Anticounterfeiting Committee Update: Members Meet with Key Officials in Latin America

Published: November 15, 2019

The Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of the Anticounterfeiting Committee has been busy working across Latin America to build engagement with government officials, regulatory bodies, and policy makers in the fight against counterfeits. Below are just a few of the highlights:

Anticounterfeiting Workshop in Lima, Peru

Anticounterfeiting Committee Co-Vice Chair Myrtha Hurtado Rivas (Novartis International AG, Switzerland) kicked off a workshop on October 25, in Lima, Peru, titled “Strengthening of Actions to Fight Counterfeiting.” This full-day event, jointly organized by INTA, the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property, and UL, brought together rights holders and law enforcement from Latin America to discuss anticounterfeiting topics such as border enforcement and criminal proceedings throughout the region.

Information Sharing with Government Officials in Colombia

On August 29 and 30, INTA collaborated with the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN) of Colombia to provide brand identification training to customs officials. The trainings were conducted over two days, first in BogotÁ, Colombia, then in Santa Marta. The trainings, led by Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee Chair Claudette Vernot (Estrategia Juridica, Colombia) led to closer cooperation between the two organizations. Additionally, INTA continued its engagement with DIAN by providing support to DIAN’s new intelligence-gathering initiative on illegal importation.

DIAN is currently requesting that brand owners provide a list of their authorized importers to use as a basis for the information-sharing program as a pilot program for customs. If you are a brand owner interested in connecting with DIAN on this initiative, please contact INTA’s Anticounterfeiting, Manager, Maysa Razavi at [email protected].

Landlord Liability

The Subcommittee has been steadfastly pushing for stronger landlord liability enforcement in Latin America. (Landlord liability 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). Supporting the INTA Board Resolution on the topic, the Subcommittee held three back-to-back policy dialogues on promoting with local legislatures and raising awareness about the importance of landlord liability in counterfeiting cases. The first dialogue on the topic occurred on June 13 in Montevideo, Uruguay, followed by three dialogues on September 25, September 26, and October 8, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Asunción, Paraguay; and São Paulo, Brazil, respectively.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The landlord liability dialogue in Buenos Aires was held in cooperation with the Anticounterfeiting Association of Argentina and the Argentinian Confederation of Medium Sized Enterprises (CAME). Opening remarks were provided by Anticounterfeiting Committee Chair Virginia Cervieri (Cervieri Monsuarez & Asoc., Uruguay); President of the Anticounterfeiting Association of Argentina Enrique Caride; CAME Secretary Fabian Castillo; Enrique Thomas (Ministry of National Security, Argentina); and Santiago Del Caril (Ministry of Justice, Argentina).

The dialogue was led by Subcommittee member María Laura Perna (Cervieri Monsuarez & Asoc., Country) and included an in-depth discussion with Committee members Juan Porta (Ryan Lussich & Asociados, Argentina), Juan Cichero (MercadoLibre, Argentina) , and Claudia Serritelli (Estudio Chaloupka-Industrial Property, Argentina). Fernando Fravega (Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal, Argentina) and Sandra Verónica Guagnino (Prosecutor of the Criminal Competence Camera, Public Ministry of the city of Buenos Aires) added valuable public sector perspective, discussing successful cases in Argentina, where landlord liability was applied.

Asuncion, Paraguay

The dialogue in Paraguay was held in cooperation with the National Directorate of Intellectual Property (DINAPI) and led by Committee members Wilfrido Fernandez (Zacarias & Fernandez, Paraguay) and Leticia Salomoni (Sergio Fernandez & Asociados, Paraguay). More than 100 attendees participated in the event, including customs officials, members of the judiciary, policymakers, and DINAPI representatives. Carmen Gubetich de Cattoni (Prosecutor Specialized in Intellectual Property-Asunción), Criminal Jurisdiction Judge Humberto and President of the Criminal Courts of Appeal Cristobal Sanchez, provided insight into criminal liability that can be imposed on landlords. Next, member of the Motevideo Civil Court of Appeals, Edgardo Ettlin, and member of the Civil Court of Appeals, Carmelo Castiglioni, provided an overview of the civil liability.

General Director, Enforcement Unit, DINAPI Fernando Garcete spoke on the administrative responsibilities of DINAPI in landlord liability with Luiz Garé (Garé Advogados, Brazil), who provided a comparative analysis of Brazilian landlord liability.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

The final dialogue in the series was held as a webcast in cooperation with the Brazilian Intellectual Property Association and was led by Committee members Cristina Pinheiro Palmer (Pinheiro Palmer Advogados, Brazil), Valdir Oliveira Rocha Filho (Veirano Advogados Associados, Brazil), and Luiz Garé (Garé Advogados, Brazil). This dialogue covered some of the recent success stories in Brazil, in which landlord liability cases have been implemented fairly. Speakers included: Daniel Ackerman (IP Law Enforcement, U.S. Embassy), Judge Luis Felipe Bedendi (First Business Court of Sao Pablo, Brazil), Wellington Oliveira (Nike, Brazil), and FÁbio Lepique (São Paulo City Hall, Brazil).

Regional Cooperation

On July 8, the Subcommittee continued to promote regional cooperation by organizing a policy dialogue between officials in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. The dialogue was the first conducted via video conferencing and was co-hosted by Subcommittee members Fanta Punch (M. Hamel-Smith & Co., Trinidad and Tobago) and Pamela Hernandez (MINIÑO Abogados, Dominican Republic). Attendees included senior custom officials from the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago, officials from the Trinidad & Tobago Intellectual Property Office, and INTA members Gerardo Ortiz de Campo (Manager, Brand Protection, Mexico and Central America, Nike) and Jaime Angeles (on behalf of the Richemont International S.A.) Customs officials from the Dominican Republic provided insight into their successful seizure campaigns in an effort to share best practices with officials in Trinidad and Tobago, and brand owners shared information on their brand protection strategies and experiences working with customs officials. The Subcommittee began holding regional dialogues in the spring, starting in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 19, and continuing in Willemstad, Curaçao, on April 26 (World IP Day).

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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