Anticounterfeiting Committee Builds Relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean

Published: August 1, 2019

As part of its mission to advance the enforcement of anticounterfeiting procedures worldwide, INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) has been busy building relationships with stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean and emphasizing the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

The Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee organized a workshop that took place on June 13, in Montevideo, Uruguay, on the crucial topic of landlord liability. This issue refers to the contributory or vicarious liability of landlords who have knowledge that their tenants or occupants deal in counterfeit goods on their rented premises.

Subcommittee member Dr. Anabel Frachia (Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates, Uruguay) organized the dialogue in cooperation with Uruguay’s National Directorate of Industrial Property – Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (DNPI). Stakeholders from the private sector, the judiciary, customs, and DNPI attended the event to explore the topic in detail and discuss its impact on anticounterfeiting enforcement.

Dr. Brenda Justo (DNPI, Uruguay) discussed the role of the Trademark ffice and its responsibilities in trademark enforcement, the importance of trademark registration, and administrative actions available to practitioners. Dr. Frachia gave an overview of the current landscape of landlord liability in the country, and presented case studies involving landlord liability in various jurisdictions.

Dr. Edgardo Ettlin Guazzo, Minister of Uruguay’s Court of Appeals, provided an in-depth analysis of the concept of landlord liability, explaining how it comes into play in current legislation through the applicability of the Civil Code. To help illustrate how the concept can apply to real-life situations, attendees were asked to consider hypothetical questions about the application of landlord liability.

Following Dr. Ettlin’s presentation, Dr. Beatriz Bugallo, professor in charge of IP at Uruguay’s University of the Republic, discussed the potential impact of landlord liability on directors of corporations. Dr. Julia Staricco, Uruguay Criminal Court Judge, and Dr. Luis Charles, Minister of the Uruguay’s Criminal Appeal Court, provided an analysis of landlord liability and criminal law, with explicit references to its applicability under Law No. 17.011 of September 25, 1998, establishing Provisions on Trademarks.

Cross-Border Enforcement Cooperation in the Caribbean

The Subcommittee has been conducting a series of policy dialogues in the Caribbean-beginning in Kingston, Jamaica in March, and continuing in Willemstad, Curaçao, on April 26 (World IP Day). These ongoing discussions serve to engender productive and interactive discussion among participants.

The Curaçao event, led by Subcommittee member Karyl Bertrand (Bertrand Legal, Curaçao), drew numerous stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Participants from the public sector included the Curaçao IP Bureau, Curaçao Customs, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Consumer Protection Foundation, and Curinde, the organization that manages and operates the free trade zones (FTZs) in the country. Representatives participating via webcast included Victor Barrett (Jamaica Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation), Jaime Angeles (Angeles Pons, Dominican Republic), and Howard Harris (Foga Daley, Jamaica).

Ms. Bertrand welcomed attendees and introduced the work of the Anticounterfeiting Committee, and provided an overview of the counterfeiting practices and obstacles in Curaçao. Ms. Bertrand summarized the conclusions of a previous dialogue held March 19 in Jamaica, and encouraged participants to continue participating in these conversations in order to foster collaboration.

Gedeona Maduro (Director, Curaçao IP Bureau) highlighted the role of the Bureau in protecting trademarks and shared recent case studies on trademark enforcement. Luthsel Lourens (Curaçao Customs) delineated some of the challenges encountered by Curaçao customs in tracking and targeting counterfeit shipments, and highlighted case studies of successful collaborative efforts with private and public sector stakeholders. Alvin Martina (Curinde, Curaçao) spoke about challenges in the enforcement of FTZs and the anticounterfeiting task force that was formed as a result, consisting of several government entities.

The Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee will continue organizing dialogues in the region to further the conversation. Upcoming plans include events in Aruba and the Bahamas.

For more information on INTA’s anticounterfeiting activities, please contact INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Manager Maysa Razavi at [email protected], Anticounterfeiting Advisor Tiffany Pho at [email protected], or Anticounterfeiting Advisor Asia-Pacific Valentina Salmoiraghi at [email protected].

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.

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