INTA Delegation to Mexico Seeks Enhanced Collaboration on Counterfeiting and Other Key Issues

Published: July 6, 2022

An INTA delegation met with key actors from the public and private sector in Mexico on June 10 to strengthen ties with relevant stakeholders, create new alliances, and enhance cooperation to bolster intellectual property (IP) rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. The visit marked the first in-person delegation to the region after a more than two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delegation is part of INTA’s ongoing efforts to work with members and government authorities to increase the protection of IP rights, raise awareness of the value of IP and complementary rights, communicate IP’s contribution to the development of societies and economies, and share information about the Association’s regional and global initiatives.

INTA Board Members Sergio Barragán (PepsiCo, Inc, Mexico) and Juan Vanrell (Vanrell Propiedad Intelectual, Uruguay); Paola Piccoli (MF Brands Group, Sweden), a member of the Anticounterfeiting Committee; and INTA Chief Representative Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean Carolina Belmar composed the 2022 INTA delegation to Mexico. The Association invited the directorate of the Asociación Interamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual (ASIPI) as its special guest.

In selecting Mexico for the delegation’s visit, INTA noted that the country has the second largest economy in the region and the largest among Hispanic American countries, which represents more than 130 million consumers. More than 200,000 trademark applications were filed in Mexico in 2021, representing a 20 percent average increase over the last five years.

The visit gave INTA the opportunity to enhance cooperation with Mexican authorities, particularly with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM).

In meeting with IMPI Director General Alfredo Rendón and the Insitute’s board, the delegation’s discussions centered on areas of common interest, such as improving the use of the Madrid System, addressing trending IP issues (including the metaverse and NFTs (non-fungible tokens); and following up on INTA’s Think Tank Report—The IPO of the Future. IMPI has modernized its IT and online systems and expressed its willingness to transfer its technology information to IP offices in  Central America.

INTA’s delegation met with ANAM officials to learn about the objectives and plans of the year-old government agency and its specific measures to combat the import, export, and transit of counterfeit products. The parties agreed to organize training sessions on specific topics related to the illicit trade of counterfeit goods.

In addition, the delegation connected with these Mexican officials from three relevant entities: the director of the National Institute of Copyright; the general director of Standards at the Ministry of Economy; and the president of the Board of Appeal for Intellectual Property—SEPI. The meetings were made possible thanks to IMPI, in whose building they took place.

During the meetings, INTA pointed to the ongoing and proliferating problems that counterfeiting represents for INTA members, including those in Mexico. The delegation shared a study conducted by one of its members highlighting the risk of counterfeit garments to consumer health, as well as other studies on the health risks of counterfeit goods in general.

Authorities shared the measures they are taking to combat counterfeiting and reinforce collaboration to fight it. They agreed that the public and private sectors must take a coordinated approach to address this issue of paramount concern.

Besides meeting with public authorities, the INTA delegation had the opportunity to exchange information with the private sector on important areas of focus in Mexico, including the Association’s key policy issues and initiatives, such as brand restrictions and the Unreal Campaign to educate young consumers about the value of brands and the dangers of counterfeits.

To this end, the Association organized a breakfast with representatives of leading Mexican companies to discuss the use of IP and complementary rights, as well as challenges in the region. One of the topics addressed was the impact of brand restrictions and the importance of brand owners standing together to curb its spread.

Likewise, the INTA delegation shared their goals and concerns. These included the need to strengthen and expand the areas of cooperation among organizations and to collaboratively promote an agenda that encourages the growth of industries based on innovation and knowledge, where IP plays an essential role.

Associations that participated in this event were the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States—CONCAMIN; the Mexican Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property— AMPPI; the National Association of Corporate Law Attorneys—ANADE; AmCham México; and the Mexican Association of Pharmaceutical Research Industries—AMIIF.

INTA’s Latin America and the Caribbean Representative Office, based in Santiago, Chile, represents the Association’s 636 members across the region. Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the Latin America and the Caribbean Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives throughout this region. To learn more about INTA’s activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, please contact INTA Chief Representative Officer of the Latin America and the Caribbean Office.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

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