While it goes without discussion that selling products and rendering services is the most important reason for all companies and individual merchants to exist, serving that goal has become a top priority in order to survive in the current international economy plagued with social and economic restrictions that result in a great level of commercial weakness and uncertainty.
However, a very important difference emerges when dealing with regulated products and services given that, before starting to sell or render them, it is necessary to comply with mandatory sanitary regulations and, less likely but still important, with non-binding industry standards agreed upon by major actors, at least in some industries.2
This need to comply with sanitary regulations in order to enter in new market such as those in Latin America (where the standards of living keeps improving, offering attractive business opportunities for those commercializing new products) poses many challenges, some of which we want to mention in this brief.
1. Products and activities regulated for sanitary purposes
There is a great deal of products and services that due to their sanitary risks are regulated by most governments3, which may incorporate norms agreed upon by international technical agencies and …Read More
Last Update: April 2012
In Latin American countries, though rare exceptions, there has been a generalized resistance to become party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty. One of the reasons for this position may have been that the PCT was considered as a danger for national sovereignty, as a consequence of the fact that for many years industrial property matters were seen as something exclusively pertaining to developed countries and to the detriment of third world countries.
Consequently, very few governments had specialized advisors on these matters, who were expected to be sufficiently acquainted with the advantages and drawbacks resulting from their adhesion to treaties like this one, a question which has usually been approached from the ideological point of view.
On the other hand, most Latin American economies have been characterized by sudden fluctuations, repeated crises, huge internal and external debts, high unemployment and childrenâs mortality rates, etc. Such unstable political framework have in general prevented a firm determination to work on projects of world insertion or to insist on putting them into practice, since governmental action has primarily been aimed at solving urgent local problems.
This scenery paved the way for the action of national industrial lobbies, which are …
Moeller’s regional advice regarding cybersquatting with ccTLDs domain names: Consolidate disputes at WIPO whenever possible.
In March 2008, WIPO informed that during 2007 “a record 2,156 complaints alleging cybersquatting -or the abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet- were filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center (Center), representing an 18% increase over 2006 and a 48% increase over 2005 in the number of generic and country code Top Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes”1
Overall, problems don’t seem likely to diminish in the short and medium term, given the rising number of DN available to be registered, like happens with ccTLDs as well as some new gTLD. The reason is that the online presence that some years ago was commonly limited to a single gTLD DN (usually a “.com”) has now expanded to the registration of ccTLDs, which therefore broadens the number of DN that can be cybersquatted or object of conflicts with third parties.2
In our view, disputes related to ccTLDs in Latinamerica represent one clear opportunity to benefit from the increasing harmonization among domestic IP laws and procedures, which overall results in less costs to register, prosecute and enforce IPR.
Particularly regarding cybersquatting of ccTLDs in Latinamerica, we want to highlight the possibility of using the Uniform Domain …Read More
We are very happy to continue our practice of publishing a brief overview of the most relevant IP news that has arisen in Latin America during the last year up to September 2010 as well as the most expected trends that are likely to unfold in the near future.
1. The impact of the economic crisis in the region.
In our opinion, it is impossible to start this analysis without mentioning the impact of the global economic crisis on our region as well as its effects on the practice of intellectual property law.
According to statistics published by the World Bank, “…Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean entered a strong cyclical rebound during the second half of 2009, benefiting from a robust rebound in external demand, renewed capital inflows, higher commodity prices, the turn in inventory cycle, and a boost to domestic demand from substantial monetary and fiscal stimulus. GDP in the region, after contracting by 2.3 percent in 2009, is projected by 4.5, 4.1 and 4.2.percent over the 2010…”2
While established international companies have started to deeply focus on this region, there are still many potential opportunities here for small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) from the United …
The aim of this brief is to offer legal and business advisors an overview of the most relevant trends that have taken place in the field of IP in Latin America between 2007 and the first semester of 2008 as well as to comment on the most expected news that are likely to rise in the short term.
From a general macro-economic point of view this period has been another positive one as the GDP of the region has grown at a high rate. Yet the forecast for the future does not look so brilliant, especially in some particular countries facing problems like inflation and others2.
Yet, there are particular industries blooming like those related with commodities given that most countries of the region are within the main exporters of many of them. This is the case with coffee (Colombia), oil (Venezuela), gas (Bolivia); transport equipment and ethanol (Brazil), cooper (Chile) as well as products made out of soybean (Argentina).
Another interesting fact is that the number of citizens from developed countries like the U.S. and those of the European Union choosing the region to retire is rapidly growing, particularly in countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and …Read More
Although there are many relevant IP-related issues in Latin America, counterfeiting is one of increasing concern not only for IP holders but also for local, foreign and international authorities.
Just to mention few facts supporting this general statement, it should be noted that local authorities in Latin America have realized many of the problems derived from counterfeiting trade such as the development of organized crime, corruption, terrorism, tax evasion, money laundering and deterrence of foreign investment.
Among foreign authorities, we can mention the U.S. Special 301, which in its latest version includes a number of Latin-American countries that do not provide an adequate level of IPR protection or enforcement on the Priority Watch List.
Last but not least, international bodies such as WTO, WIPO, WCO (among others) have been promoting further measures to combat counterfeiting, including educational activities. The implementation of projects like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), would constitute a hallmark step in the proper direction.
As a brief overview of the current measures available in some Latin-American countries, it is worth pointing out:
ARGENTINA: Formal Alert System for Recording IP at the Customs available since April 2007. Ex-officio actions are possible.
Although there are many relevant IP-related issues …Read More
Review on available watching and searching strategies to detect potential conflicts between GI&DOs2 and TMs in Latin America.
Facts covered in this brief:
- While most of the largest Latin American countries have set up “sui generis” regimes to protect geographical signs as GI&DO, others use trademark or alternative systems such as unfair competition and consumer protection (labelling requirements).
- The number of GI&DO protected in, and used in exports from, Latin America keeps rising and so it does the likelihood of conflicts among them and other IP rights (IPRs) including TMs.
- Even though there is still no sufficient legal certainty regarding the outcomes of some conflictive scenarios involving TMs and GI&DO, the sooner they are detected; the better the chances to reaching an optimal solution.
- Strategies like conducting searches and monitoring the registration of geographical signs as TMs and GI&DOs are not always possible or advisable in Latin America but, in certain cases, they may be a good business decision.
Why are geographical signs relevant in Latin America?
It is well-known that most Latin American countries have comparative advantages in certain industries like those related to products such as wine, spirit beverages, foodstuff3, and others having agricultural …Read More
Brief outlook on the potential role to be played by Latin America in developing biofuel and other markets for alternative energy
Currently, there are great expectations in Latin America regarding the potential opportunities to be derived from biofuels and renewable energy, as many experts say it is an area in which the region is likely to become a global leader.1
Likewise, it is a fact that U.S. and European companies are very interested in exploring partnerships in the region, specially in Argentina and Brazil known by producing, exporting and promoting the use of GM soybean, ethanol and other alternative energy resources as input for fuel production.
However, the comparative advantages that Latin-American countries have in terms of their natural resources and cheap labor force are not enough. There are two important factors to be taken into account when analyzing the potential of the region and the likelihood of success of this sort of project: capital and technology.
After so many economic and social crisis, investors are still demanding more legal certainty in the region and area where potential actions are expected given internal and external factors such as the Bilateral Free Trade Agreements (already implemented or still pending) with the U.S., the EU and other regions including India, Korea and China.2
Yet, the potential profits expected …Read More
Brief analysis of the Latin American context
“The Mercosur countries recorded in previous years an economic growth between 7,5 and 9 percent, the domestic trade was 40 billion dollars- including Venezuela’s economic”
Source: “Mercosur will regionale Integration stärken”, Deutsche Welle, 17/12/2010. www.dw-world.de
“During the eight year presidency of Lula, Brazil established itself as the eighth largest economy of the world. 29 million people went out of poverty, the unemployment declined and the country has stood relatively well the global financial crisis. The economy is expected to growth this year by more than seven percent.”
Source: Brasilien wird künftig von einer Frau geführt”, Focus Online, 01/11/2010. www.focus.de
“Next to Brazil, there’s to emphasize Peru with an economical increase of 6,8 %, and Paraguay with 6,2%, while Argentina and Brazil observe a growth of 6,1 percent each. Alongside to the Dominican Republic, Panama increased 5,3% and Mexico with 4,0 percent.”
Source:“Latinoamérica crece a dos velocidades”, El Pais, 04/04/2011. www.elpais.com
“Despite of not having access to international financing, Argentina has experienced significant growth after the economic collapse and the cessation of payments in 2001.”
Source: “Crisis de deuda europea: América Latina mostró la salida”, BBC, 18/04/2011. – www.bbc.co.uk
The aforementioned cases present …Read More