Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Colombia: La Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio protege derechos de comunidades indígenas

Image result for aesco colombiaCon el objetivo de identificar servicios jurídicos en el área de migraciones internacionales comprendidos en la clase 45 de la Clasificación Internacional de Niza (la edición 11 de Enero de 2017 es seguida por el SIC), la sociedad por acciones simplificadas AESCO EXPRES (Sociedad dedicada a la prestación de servicios de asuntos migratorios) solicitó el registro de la marca mixta AESCO COLOMBIA ante la Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) . Sin embargo, la solicitud fue negada por medio de Resolución No. 1618 del 20 de enero de 2017 por reproducir la figura del “hombre jaguar”.

Image result for hombre jaguar colombiaPor ser una figura precolombina, el “hombre jaguar” solo puede ser registrado por la comunidad a la que pertenece o por otra persona mediando su autorización . El “hombre jaguar”, propiedad de la comunidad Pijao o Coyaima, refleja la creencia ancestral según la cual cada especie en la tierra es un ser humano con diferente cosmología . Ahora bien, de acuerdo al artículo 136 (g) de la Decisión 486 de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) no son registrables como marcas los signos que comercialmente puedan afectar derechos de comunidades afroamericanas, indígenas, o locales. Por lo tanto, al encontrar que el elemento gráfico de la marca mixta solicitada por AESCO EXPRES reproducía la forma de la figura precolombina y que no mediaba autorización por parte de la comunidad Pijao (una comunidad indígena reconocida como tal por el estado) , la SIC decidió negar el registro basada en la mencionada causal de irregistrabilidad.

La importancia de la Resolución No. 1618 estriba en que la misma permite determinar la extensión con la que el literal (g) del artículo 136 de Decisión 486 de la CAN debe ser interpretado. La SIC manifestó que el registro por parte de la comunidad propietaria o la autorización de la misma es necesaria independientemente de la categoría a la que pertenezcan los bienes o servicios que pretenden ser distinguidos con el signo . Esto es, sin importar la relación que tengan el solicitante y la comunidad propietaria o la potencial competencia que en el mercado se pueda presentar, el registro de la marca no es posible sino media autorización. Finalmente, la SIC señaló que la norma se dirige a proteger tanto creencias como tradiciones arraigadas en comunidades indígenas, locales, o afrodescendientes que sean parte integral de su folclore, y a impedir su indebida apropiación por particulares.

Escrito por Lina Marcela Tello Perlaza (abogado Colombia, estudiante de maestria en Propiedad Intellectual en la Universidad de Brunel, Inglaterra)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Latin American SMEs engaged in business cooperation with EU firms

From the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk we received good news that this Wednesday 19 April, 2017 there is going to be a Webinar aimed to Small and Medium Enteprises (SMEs).

The even is advertised as "Lack of awareness, bad timing or over/under rating of intangible assets represent a real threat to SMEs' success that can be easily prevented thanks to the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk.
The webinar aims to give an overview to the SMEs on the main bad practices that they fall when it comes to Intellectual Property."

For more information click here. The Webinar is free of charge but you need to register in advance.

The webinar is instructed by Mr Eli Salis who is Partner attorney at Disain IP (Alicante, Spain). He focuses on IP, in particular, the protection, prosecution and enforcement regarding trade marks, patents, designs and copyrights.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Protecting collective intellectual property: the case of the Mayan women

No Latin American community is oblivious to the concept of dispossession. For centuries the indigenous communities have had to fight to preserve their traditions and protect them from a system determined to annul them. The struggle to maintain their identity has been carried out in various battlefields: in cornfields against sugarcane plantations, oral tradition against the imposition of Spanish, resistance to tyrants such as Ríos Montt, who was the first ex-president to be convicted of genocide by a court in his own country.

Now the Mayan weavers present a new battle for the right of communities to be recognized as ‘collective’ authors of their artistic creations. The National Mayan Weavers Movement has proposed a legal strategy (through Ley N. 5247) to protect its legacy and ensure that the intellectual property of indigenous peoples is recognized. While the idea is first to protect the güipiles (distinctive clothing of the Mayas), the reform is expected to benefit more art crafts.

The güipiles:
The production of this indigenous craft carries long hours of manual labour as well as considerable level of skill. Linking the strands of vibrant colours is an intimate and spiritual process. In the fabric is embodied the ‘cosmovision’ of an ancestral community. It is an account of unhappiness, faith and cultural grandeur that represents the core of Mayan idiosyncrasy closely linked to its land, which is sacred.

The bill
It has been formally accepted, it must now go through Congress . It seeks to reform the articles of 4 legislations and deals with the following topics:

To recognise indigenous peoples as authors. At the moment only natural or legal persons are granted this right (art 5 Ley de derechos de autor y derechos conexos); if the work is in the public domain the owner of the said work cannot oppose the use of it by third parties who produce different versions (art 12 Ley de derechos de autor y derechos conexos); there must be a civil association legally constituted without political or religious activities to be able to enjoy protection for their IP (art 113 Ley de derechos de autor y derechos conexos); ban on the export of cultural goods (art 11 Ley de Protección y Desarrollo Artesano); to produce a list of acts that constitute a violation of copyright (art 274 Código Penal de Guatemala); among others.

This initiative would put an end to the need to make artistic ‘individual’ creations and thus, allowing communities’ creations too (Guatemala as member of the United Nations voted in favour of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)– the Declaration addresses both individual and collective rights). The Bill would also provide protection against third-party industrialization and safeguarding the sacred knowledge (fulfilling UNESCO’s aims i.e. to safeguard intangible cultural heritage).

In the long history of racism by the Guatemalan state, it is promising to find this group of women, who have rejected the use of national or foreign intermediaries. Mayan weavers do not need anyone to use their own voice and are defending what is theirs, both because of the millennial heritage and the product of their creativity and work.

This initiative echoes other sui generis efforts such as that of Mexican gum producers who jealously protect the Mayan jungle while exporting tons of organic and biodegradable chewing gum to 26 European countries through the Chicza brand. It represents about 1,500 Mayan producers in south-eastern Mexico.

We may be on the threshold of a new stage in the management of IP in Latin America, one where the identity of our peoples is recognized rather than forced into a model in which they have no place. The struggle of the Mayan weavers is a celebration of our community culture.

Written by Claudia Fernandez Padilla (edited by Patricia Covarrubia),  LLM candidate in Intellectual Property Law, Brunel University, UK. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Mexico Federal Copyright: to change

Image result for marrakech wipoMr José Luis Alvarez, trade mark agent from Mexican Consulting & Development, SC, inform us the following:
Mexico has been one of the twenty countries that have signed up to the Treaty of Marrakesh. Nowadays globalization has caused our legal environment to adhere to international treaties that protect human rights. In this context, the Treaty of Marrakesh is one of them, since the purpose of this instrument is to allow access to people who lack some visual acuity or who suffer from blindness, to published works focused on this segment of the population.
The signing of this treaty seeks to address the scarcity of material that is easily accessible to this population group. Mexico is among the 20 countries that signed the treaty, achieving the standards of countries such as India, El Salvador, South Korea, Australia, Israel, Chile, Ecuador, North Korea, among others. This is how Mexico has committed to reform the federal copyright law which must consider an exception or limitation regarding the right to distribution, reproduction and public availability to access audiovisual works or books.
This treaty allows the parties involved to import and export copies in an easier and more accessible way for this segment of the population. With regard to importation as soon as our legislation is adapted in relation to this treaty, a copy may be accessed without the authorization of the holder of the rights.
Thanks for the information.