New legislation in Ecuador
On October 11, 2016, the Ecuadorian Parliament approved the Organic Code for the Social Knowledge and Innovation Economy (a.k.a. INGENIOS Code). This Code intends to modify the way in which knowledge is generated, used and distributed in Ecuador, by changing the ways in which Universities and other institutes invest and manage their investigation and development departments, as well as their budgets.
Furthermore, a new legislation for IP has been included in this Code, derogating the previous one, in force since 2006.
Some of the changes include the creation of a register for ancestral knowledge, and regulate the use of said ancestral or traditional knowledge in the creation and distribution of new literary or artistic works.
Some of the points that have raised some concern are, for example, art. 82 of the Code, which expressly state that, since IP rights are limitations to knowledge as a public domain good, they will be subject to a social function and responsibility. Some debate has been generated, as to whether or not the government could expropriate these rights if it is deemed necessary. Also, in patents, some inventions have been declare as not patentable, such as salts, ethers and combinations.
Other novelties, include the declaration of Internet as a public service, therefore granting the State a stronger presence in the control and regulation of its provision, the obligation for universities to grant full scholarships, and the prohibition for universities to operate for profit.
It remains to be seen whether some of its regulations are against the mandatory norms of Decision No. 486 issued by the Andean Community of Nations in the year 2000.
The Code passed on to the President, who has objected 19 articles. The Parliament has now until mid-December to solve these vetoes.