Local Group Helps Promote INTA’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse in Chile

Published: September 16, 2020

screen shots from conversation

Top: Constanza Alvial (Fundación Pro Bono, Santiago, Chile); Bottom: Agustina Davis (INTA Latin America and the Caribbean Office, Santiago, Chile)

INTA’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office and the Fundación Pro Bono in Chile have teamed up to conduct a series of interviews to raise awareness of trademarks and other intellectual property (IP) rights, and the availability of free legal assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It began with a discussion of INTA’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse.

On September 3, Agustina Davis, Associate at INTA’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office, was the subject of the first of five conversations—through the Instagram Live platform—conducted by Constanza Alvial, an attorney responsible for the pro bono network and bonding at Fundación Pro Bono.

Ms. Davis discussed the importance of trademarks and the difference between trademarks and other IP rights. INTA launched the Pro Bono Clearinghouse in six countries in Latin America in 2020 to match eligible clients facing trademark-related legal issues with member attorneys who volunteer to provide services free of charge.

The Clearinghouse is designed to help small businesses that lack budgets to file trademark applications or that face trademark-related legal issues that can arise in the process of starting a new business, she said.

To illustrate how entrepreneurs and small business can benefit from legal assistance on IP matters, Ms. Davis referred to the case of a Chilean entrepreneur who was selling honey (“miel” in Spanish) with the name “Miel Gibson.” This was met with a legal challenge from actor Mel Gibson. The label on the product package featured a photo of Mel Gibson in his role as Scottish independence leader William Wallace from the movie Brave Heart.

So far, more than 120 Latin American members have volunteered to be part of this pro bono initiative. INTA’s Representative Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is promoting the program throughout the region by meeting with authorities and organizations in both the public and private sectors.

The next discussions will take place on September 23 and 30, and October 4 and 14, with four Chilean INTA members who have volunteered with the Pro Bono Clearinghouse. The topics of the coming sessions include a discussion of various IP rights, trademark application procedures, domain names, and trademark infringement.

Follow future sessions on Instagram @fundacionprobonochile.

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.

© 2020 International Trademark Association