By Marta Garcia
The European Union (EU) and the four founding members of sub-regional trade bloc Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) for the last 17 years as part of a broader Association Agreement between the two regions.
After a pause in the EU-Mercosur negotiations in 2012, these were re-launched in May 2016. Since then, there have been several rounds of negotiations, with the pace picking up in recent months.
The current EU proposal for the FTA comprises a chapter on intellectual property rights (IPR) covering standards concerning copyright, trademarks, designs, geographical indications, patents and plant varieties, as well as a section regarding IPR enforcement.
Regarding industrial designs, the EU proposal establishes in its Article 6.1 that the parties shall implement the Geneva Act to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (which establishes an international system – the Hague System – that allows industrial designs to be protected in multiple countries or regions with minimal formalities). Regarding the term of protection, under article 6.3 of the EU proposal, the duration of protection available shall amount to 25 years from the date of filing of the application. Additionally, …Read More