IPTango
Hi! Welcome to our blog for intellectual property law and practice in Latin America
Hola, bienvenido a nuestro blog de Derecho y práctica de la propiedad intelectual en Latinoamérica
Olá! Boa vinda a nosso blog para a lei da propriedade intelectual e a prática na América Latina

Patent Support Program: Arriva Mexico!

 
In developing an IP culture, Mexico is launching a ‘support program’. The idea is to assist inventors whose inventions may be capable of IP protection. To do so, the national IP office, IMPI, has united forces with the Mexico-United States Foundation for Science (FUMEC) and Nacional Financiera (NAFIN).

In general, it is highly noted that IP protection may contribute to the commercial activity in Mexico as well as its competitiveness in the collaboration with other countries. Therefore, the aim is to increase the number of patent applications and utility models and thus, adding value to the knowledge of inventors and entrepreneurs in Mexico.

Diving in (Mexico great sport)...to the project...yas!
With immediate effect the 2018 Call for he Patent Support Program is open (and valid until October this year).

What is this project about?
According to IMPI, the support offered ‘consists in providing specialized and free advice to Mexican developers’. It is directed at ‘entrepreneurs, independent inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs in the country, in order to provide them with tools for the protection of their inventions, their use and exploitation exclusively according to the Mexican legal framework.’

How does it work?
The services offered are:
• patentability analysis: examining the state of the art,
• advice regarding the writing of the application,
• delivery of workshops, among others.

It is open to the vast majority of sectors including IT, health, agriculture, environment, energy, to name a few.

Sources here and here.

Access to Genetic Resources: Peru persistent monitoring body

 
The Peruvian National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection (INDECOPI) has a crucial office called The National Commission against Biopiracy. This body recently reported that during 2017 they identified 11 new cases of biopiracy, in different patent offices abroad. The respective oppositions are in process.

The report acknowledges that they are managing the respective oppositions in order to prevent the application from becoming patents (here). In order to do so, first the office needs to identify the application by monitoring work in the patent offices of the world. For the office to do so it has to allocate first national biological resources (Peruvian origin) and monitor this periodically.

For instance, INDECOPI reported that in 2017 it identified 13577 patent documents in which it observed the use of national biological resources. From this it could identify the 11 cases of biopiracy which relates to: Maca, Sacha Inchi, Tara, Aguaje, Huanarpo macho and Chuchuhuasi. The applications have taken place in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The one opposed in Taiwan, the IPO has already rejected the application.
For your information, the National Commission against Biopiracy continuously publish a monthly bulletin called ‘BioPat Peru’. This bulletin identifies developments in the use of the Peruvian biological resources in the world. Moreover, the practice of this body is shared internationally (in India, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and Vietnam).

The Andean countries has harmonized the law in regards to Biopiracy i.e. DECISION 391- Common Regime on Access to genetic resources. Peru has also LAW N ° 27811- which establishes the regime of protection of collective knowledge of indigenous peoples linked to biological resources. In general, these regulations establish that the “Peruvian State has sovereign rights over its genetic resources. Indigenous peoples have rights over the collective knowledge they have created, developed and preserved over the centuries, about the resources of the biodiversity of their environment.”

Chile: Rechazan recurso por lanzamiento de discos compactos de patrimonio Kawésqar

Los kawésqar, kawashkar, alacalufes o alakalufes son un grupo nómada indígena de la zona Austral de Chile, que recorrían en canoa los canales de la Patagonia occidental y por los canales que forman las islas ubicadas al oeste de la Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego y al sur del estrecho de Magallanes. Su lengua es el kawésqar.

En el año 1971 se recopilaron cantos y relatos de este pueblo originario respecto de cuya propiedad intelectual se interpuso un recurso de protección constitucional en la Corte de Apelaciones de Punta Arenas en contra de la productora Etnomedia y Consultora Limitada, el Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes de Magallanes y académico del Departamento de Antropología de la Universidad de Chile por la difusión de dicho material. El recurso fue rechazado de forma unánime porque la recurrente (Margarita Vargas) no posee un derecho indubitado sobre el material difundido.

Según resuelve la Corte, la recurrente no tiene ese derecho pues la recurrente no lo señala y aun entendiendo que el derecho respectivo sea el de propiedad intelectual del material utilizado, éste se encuentra controvertido, puesto que los recurridos sostienen que se trata de un derecho de propiedad sobre el patrimonio cultural inmaterial que le pertenece a todo el Pueblo Kawésqar, no pudiendo ejercitarse un derecho de autor sobre éste en forma individual, el que, a mayor abundamiento, pertenece a la Universidad de Chile que lo adquirió por donación de los familiares de la antropóloga Dra. Grebe, sin que se acredite, además, que la recurrente tenga un poder para representar a la familia Kawésqar.

La sentencia agrega que, atendida la naturaleza del recurso de protección no es la vía idónea para resolver una situación jurídica relativa a la propiedad del material correspondiente al Pueblo Kawésqar, como igualmente si la recurrente es o no titular de la misma, ni menos aún acerca de su naturaleza, dilucidando si es un derecho de propiedad sobre el patrimonio cultural inmaterial de la comunidad antes mencionada.

En consecuencia, como no puede ejercitarse un derecho de autor sobre el material en forma individual y no existe en el asunto planteado un derecho indubitado, deberá recurrirse a la vía ordinaria que corresponda, en un procedimiento de lato conocimiento, en donde existe una etapa de discusión y prueba, en el que habrá de discutirse los aspectos antes señalados.

Fuente: Poder Judicial Corte de Apelaciones de Punta Arenas rol 737 - 2017

Perú y Australia suscriben TLC


Gracias a nuestros amigos de Clarke, Modet & Cº, nos enteramos que el pasado 12 de febrero Perú y Australia han suscrito un tratado de libre comercio que eliminará aranceles entre ambos países. El acuerdo ha sido denominado como el acuerdo bilateral más “ambicioso” que ha firmado Perú.

Además del evidente impacto tributario, el tratado aborda los siguientes asuntos en materia de Propiedad Intelectual:

  • La promoción de la protección eficiente, adecuada y balanceada, así como la ejecución de los derechos de Propiedad Intelectual.
  • El trato nacional, que asegura que los propietarios de derechos de ambos países reciban el mismo trato que los nacionales peruanos y australianos.
  • El establecimiento de mecanismos para facilitar la cooperación entre Australia y el Perú, en relación con la protección y ejecución de la propiedad intelectual.
  • La promoción de transparencia de los sistemas de propiedad intelectual, facilitando a los agentes económicos para obtener información sobre derechos existentes.
  • El reforzamiento de la centralidad del Acuerdo sobre los Aspectos de los Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual relacionados con el Comercio (ADPIC) y los tratados de la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual.

El tratado entrará en vigor 60 días luego de que las partes intercambien notificaciones certificando que han completado los procedimientos legales respectivos o en cualquier intercambio de notificaciones que las partes acuerden.

El texto completo del acuerdo se puede consultar aquí.

China and Brazil: taking the highway?

 
February 1st saw the launch of the Instituto Nacional da Propiedad Industrial (INPI)'s Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot project with the State Intellectual Property Institute of China (SIPO). The project will last two years and the application are capped up to 200. The rules of this PPH are found in Resolution 209/2018.

Speeding the process: cake in the staff common room.
Both parties will be able to use the result of the examination of the patent application and so, accelerating the assessment process in the other office. The PPH is a fast-track examination agreement; this is so, because the parties involved enable work-sharing. At first instance, the applicant whose claims have been found to be patentable by either the INPI or SIPO may ask for accelerated processing of their equivalent application that is pending before the other office.

Brazil also has a PPH with the European Patent Office signed back in November 2017. This project will run for two years and will start early 2018 (more information here and here). The EPO only had a PPH with one Latin America country i.e. Mexico. Brazil has three more PPH agreements: United States - until June, 2018 (reported here), Japan, and with the countries members of PROSUR - running from four years and with the probability to be extended (here).

Source INPI.

Brazil’s IPO backlog

 
According to the Instituto Nacional da Propiedade Industrial (INPI) its backlog was reduced in 2017. These is counting all applications ie patents (by 7.6%), trade marks (by 14,9%) and industrial designs (by 26%). In fact, in 2017 INPI was deciding more cases that what they were receiving.

Could be my office :(
This was the result of increasing labour by 26% working in the office (public servants) plus improving INPI’s e-system. By 2018, there is even more plans to keep reducing the backlog. There is an investment of R $ 20 million in the Institute funded by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development.

More information here (statistic are in English and Portuguese). Source INPI.

Stop the Press: Decree encouraging innovation and scientific research is out

 
Brazil. Yesterday (08/02/2018) the Official Gazette published Decree No. 9,283, of February 7, 2018, which establishes measures to encourage innovation, scientific and technological (ICT) research in the productive environment. This Decree regulates the Law of Innovation (no. 10,973).

In regards to intellectual property it establishes that the parties shall, in a specific legal instrument, set up the following:

  • ownership of IP;
  • participation in the results of the commercial exploitation of the creations resulting from the partnership;
  • status of commissioned works;
  • assignment of IP rights, licensing and technology transfer (TT);
  • if there are human resources training, IP rights should also be established.

In the case of public ICT Institutions, they should report annually to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications on their IP policy – including works developed and the protection required, granted, licensed or if there has been TT licences agreement, among others.

Source INPI.

Make-up: a copyright affair – Argentina says YES!

 
At the moment I am teaching my students copyright: the subject matter of protection. One of the big issues and moot questions we cover are tattoos, graffiti, make-up, an ice sculpture and the likes.

Today I was reading an interesting case decided in Argentina back in November 2017 which covers whether make-up is subject matter of protection. Is make-up a painting? In the UK a make-up is not copyright protected. According to the Merchandising Corporation of America Inc. and Others v Harpbond Ltd and Others case, make-up does NOT fit into the dictionary as a painting and, painting: must be on a surface – ‘a face is NOT a surface’. But these does not fit in our era anymore, does it? Is skin a surface? For example, exactly a year ago the BBC reported ‘The man who sold his back to an art dealer’ – the man’s back tattoo was designed by a famous artist and it was sold to a German art collector. So, in this case can we agreed that [whether we like it or not] skin was treated as a canvas/surface. Moreover, if we go over the issue of fixation which is a requirement under UK law, tattoos are meant to be permanent, although they can be removed by laser but in any case a painting in a canvas can also be removed and or deteriorated.


before and after the decision?
In Argentina, Law No. 11.723 of September 28, 1933, on Legal Intellectual Property Regime (Copyright Law, as amended up to Law No. 26.570 of November 25, 2009), Article 1 protects “… scientific, literary and artistic works shall comprise writings of all types and scope, and include source and object computer programs; compilations of data or other materials; dramatic works, musical compositions and dramatic-musical works; cinematographic, choreographic and pantomime works; works of drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture; models and works of art or science applied to trade or industry; printed matter, plans and maps; plastics, photographs, recordings and phonograms; and finally any scientific, literary, artistic or didactic production, irrespective of its reproduction procedure”. It continues “Copyright protection shall cover the expression of ideas, procedures, methods of operation and mathematical concepts, but not those ideas, procedures, methods and concepts per se.”

The Argentinean case – Background
A make-up artist was invited by a designer to participate in a production of photographs of models for the Magazine "N". The make-up artist paid actually to the magazine for her participation. She was then invited to the designer’s fashion show (Buenos Aires Alta Moda). To her surprise the catalogue handed on the night contained three of the photos in which she put make-up on the photographed model. And guess what…the name given to the make-up artist was not hers.
She brought a case due to copyright infringement, both economic rights and moral rights. In the first instance, the court dismissed the claim on the grounds that there was no "artistic work".
The appeal
The judgment of second instance, CAMARA CIVIL - SALA J (Civil Chamber), revoked the previous sentence. It established that the first instance court examined the make-up was not ‘a true artistic expression that deserved protection in light of what is regulated by law 11,723, a circumstance’. The ruling stated that the make-up applied to the models was not a work, but only an idea. Therefore, it is not an ‘intellectual creation’ and as such does not enjoy legal protection. In other words, the work was not ‘original’.
The second instance court, understood the contrary. The creator of the make-up and its work was a ‘meritorious activity’ and so worthy of protection. It sanctioned the defendant $100,000: 50, 000 for moral rights (paternity right) and 50,000 for economic rights.
To learn -still a moot question
The subject matter of protection is any work of the mind. In the EU, originality is to be understood as ‘intellectual creation’ (Infopak), involving ‘creative freedom’, a ‘personal touch’ (Painer) and ‘free and creative choices’ (Football Dataco). [see Elanora Rosati].
The issue that can come forward when covering make-up would be the issue of fixation; but does fixation mean to be permanent? When covering artistic works actually the national legislation in the UK does not mentions fixation, so it appears to be implied. And talking about fixation, well... what about broadcast: the most intangible of all forms of IP!

Source here and here.

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