October and November 2017 were busy and productive months for INTA’s Latin America and the Caribbean Representative Office, as it actively participated and hosted multiple IP enforcement and advocacy events throughout the region.
INTA’s Position and Recommendations on Andean IP Law
Following the Changing Landscape of Latin America Conference and the Free Trade Zone Workshop in Cartagena, Colombia, Chief Representative Officer José Luis Londoño participated in the 5th International ACPI (Colombian Association of IP Professionals) Congress,
held in Bogotá on October 5. The conference focused chiefly on Decision 486 of the Andean Community, which established a regional IP regime, and its relationship to the domestic regulations of Andean countries, particularly Colombian law. INTA shared its views on Andean law from the perspective of trademark owners, and how a harmonized law or regime may benefit them and the economic growth and well-being of the region.
Successful Anticounterfeiting and Border Control Seminar Held in Chile
On October 24‒25, a two-day seminar titled “Methods for Detecting Counterfeit Goods and Border Control Challenges” was co-hosted by the National Customs Service of Chile (SNA) and INTA. On behalf of INTA, the main co-organizers were Francisco Carey
(Carey Abogados, Chile), Chair of the Anticounterfeiting Committee’s Latin America and the Caribbean Subcommittee, and Mr. Londoño. On behalf of the SNA, the main co-organizers of the seminar were Javier Uribe, Deputy Director of Customs Inspection, and Mirta Letelier, National Director of the Intellectual Property and Public Health Integrated Inspection Program (PIF).
More than 80 participants attended the seminar, as well as 15 speakers, including authorities and representatives of famous global brands. Most attendees were Chilean National Customs officers and authorities from all over Chile, as well as top-ranked police authorities (Carabineros and PDI), officials from the Chilean IPO (INAPI), and the National Consumer Protection Agency (SERNAC).
Day one of the seminar was divided into three industrial sector-related sessions, each presented by a famous global brand representative. The first session corresponded to cosmetics, perfumery, and luxury apparel; the second corresponded to sportswear and footwear; and the third corresponded to other products, such as sunglasses, outdoor gear, backpacks, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and wristwatches.
During his presentation on day two, Mr. Londoño presented INTA’s objectives and visions regarding Latin America, based on figures and graphs which demonstrate the growing importance of trademark-intensive industries in the region, in terms of GDP, employment rate, and international trade. Mr. Londoño also addressed the disturbing increase in illicit trade in Latin American economies, particularly of counterfeit goods, the second most profitable illicit trade activity after drug trafficking on the continent.
Finally, Mr. Londoño shared some insights and recommendations to combat illicit trade activities affecting brands in the region, notably the strengthening of existing legal frameworks and mechanisms, e.g., TRIPS and the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention, etc., invigorating border control measures, and keeping up to date with the latest inspection mechanisms against the latest, most sophisticated types of counterfeiting and piracy trends.
The seminar made front-page national headlines in El Mercurio
—the oldest and largest newspaper by circulation in Chile—and primarily highlighted the amount and nature of counterfeits seized in Chile by the SNA during 2017, worth “more than US$ 28 million, double the amount seized five years ago.”
INTA Hosts Judges Training Workshops in Ecuador and Paraguay
On October 25, INTA hosted a Judges Training workshop in Quito, Ecuador. The event was attended by more than 120 government representatives from the Ecuadorian judicial branch and the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI). The key topics discussed included evidence of use for cancellation actions, new criteria for both coexistence of trademarks and examination of marks written in foreign languages, as well as enhanced protection for famous and well-known marks, among others.
In a similar fashion, INTA hosted a Judges Training workshop in Asunción, Paraguay, on November 2. The main topics discussed were the jurisdictional control of administrative decisions taken by the Paraguayan National Directorate of Intellectual Property (DINAPI); precautionary measures offered by Paraguayan legislation in relation to IP infringement; protection of famous and well-known marks and INTA’s position on the subject; DINAPI’s role in relation to copyright collection associations; and finally, further recommendations to strengthen DINAPI’s domestic institutional positioning.
INTA Well-Represented by Active Members in Mid-November IP Events
Finally, INTA’s efforts in the region were once again displayed in two mid-November IP events held in South America and the Caribbean. On November 9‒10, an event titled “Ibero-American Workshop on the Observance of Rights of Distinctive Signs: Development of Harmonic Public Policies” took place in Lima, Peru, and was jointly organized by WIPO, the Ibero-American Program for Intellectual Property and Development Promotion (IBEPI), and the Peruvian National IP Office (INDECOPI). On behalf of INTA, 2016‒2017 Global Advisory Council member Luis Alonso García (Estudio Echecopar - Baker & McKenzie International, Peru) participated on a panel about the role of IP agents in the enforcement of IP rights.
On November 20‒23, INTA was once again represented in a regional event, this time by INTA member Jaime Angeles (AngelesPons, Dominican Republic). Mr. Angeles participated in the 5th Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Container Control Program (CCP)
of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Mr. Angeles had the chance to share INTA’s positions on the region with senior UNODC-CCP officials, and stressed further cooperation opportunities with INTA in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In sum, both October and November were very productive months for INTA in the region, in terms of countries visited, topics addressed, and collaborative efforts displayed. INTA’s Latin America & the Caribbean Representative Office looks forward to hosting and participating in several other events in December 2017 and the first part of 2018, many of which are being discussed and planned already.
Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
© 2017 International Trademark Association