemical substances, pharmaceutical preparations, perfumery
7. Cording, sacks and analogous articles
8. Aviation apparatuses
9. Explosives, fire arms, projectiles and military harnesses
10. Fertilizers and manures
11. Dyestuffs
12. Asphalt, materials to ornament and decorate buildings, tiles
13. Hardware and iron tubes
14. Forged and cast metal, wire
15. Oils and greases that are non-edible
16. Paint and materials for painters except oils and polishes
17. Tobacco products
18. Machines and their accessories for agriculture and milk products
19. Vehicles, except locomotives
20. Linoleum, oil cloths, and similar products
21. Electric apparatuses machine and accessories
22. Toys, sporting goods and games
23. Cutlery non electrical machines and accessories, tools
24. Optical goods, photographic apparatus and accessories
25. Locks and safes
26. Scientific and measuring machines and apparatuses
27. Machines and instruments to measure time
28. Jewelry, jewels and manufactured precious metals
29. Brushes, brooms, feather dusters
30. Articles of clay, china and porcelain
31. Filters and cooling apparatuses
32. Furniture and carpets
33. Articles of glass or crystal
34. Non electric apparatuses for heating ventilation and lighting
35. Rubber goods, non metallic tires, hoses, belts and material for packing and stopping
36. Musical Instruments and their accessories
37. Paper (Except wallpaper), office supplies and blank books
38. Books and publications of all types
39. Articles of clothing, hats and footwear
40. Buttons notions, advertising material which is not a publication
41. Canes, umbrellas and parasols
42. Piece goods, cloth, embroidery braiding
43. Threads
44. Medical and dental equipment and instruments
45. Mineral and gasified waters, natural and artificial
46. Foods and their ingredients
47. Wine, except medicinal wines
48. Malt beverages, and beer
49. Alcoholic beverages
50. MC Miscellaneous
50. DC Commercial names"

Monday, 10 November 2008

WHO presses for tougher control on tobacco trade

Writing in IPS News ("Progress Towards WHO Pact on Tobacco Smuggling"), Gustavo Capdevila outlines the draft protocol to eliminate all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products, such as contraband, illegal manufacturing and counterfeit cigarettes, which is being pressed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body in charge of drafting the protocol debated the possibility of creating a group of experts to review certain initiatives, including the feasibility of an international system for monitoring and tracking tobacco products.

The meeting heard how, in Latin America, tobacco products originating in, or in transit through, countries like Paraguay or Panama are sent on circular journeys and return to the same countries, where they are sold at lower prices. In Chile however, international and intersectoral cooperation has contributed to reducing the share of contraband cigarettes from eight percent to just two percent of total consumption.

Curiously the discussions made no mention of branding, trade marks or intellectual property -- ways in which the private sector has traditionally sought to monitor and track both licit and illicit tobacco-related trade.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

REGISTRO DE NOMBRES DE DOMINIO ".TEL"


Como muchos recordarán, la ICANN, organismo regulador de los nombres de dominio, aprobó el 30 de mayo de 2006 la creación del nuevo dominio “.tel” concediendo su gestión a la empresa Telnic Limited.

A partir del próximo 3 de Diciembre de 2008 se iniciará el registro de estos nombres de dominio. Su registro permitirá a empresas y particulares la organización de toda su información de contacto: dirección postal, número de teléfono y fax, correo electrónico, mensajería instantánea, etc.

La diferencia entre éste dominio “.tel” y el resto de dominios reside en que no será necesaria la contratación de un servicio de hosting para la creación de esta página web ya que el mismo dominio lleva incluida una herramienta para su creación

El registro de este dominio se realizará en las siguietnes etapas:

I. Etapa "Sunrise": Del 3 de Diciembre de 2008 al 2 de Febrero de 2009:
Fase reservada a titulares de marcas solicitadas antes de mayo de 2008

II. Etapa "Libre Premium": Del 3 de Febrero al 23 de Marzo de 2009:
Fase de libre registro en la que el dato más relevante es que el coste es sensiblemente superior al de la fase libre.

III. Etapa "Libre": a partir del 23 de Marzo de 2009:
El dominio será registrado por el primero que lo solicite.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Hilton Latin America brand strategy: sound English

A short while back, IP Tango reported on the expansion of the Hilton Garden Inn franchise into Costa Rica. It now seems that this was not an isolated brand expansion but part of a wider strategy. In "Hilton Gets Aggressive in the Caribbean and South America" by William Ng, the author writes:

"Hilton Hotels plans to quadruple its presence in the Caribbean and Latin America by adding 150 properties over the next five years. The company currently has 51 properties in the region, with 42 more in the development pipeline, but it is looking to ramp up.

... Hilton is banking on success in the region through brand mixture.

The comprehensive plan targets four areas: Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In the Caribbean, Hilton said growth will be through slotting "focused-service" brands Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn at commercial centers like San Juan, Trinidad, and Nassau, as well as through implementing luxury properties at high-end mixed-use developments in the Turks and Caicos, Lesser Antilles, and Bahamas. .... 17 properties will be introduced in the region through 2013.

In Mexico, Hilton's existing portfolio count is 19, and it will add 60 more throughout the country, covering large, capital, industrial, and border cities in 31 states. Hampton and Homewood Suites will be in play particularly; 20 now in the pipeline include Homewood hotels in Monterrey, and Hamptons in Guadalajara, Los Cabos, Cancun, and Tulum.

Hilton's strategy in the nascent Central American market, where it has seven hotels, will be to add 23 mostly Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn lodgings. The hotelier wants to forge alliances with local developers on multi-property deals in the region's big locations, namely Liberia, Panama, Leon, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica—where it recently debuted three hotels and resorts. But there also are upper-end market developments: a Conrad in Honduras, a Doubletree in Panama, and an Embassy Suites in Costa Rica.

Brazil, due to its "size and strength," is the linchpin in Hilton's South America eye. The company's regional headquarters is in Sao Paulo, and it will focus on that city, plus Rio de Janeiro and secondary cities such as Brasilia. Hotels in gateways Buenos Aires, Santiago (Chile), Lima (Peru), Bogota (Colombia), and Caracas (Venezuela) are planned. There will be 50 introductions on the continent.Initially, development will be concentrated on Hilton Garden Inns and Doubletrees, in mid-market and conversion opportunities. ...".

Branding and marketing experts may wish to make their own assessments of the Hilton strategy and forecast its likely outcome. One thing is notable, however: Hilton's brands are all English-language and would appear to be addressed to the Anglophone traveller or tourist. In how many sectors other than the hotel sector can successful branding be made to depend on ignoring the local element of the market?

Friday, 31 October 2008

Sony, la marca más amada en México


A pesar de la depresión en el consumo, el 75% de los ejecutivos mexicanos ubica a Sony como la marca líder en electrónicos, según el estudio Las mejores marcas en México de HSM y Millward Brown.

El ranking presentado revela que según 9,901 entrevistas aplicadas por HSM y Millward Brown a ejecutivos y consumidores mexicanos, las mejores marcas asentadas en el país, tomando en cuenta 21 categorías comerciales, son: Sony, con 75% de las respuestas, seguida por Sabritas (57%), Coca-Cola (54%), Johnnie Walker (51%). Dichas marcas son reconocidas gracias a que mantienen un fuerte vínculo con sus consumidores.

Asimismo, el estudio destaca el top 3 de las marcas con mayor impulso: Apple, Starbucks y Iphone.

En el análisis se estudiaron 310 marcas de 21 categorías en base a la relación del consumidor y su lealtad. Las 10 primeras pueden verse aquí.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Peru commits to Budapest Treaty

By Budapest Notification No. 261 WIPO confirms the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Peru, on 20 October 2008, of its instrument of accession to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. This Treaty will enter into force, with respect to the Republic of Peru, on 20 January 2009.

Peru's accession brings to 71 the number of countries operating under the Budapest Treaty. Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras. Mexico and Nicaragua are also contracting parties -- but not any of the Andean Community or Mercosur nations.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Bob's and Doggis fast food operations in cross-border franchise deal

MarketWatch reports that Brazil Fast Food Corp. has announced that it has agreed with Grupo de Empresas Doggis (GED) to cross-franchise the Bob's and Doggis brands in Chile and Brazil, respectively. Brazil Fast Food is the second largest fast-food restaurant chain in the country, with 663 points of sale; it trades under brands including Bob's, In Bocca al Lupo Cafe, Pizza Hut and KFC.

Brazil Fast Food will control the Doggis master franchise in Brazil, while GED will control the Bob's master franchise in Chile. Brazil Fast Food expects to develop up to 30 Bob's points of sale in Chile and 40 Doggis points of sale in Brazil in the next five years.

GED is itself a leader in the food service business in Chile. It owns and runs the Doggis hot dog fast food chain. and currently operates through four different brands, with 151 owned and franchised stores.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Venezuela rejects Decision 486

On 12 September 2008 the Director General of Venezuela's Trade Mark Office announced officially that Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime was no longer applicable in Venezuela and that the only applicable IP legislation is the Industrial Property Law of 1955. Decision 486, approved by Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela on 15 September 2000, regulates all aspects of intellectual property, unfair competition, enforcement procedures and control measures. Although Venezuela left the Andean Community in 2006, this announcement was itself unexpected.

IP rights granted under the Andean legislation continue to be valid in compliance with the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to which Venezuala is a party. Many issues that are now missing from national IP legislation will be regulated through these international agreements.

[source: Daniela Rojas (Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez, Caracas), writing for World Trademark Report].

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Argentine INPI moves to cut patent application backlog

The Argentine Industrial Property Office (INPI) recently enacted two new resolutions:
* Resolution 178/08, under which the INPI required all patent applicants who filed an application before 1 January 2008 to submit, within a 90-day period, a declaration stating whether the foreign priority which was claimed at the time of filing was granted in the country of origin. The deadline for this period is next week, on 30 October 2008, and is not extendable. In order to comply with this resolution, applicants should submit a list of Argentine patent applications and simply indicate whether foreign priority has been granted. If this is not done by the deadline, the application will be declared abandoned. The idea is that. by making applicants declare their continued interest in prosecuting their pending applications, the current prosecution backlog may be reduced by declaring abandoned those applications for which no declaration is made.

* Resolution 213/08 establishes a procedure whereby the INPI will remove an international priority document established under the Paris Convention from the application file and return it to the owner, reserving the right to request it subsequently if necessary. Likewise, from the moment the resolution comes into force, translations of international priority documents established under the Paris Convention must be filed in digital media (CD-ROM).
[source: Daniel R Zuccherino (Obligado & Cia), writing in International Law Office].

Monday, 20 October 2008

Free speech amendment to boost biographies

The Commission of Constituency and Justice of the House of Representatives in Brazil has approved Bill 3378/2008. This seeks to amend Article 20 of the Civil Code in order to authorize the creation of artistic works of a biographical nature relating to public figures. The bill states that the legislative amendment is necessary to guarantee free speech, as well as the public’s right to access information. Following the approval of the bill by the Commission, it is highly likely that it will be approved by Congress. This should be a considerable boost to Brazilian cultural activities such as films, television programmes and biographical works.

[source: Jose Mauro Decoussau Machado (Pinheiro Neto Advogados, Sao Paulo), writing for World Media Law Report].

COMPULSORY LICENSED DRUG - EFAVIRENZ - WILL BE MANUFACTURED BY PUBLIC BRAZILIAN LABORATORIES BY THE END OF 2008


MERCK SHARP & DOME markets, under the brand name EFAVIRENZ, the most used drug in Brazil against HIV/AIDS. In a universe of 200.000 Brazilians infected with this disease in, approximately 80.0000 take this drug.

This drug is present in the Anti HIV/AIDS Cocktail offered without costs to the Brazilian infected patients by means of the renowned Public Program so-called “National Program for Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDS”. This Program is led by the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health argues that Brazil spent almost USD $ 43.000.000,00 with EFAVIRENZ in the year 2007, paying US$ 1,59 per each pill. The estimated cost of this drug to the “National Program for Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDS” amounts to US$ 580,00 per patient per year. Considering these numbers, in 2007, the Brazilian government attempted to reach a satisfactory agreement with MERCK SHARP & DOME, proposing the payment of a price comparable to the one practiced by this company in Thailand, i.e., US$ 0,65 per pill, where the public expenditure with EFAVIRENZ does not surpass USD $ 245,88 per patient.

MERCK SHARP & DOME did not accept the proposal of the Brazilian government to use the same financial terms as those used in Thailand, even after several attempts to come up with an agreement.

Due to this unsatisfactory outcome, the Brazilian government published the Decree no. 6,108 dated of May 4th, 2007. It determined the compulsorily license of EFAVIRENZ patents PI 1100250-6 and 9608839-7, based on the public interest principle. This license was destined only to the public and non-commercial use of the drug, and aimed to attend the aforementioned local HIV/AIDS Program. The time frame of the license was set to be 5 years.

It was further determined that EFAVIRENZ would be manufactured by laboratories of governmental institutions. Since then, Brazil had to import a generic version of EFAVIRENZ from India, at US $ 0,48 per pill, to supply the internal need. This measure was indispensable since the selected public institution to produce the mentioned drug, Farmanguinhos Laboratory at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), had to acquire the necessary technology to manufacture the EFAVIRENZ from MERCK SHARP & DOME.




Recently, the Ministry of Health announced that Brazil will begin the manufacture of the generic version of the drug by the end of 2008. Farmanguinhos is further waiting for the regulatory approval of the Brazilian Health National Agency (ANVISA). As soon as this approval is issued the industrial production will commence.


According to the Ministry of Health, due to the successful outcome of this initiative, compulsory licenses may be extended to others Anti-HIV drugs, such as TENOFOVIR. This is one of the new targets, since TENOFOVIR is the most expensive drug, representing 15% of the overall costs supported by Brazil in regard to the HID/AIDS Program. It is also currently used by approximately 32.000 infected persons in Brazil.

Will EFAVIRENZ constitute a leading case for the Brazilian Government policy to reduce its costs to fight against HIV/AIDS? Will TENOFOVIR be the next target of the Brazilian Government?

These are questions for which we do not have yet an answer. At least, not a clear and transparent ones.

Nevertheless, it appears that EFAVIRENZ may not be the last compulsory license case, even though this compulsory license has frightened drug companies in investing and initiating Research & Development Programs in Brazil. Let us await for future developments.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Cemex la marca mexicana mejor valuada



La consultora Interbrand ubicó a Cemex como la principal compañía mexicana por encima de otras tan conocidas como Bimbo, Telcel, Telmex, Televisa, Banamex, Banorte y TV Azteca.

Según el ranking de 2008, primero que Interbrand realiza para América Latina, CEMEX se ubicó en cuarto lugar, detrás de los bancos brasileños, Itaú, Bradesco y Banco Do Brasil, alcanzando un valor de tres mil 998 millones de dólares.

En el estudio “Las marcas más valiosas de América Latina” “Las marcas más valiosas de América Latina 2008”, la consultora indica que la metodología utilizada consistió en analizar cuánto de los flujos futuros esperados para una empresa se deben a ese activo intangible conocido como marca.

De acuerdo con citado ranking, Cemex supera el valor de marca de firmas como Starbucks, ING, Motorola, Duracell, Smirnoff, Ferrari, Armani, Marriot, Shell, Fedex y Visa, lo que la situaría en el Top 100 Global de la consultora.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

FINESSE, MEN's FITNESS confusingly similar, rules Colombia Council

Mariz Gestao e Investimentos Limitada sought to register the words MEN'S FITNESS as a trade mark for goods in Class 25. Colombian company Alpina Productos Alimenticios SA opposed, saying that mark was confusingly similar to its earlier FINESSE registered trade mark for goods in Class 29. The Colombian Trade Mark Office dismissed the opposition and allowed the registration. Alpina then filed an action for the cancellation of MEN'S FITNESS before the Colombian Council of State, pleading both likelihood of confusion and that its FINESSE mark was well known.

The Council of State found that Alpina's FINESSE mark was a well-known trade mark under Andean Community Decision 486, confirming that it was thus entitled to a special degree of protection. It then assessed the risk of confusion, holding the marks to be confusingly similar from visual, phonetic and conceptual points of view: if both marks were used concurrently on the market under equal conditions, consumers would be confused as to the origin of the goods.

The Council added that, according to a pre-judicial interpretation issued by the Tribunal of Justice of the Andean Community, confusion is likely to result from the "joint and synchronized impressions created by the marks" especially since, in assessing the likelihood of confusion, their similarities rather than their differences should be taken into account. Taking this into account, MEN'S FITNESS was invalid.

[source: Fernando Triana, Triana Uribe & Michelsen, Bogota, writing in World Trademark Report]

Monday, 13 October 2008

ADR in IP contracts under threat in Venezuela

In July of this year the Supreme Court of Venezuela agreed to entertain a reference for a preliminary ruling filed by the Office of the Attorney General on the applicability of Article 258 of the Constitution. This provision establishes that the law must promote alternative means of dispute resolution. Says the Attorney General, Article 258 must be interpreted in line with Article 22 of the Law on Promotion and Protection of Investments, which states that arbitration or other means of dispute resolution will not be used if they are not “expressly” encouraged by an international treaty to which Venezuela is a party. It was also suggested that, even where an international treaty does encourage alternative dispute resolution, the parties to a contract must have “expressly and unequivocally” agreed to submit to arbitration.

Parties to international contracts tend to draft highly specialized and precise dispute resolution clauses, especially in the field of IP, to avoid problems caused by delay and expense in utilising the traditional court process. Also, arbitrators can be appointed who are experts in their fields, while judges may not have the relevant expertise. Other issues are relevant too, such as the need for confidentiality.

If, as is likely, the Supreme Court issues a preliminary ruling that restricts the interpretation of Article 258, parties to international agreements will be precluded from submitting to arbitration any conflict that may arise within the context of an international contract. Such result would have dramatic consequences, as the national courts often fail to provide a final decision in business disputes within a reasonable time. Consequences of such a ruling can be that the number of international contracts involving Venezuelan parties will decrease and that
Venezuela’s reputation as an investor-friendly country will be damaged. Furthermore, if Venezuelan courts refuse to recognize the validity of arbitral awards issued in other countries, arbitral awards issued in Venezuela are likely not to be recognized in other jurisdictions.

[source: Daniela Rojas, Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez, Caracas, writing in World Trademark Report].

Friday, 10 October 2008

Colombia changes trade name deposit requirements

Opinion 08048285 of 20 June 2008 of the Colombian Trademark Office amends its practice with regard to the deposit of trade names. Previously, trade names deposited before the coming into force of Andean Pact Decision 486 had to be renewed 10 years after the date of entry into force of the decision (ie by 1 December 2010) while trade names deposited thereafter had to be renewed 10 years after the date of the deposit, under Article 196 of the decision. The Opinion of 20 June removes the requirement to renew the deposit of trade names, and deposits will remain valid indefinitely.

Source: article in World Trademark Report by Margarita Castellanos (Castellanos & Co, Bogota).

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Chile se adhiere al PCT/Chile joins PCT


Segun informa Rodrigo Ramirez, el Senado de Chile acaba de ratificar el Tratado de cooperación en materia de patentes (PCT). Con ello, Chile cumple con los compromiso asumidos en los tratados de libre comercio ratificados con EEUU y UE.
Según la información proporcionada por el senado de Chile, el senador Guillermo Vásquez valoró el sistema de solicitud de patentes que establece este tratado para obtener licencias en otros países, lo que favorecerá a nuestros investigadores e innovadores.
No todos los senadores estuvieron de acuerdo en la ratificación. Así, Nelson Ávila justificó su abstención al señalar que de acuerdo a las cifras del año 2004 sobre distribución de patentes, el 94,1% de las mismas corresponde al intercambio de Estados Unidos, la Unión Europea y Japón, mientras que los países de América Latina solo aportaron un irrisorio 0,2%. “Con este Tratado no hacemos otra cosa que allanar el camino para el otorgamiento de patentes a nivel planetario que estará concentrado a nivel global, esta es la herramienta de los países desarrollados para controlar las economías de todo el mundo”, dijo.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Disclaimers in Argentine trade mark practice

Argentine trade mark law makes no explicit provision for the disclaimer of unregistrable elements of a trade mark. However, Disposition No. 70 of the Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property establishes the formalities required to request a disclaimer, whether voluntarily or in response to an office action. In practice, however, disclaimers are rarely sought or required and many Argentine marks contain descriptive terms. An example is the trade mark BUENACARNE (a contraction of the Spanish words for "good" and "meat"), which was granted earlier this year for meat products in Class 29. The application was filed without any disclaimer but, following a request from the examiner, the applicant disclaimed any claim to the individual words “buena” and “carne”. Although the registration issued, the mark it is weak to the point of nonexistence. It appears therefore that office practice in accepting disclaimers is too lax.

Source: INTA Bulletin Vol. 63, No. 18, published on 1 October 2008: information furnished by Raquel Flanzbaum and Manuel Alonso (Mitrani Caballero Ojam Abogados, Buenos Aires).

Monday, 6 October 2008

New Procedure at the Brazilian Patent Office for the Application of Article 32 of the Industrial Property Law

The Brazilian Patent Office (hereinafter only BPO) issued on 25th April 2008 a New Procedure specifically related to the application of Article 32 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Brazilian IP Law).

This New Procedure aims to set an uniform ruling to the previous and different understandings which came into effect with the creation of the Opinion/PROC/DICONS/No.07/2002. This Opinion allowed to change the claims of a patent application even after the date of the patent examination request. In 2008, this Opinion was revoked by MEMO/INPI/DIRPA/No. 072/08, which established some limitations to the changes of the patent application.

With the New Procedure, the insertion of any change to the specification, claims, abstract and design (if any) may take place up to the filling of the patent examination request. This time frame limitation does not apply to correction of material errors. Thus, one may request the correction of such errors in all patent applications, at any stage, provided that the correction conforms to the subject matter previously disclosed.
Further to that, voluntary modifications or those derived from technical office actions may be accepted insofar as they restrict the patent claims.


This New Procedure has been criticized by academics and scholars, as Article 32 of the Brazilian IP Law has not provided an express rule restricting the alteration of the claims after the examination request. Moreover, the prior IP Law (Law 5,771/72) prohibited any alteration of the claims after the filing patent date. Therefore, the limitation of the New Procedure recalls the existed restriction on the prior law and it is regarded as a set back from the implementation of Article 32 of the Brazilian IP Law.

It has also been argued that the New Procedure does not match properly with those rules contained in the developed countries, such as that of Article 123 of the European Patent Convention.

It is worth mentioning that, although Article 32 of the Brazilian IP Law and the New Procedure permit the modification of the claims, the inclusion of any exceeded claims from those initially requested in the patent filing may be a justifying reason for patent nullity, as provided by in Item III of Article 50 of the Brazilian IP law. This means that changes to the patent application cannot exceed the subject matter disclosed in the original application.

It should be also highlighted that the New Procedure has only been used by the BPO’s examiners on new patent applications, as from 25th April 2008 and those pending for patent examination. Thus, technical opinions already issued regarding the patent examination are not affected in any way.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

IDNs to be registrable in Argentina

NIC Argentina, the registry responsible for the .ar country-code top-level domain, launched the registration of internationalized domain names (IDNs) on 8 September 2008. While the Spanish language uses the Roman script, it also uses letters with special accents, such as the letter ñ. This has posed difficulties for computers which cannot process special language characters, such as the letter ‘ñ’ in domain names. The use of IDNs resolves this difficulty for domain names and means that users of .ar domains will be able to use their Spanish regular spellings.

The sunrise period for applications to register IDNs will last until 16 December 2008, with applications being considered from 17 December 2008 to 16 March 2009. NIC Argentina has not yet announced the date from which IDN registrations will be open to the public. In the event of more than one application for the same IDN, the allocation will be decided based on which registrant was first to register its qualifying domain name.

[source: David Taylor and Brechtje Lindeboom, Lovells LLP, Paris, writing in World Trademark Report].

México: Patente sobre tecnología para combustibles limpios


Recién nos hemos enterado que el Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (IMP) ha desarrollado un material a base de nanotubos de óxido de titanio que elimina el nitrógeno y azufre contenidos en gasóleos y en combustibles.

La patente sobre éste material, que es una tecnología para combustibles limpios, ha sido concedida por las autoridades de los Estados Unidos.

El IMP destacó que la patente, “material adsorbente selectivo de compuestos nitrogenados y azufrados en fracciones de hidrocarburos del petróleo y procedimiento de aplicación”, es un claro ejemplo del uso de la nanotecnología para resolver problemas de contaminantes contenidos en los combustibles.

Con esta tecnología del IMP, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) cuenta ahora con una ruta para apoyar sus procesos, proteger sus catalizadores.

Además de ésta patente el Instituto tiene en trámite otras patentes relacionadas con las estructuras y los nanotubos mismos y otra sobre el uso de los nanotubos como catalizador para ese mismo fin.

Tomando en cuenta la fuerte contaminación que provocan los combustibles, se agradece de sobrada manera que se investigue en ésta materia.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Exitosas acciones contra la piratería


Resulta grato saber que en los últimos meses se han ejecutado eficazmente diversos operativos contra la piratería y falsificación en México.

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) ha estado muy activa persiguiendo y deteniendo a los implicados en diversos delitos contra los derechos de autor y la propiedad industrial.

Entre estos exitosos operativos encontramos el efectuado contra una red de ”Clonadores” de televisores de plasma, otro contra falsificadores de sillas, y, de especial relevancia, dos importantes decomisos de objetos apócrifos y videogramas, fonogramas y portadillas apócrifas en el conocido barrio de Tepito.

Esperamos que éste tipo de operativos sigan efectuándose con mayor frecuencia y consigan erradicar, aunque sea un poco, el grave problema de piratería y falsificación.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mexican plant breeders' rights: facts and figures

A useful article on plant breeders' rights in Mexico has recently been published, explaining the operation of the National Seed Inspection and Certification System (NSICS) which supervises the filing and grant of breeders' rights applications. Importantly for foreign applicants, it says that if the breeder has obtained the results of an examination by an authority abroad that formally collaborates with the NSCIS, such as the European Union's Community Plant Variety Office, the processing time for the corresponding Mexican application may be reduced if the applicant asks the NSCIS to take the examination results into account. If all necessary documentation is filed at the start, the process typically takes about one year.

The article also provides some data that shows the extent to which the Mexican protection system is used (as of September 2007):
"The NSICS's records show that 805 plant variety applications have been filed in Mexico, of which 37.6% were filed by US applicants and 33.5% by Mexican entities. Dutch, French and German applicants accounted for 11.9%, 8.4% and 3.5% of the applications, respectively. The NSICS has registered 184 applications for maize and 170 applications for roses - these high numbers are explained by the fact that maize originates in Mexico and by the country's wide range of climates for floriculture".
[source: "Plant Variety Protection System Continues to Bear Fruit", by Eric Alavez-Mejia (Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC, Mexico), writing in International Law Office].

Monday, 22 September 2008

Por el respeto a las ideas… los niños contra la piratería


Para crear conciencia entre la población del país sobre los derechos de propiedad industrial y los derechos de autor, así como de su protección por parte de las autoridades mexicanas, el Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI) lanzó la convocatoria para participar en la segunda edición del concurso de dibujo infantil.

El concurso de dibujo infantil, denominado Por el respeto de las ideas… los niños contra la piratería, no deja de ser otra curiosa forma que las autoridades están buscando para concientizar a los ciudadanos sobre los problemas y perjuicios que provoca la piratería.

Con este tipo de acciones, el IMPI busca inculcar en los niños mexicanos el valor y el respeto a los derechos de Propiedad Intelectual, toda vez que son ellos los futuros consumidores, productores, comerciantes y dirigentes de nuestro país.

Prison in Paraguay: sentencing options are amended

Law 3440/08, which amends certain provisions of the Paraguayan Criminal Code, was promulgated this July and is expected to come into force in July 2009. It amends Article 184, which governs violations of IP rights. In respect of various infringing acts that have criminal consequences the maximum custodial sentence is raised from three years to five. Where 'special circumstances' exist, the maximum sentence is eight years. Such circumstances are where
* goods are made or commercialised on an industrial scale;

* the infringing goods have a high commercial value;

* the infringement causes substantial financial loss to the rights owner and

* the infringer has engaged minors under the age of 18 in the commission of the infringement.

[source: Mirta Miyasaki (Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors, Asuncion), writing in World Trademark Report].

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Costa Rica gets first Central America Hilton Garden Inn franchise

Hilton Hotels Corporation has signed a multi-year management agreement with Hoteles Aeropuerto HAL SRL for the Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport, the first of this brand to open in Central America. Located in Liberia, Guanacaste (Costa Rica), this franchised hotel is scheduled for completion in autumn 2008. It is said to reflect "Hilton's commitment to grow its family of hotels throughout Latin America".

[source: MarketWatch].

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Federal Court of Appeals Declares Null Schering’s Contraceptive Patent and Opens the Possibility to Question Pipeline Patents

In a recent decision issued by the Federal Court of Appeal, involving the Brazilian company LIBBS FARMACÊUTICA and the German company SCHERING AG, Schering’s patent relating to the contraceptive pill sold under the brand name Yasmin was invalidated. This pill is currently one of the market sales leader and one of Schering’s top brands.

The patent was granted through the pipeline system, which allows the patentability of pharmaceuticals inventions already commercialized in other markets, without the prior examination of the industrial application, novelty and inventive step of the invention.

The commercial interest in nullifying Schering’s patent comes from the fact that LIBBS FARMACÊUTICA markets in Brazil a birth control pill, so-called Elani for a lower price (almost 30% less), using the same patented active ingredient. Back to 2004, LIBBS FARMACÊUTICA sought before the Federal Court the nullity of Schering’s contraceptive patent based on the argument that its active ingredient did not involve an inventive step (novelty) and it was a second use patent. The 38th Chamber of the Federal Court ruled initially in favour of SCHERING and decided that the industrial property law did not require the examination of the patentability requirements of patents granted under the pipeline system.

This decision has been reversed in the Federal Court of Appeal based on the expert opinion issued by the Brazilian Patent Office that affirmed the lack of inventiveness of Schering’s patent. Accordingly, the Federal Court of Appeal understood that it should and must be possible to examine the patentability requirements of a patent granted under the pipeline system. If not, this would mean that the protection conferred to this invention would be regarded as “absolute” without attending the patentability requirements. Thus, the Court found that Schering’s patent lacked inventiveness and declared it null.

This case is not yet closed, since Schering may still appeal to the Superior Court of Justice in Brasilia.

Cancún la palabra mágica

En relación con nuestra entrada anterior respecto de la marca que lanzará la Secretaría de Turismo del DF para procurar una mejor imagen a la Ciudad de México, nuestro amigo Hugo Alday nos informa que el Estado de Quintana Roo a través de la SEDETUR y de los Fideicomisos que operan en los diversos destinos turísticos de esa entidad federativa, es punta de lanza en México en esta materia.

Así, la marca CANCÚN LA PALABRA MÁGICA & Diseño, ha tenido una enorme difusión, ha tenido una enorme difusión a nivel nacional desde el año de 1997 en que la empresa española THR Asesores en Turismo ganó la licitación internacional para crear dicha marca.

Hoy en día esta marca, cuya principal característica distintiva deviene de la estilización de una obra del dominio público como los glifos que se encuentran en las paredes del jaguar ubicadas en Chichén Itzá , se utiliza principalmente en clase 35 para promoción y publicidad oficial; encontrando esta marca prácticamente en todo el mundo, incluyendo la camiseta de uno de los equipos de futbol más antiguos de México como lo es el Atlante.

Existen otras marcas turísticas de Quintana Roo que se encuentran bien posicionadas en el mercado turístico mundial como RIVIERA MAYA, COSTA MAYA y CARIBE MEXICANO, mismas que siguen los pasos de CANCUN LA PALABRA MAGICA que hoy en día se encuentra protegida en diversas naciones, tales como Estados Unidos, China, Canadá, así como la Unión Europea, entre otros.

Gracias Hugo por tan interesante aportación.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Curso de postgrado de actualización en propiedad intelectual en la UBA

La Universidad de Buenos Aires vuelve a ofertar, para el segundo cuatrimestre, el Programa de Actualización en Derecho industrial, intelectual y de Mercado. El Programa, dirigido por la profesora Teodora Zamudio, se imparte en modalidad online (180 horas), en castellano, y cuenta, entre el profesorado, con Geovanna de Oliveira, la propia Teodora Zamudio o el colaborador de IP-Tango, A. Lopez-Tarruella. Las clases darán comienzo el 22 de septiembre.

The rise of space technology: capacity and responsibility

Writing in Venezuelanalysis.com, Alex Sánchez (Council of Hemispheric Affairs, COHA) writes on the efforts being made in Latin America to cultivate a degree of technological competence that will lessen that region's traditional reliance on US space technology. In his article, "Space Technology Comes to Latin America: Part of the Hemisphere’s Road to Autonomy", he reviews the current space programmes of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, both in terms of their current accomplishments and in terms of their medium and long-term objectives. He concludes:
"Some argue that, given Latin America's current state of poverty and economic inequality, founds allocated to space programs could be better utilized for national development in critical areas like agriculture, feeding the poor, or creating jobs. Other specialists argue that such programs are necessary in order to achieve Latin America's autonomy from the influence of the world's major powers, including the U.S. In addition, a space program does not automatically have to have a militarized edge to it; non-military uses like improved telecommunications are urgently required in a region whose geography includes both the Andes and the Amazon.

In the meantime, Latin American space programs will continue to be heavily depended on aid and technical assistance from nations with sophisticated economies and the necessary expertise and launch capabilities. Nevertheless, even in their current early stages, Latin American space programs have the possibility to change the security landscape of the region. Space is a way for a society to test its limits, but this must go hand in hand with responsible oversight by a civilian chain of command in each of the countries to make certain that these programs are not distorted by being militarized".
All of this seems to suggest that Latin America may be regarded as a ripe market for the licensing-in of various elements of space technology. The extent to which the suitability of such technologies for military use may substantially reduce the willingness of licensors to assist, even if the licences contain checks and balances to direct the technology's responsible use. However, given the obvious benefits for the region in terms of increasing communications capacity, the surge towards a stand-alone and self-supporting regional space technology may ultimately prove irresistable.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Marca turística para la Ciudad de México.


El gobierno de la Ciudad de México lanzó un concurso internacional a través de Internet para dotar a la capital mexicana de una marca turística con la que sea identificada en el extranjero.

Debido a que en la actualidad la Ciudad de México es conocida a nivel internacional por la inseguridad que en ella se registra, la Secretaría de Turismo del Distrito Federal en coordinación con organismos empresariales, lanzó la convocatoria para el diseño de la marca de la ciudad. El propósito es dar hacia el exterior una imagen positiva, revertir los efectos de las noticias sobre inseguridad, y posicionar a la capital del país en el ramo turístico y de servicios, que en la actualidad representa 70% de su vocación.

El turismo está entre las cuatro principales actividades económicas de Ciudad de México, que acoge cada año en sus hoteles a 12 millones de turistas.

La convocatoria estará abierta hasta el 29 se septiembre. La intención del gobierno capitalino es cambiar la imagen de la ciudad como hicieron anteriormente las ciudades de Nueva York (“I Love NY”) y Bogota (“y tú ¿qué sabes de Bogotá?").