Monday, 11 May 2015

Chile: lights, camera, action

On May 7th the Chamber of Deputies of Chile open a debate regarding an initiative presented by the Executive, which seeks to modify Law 20,243. The draft Bill (bulletin 9889) seeks to modify the law that establishes rules on the moral and economic rights of performers and artistic performances which are fixed in audio-visual format.

Image result for movie directorThe debate was discussed by the Committee on Culture, Arts and Communications together with representatives of the National Society of Authors of Theatre, Cinema and Audio-visuals (ATN) as well as Chile Actor’s president Ms Esperanza Silva. The debate put forward the need to add that both, directors and screenwriters, have a patrimonial right on the registration of the work.

In this context, the actress Esperanza Silva acknowledged how important it is to be granted rights over works, specially to writers and audio-visual directors and said that this is in need and just. She noted that music authors have enjoyed many rights since way back and she felt that it was an appropriate policy to be extended to directors and screenwriters. Another interesting proposition is seen in Art 4 which establishes as an ‘obligation’ that any payment/royalties must be paid through the corresponding collective management.

After hearing the proposals of the guests, Deputy Marcos Espinosa (PRSD), said the project should pick up the signs for ‘safeguarding’ under the law what is happening in the reality. Additionally, the President of the Commission, Deputy Roberto Poblete (IND), said that "today was a tremendous contribution to listen to the representatives of ATN and Chile Actors, since our directors and script writers are very vulnerable and justice is of paramount to them”.

 Finally, the deputy Poblete said the next guidelines to be followed with respect to the project is to "try to establish a very clear definition of the different roles inside of audio-visual production” and which ones are under the umbrella of intellectual property.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The incentives of a mark

Last week the Peruvian Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Propiedad Intelectual (INDECOPI) as part of the ‘Week of Intellectual Property’, celebrated by awarding two collective marks.  

The Directorate of Distinctive Signs (DSD) granted the two different producer associations (one in the region of Lambayeque and the other in Junin) collective marks in the production of dried mushrooms and trout respectively. Thus, by the use of the collective marks INDECOPI believes that these two associations will promote the product quality and improve the economy of Peruvian entrepreneurs.

The collective marks are:
1.       ‘Hongos deshidratados Inka Wasi: De nuestra tierra a tu mesa’ (Dried mushrooms Inka Wasi: From our land to your table). The certificate was given to the Agricultural Forestry Conservation League Marayhuaca, located in the district of Incahuasi, in Lambayeque.
Image result for Hongos deshidratados Inka WasiINDECOPI adds that there are more than 250 families in the community, representing 60% of the district of Incahuasi, in Lambayeque region who would benefit from this.
It is said that the mushroom is distinguished from others due to its particular qualities such as taste, texture and pleasant smell and a high nutritional value. They do grow in a forested area with at least 800 thousand pine trees. Moreover, the mushroom has gradually become much appreciated in the Peruvian gastronomy.

2.       ‘Acuijunín Trucha de los Andes de Junín’ (Trout Acuijunín Junin de los Andes), was granted to the Trout Producers Association Junin. The mark became as part of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)  will to form this union in order to strengthen the trout production in  the region as well as helping them with the trading systems.
Image result for trucha junin
INDECOPI notes that “the production of these trout is of utmost importance for national and international market due to the system of controlled production that develops during the fish production process, in addition to the implementation of good practices, hygiene and aquaculture sanitation, which it ensures quality product.”

In the week INDECOPI also saw an agreement with the Peruvian Society of Gastronomy (Apega) to develop a certification mark. With this alliance, INDECOPI will advise restaurants that are associated members to Apega. The certification mark would refer to health allowing processes to be standardized which will affect, in a positive way, the result in the quality of services delivered to consumers. To conclude INDECOPI adds that the mark will “record the compliance with good handling practices and food preservation, adding value to the gastronomic activity.” Consumers will see this mark as to represent that the service is adequate and would “feel confident”.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The invention Olympics

Last April two Peruvian inventions were awarded a gold and a bronze medal at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions held in Geneva, Switzerland. As known this is an important international and high level competitiveness contest.

The inventor Eduardo Gonzales received a gold medal for a ‘hydraulic power transformer’. The invention then was a finalist for the top prize (Grand Prix).The said invention aims to achieve sustainable development for Peru by using hydraulic energy of the river banks and turn it into electrical energy, avoiding modifying the natural course of the rivers.

The other invention that was also awarded a medal (bronze) was a ‘method of leaching concentrates of copper with oxygen and sulfonic acid, to obtain electrolytic copper.’

These two inventions had previously won the XIII National Invention Contest organized by the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) and the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (Concytec). Their travel expenses to Geneva were covered by both Institutions as part of the national award.

This national contest aims to “encourage, recognize and reward creativity, ingenuity and inventive talent of the Peruvians; besides encouraging the use of the patent system for protecting inventions.”

Well done!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Peru: Patents vs Public Health (Part II)

Building upon the previous post regarding the overview by Peruvian national press that patents restrict competition, the Peruvian Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protection de Propiedad Intelectual (INDECOPI) answered back.

It starts by establishing that the Institute is in charge of ‘protecting intellectual property’ and as so “performs a thorough technical review of each patent application” done by specialists in the area who do have years of experience. The Institute follows “strictly defined legal requirements by current regulations (Decision 486 of the Andean Community Commission and Legislative Decree 1075) and by international treaties to which Peru is party.” By doing so it gives the example that between 2010 and 2014, half of pharmaceutical patent applications evaluated were denied. Andean Decision 486 provides that patents may be granted for inventions either product or a process, in ‘all fields’ of technology BUT not second uses [i.e. Swiss formula].

Moreover, INDECOPI notes that by administering this legal obligation it does recognize fundamentals right under the Peruvian Constitution. Its performance will always be in “safeguarding the judicial stability and rule of law in accordance with the Peruvian obligations in the Andean Community and the World Trade Organization.”

As you may recalled from the previous post (here), INDECOPI was encouraged to ask for technical opinion to the Ministry of Health before granting a patent on a drug (as the Colombian office does). This requirements was suggested as to protect the public interest. To this matter, INDECOPI notes that while there is no legal provision that established that for the granting of a patent in the pharmaceutical area, the prior technical opinion of another entity was sought, INDECOPI “recognizes the relevance to society's protection of the right to health” and also noted that under present patent legislation there are “measures that can be applied to access to medicines by the population”[i.e. compulsory license].

The exclusive rights generated a patent encourages investigations that lead to the creation of new products and procedures in the case of pharmaceutical development benefit the health of society and is one of the mechanisms that guarantees are made to continue investigating and investing in search for new drugs.

Then the note went on to target the criticism that in other Latin American products the same medicines have been denied protection. To this INDECOPI responds that the “granting or refusal of a patent in one country is not binding”. “ It then went to note that the compound Atazanavir bisulfate referred in the media while it a patent has been denied in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela, it has however been granted in countries like Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

Finally, INDECOPI “reaffirms its mission of protecting intellectual property, which includes legal measures which the competent authorities do have access to for safeguarding public health.”


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Peru: Patents vs public health (Part I)

Image result for indecopi
Recent publications by the Peruvian media challenge the role and procedures that the Intellectual Property Institute (INDECOPI) does have in regards to the granting of patents in the area of medicines.

The news comes after the ‘Associations of patients living with HIV / AIDS’ reported the rationing of antiretroviral in the Ministry of Health (Minsa). The Peruvian newspaper La Republica highlights:
“Who rules health? The Mina fights alone against a pharmaceutical, MEF [Minister of Economy] and MINCETUR [Foreign Trade and Tourism] to declare of public interest Atazanavir, a Peruvian antiretroviral that costs 25 times more than in Bolivia because a patent. This case, along with a recent injunction that left without drugs patients with myeloid leukemia, demonstrates the consequences of a patent system that acts without technical review of the health sector and whose victims are patients.”
Indeed a very strong headline that has brought a debate between the patent system and the health sector. The newspapers reports that both MEF and Mincetur oppose to the grant of a compulsory license for a drug [up to today Peru has never granted a compulsory license for a medicine]. It notes cases from Brazil and Ecuador regarding the grant of compulsory licenses for antiretroviral.

Image result for bristol-myers squibb logo
The case is about a Peruvian patent granted to pharmaceutical Bristol-Myers Squibb for sulfate Atazanavir which runs until 2019, and the process has been rejected by four countries of the region (Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela) due to lack of inventive step. It continues to argue that despite of Peru using the same law as Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador (Andean Decision 486), these countries have rejected patents that Peru has granted. Therefore “granting a patent on a drug that does not have the merits, incurs on millionaires cost in our health system, which is forced to buy from a single bidder.”

The newspaper recalls that in 2012, following a complaint by the Association of National Pharmaceutical Industries (ADIFAN), INDECOPI revoked a patent granted to pharmaceutical  Elly Lilly Laboratory for Olanzapine, a medicine used in the treatment of schizophrenia. The ground for the revocation was based on lack of novelty and inventive step. It also noted a similar case back in 2007, were the patent process for Gemcitabine (Gemzar), a chemotherapy, and was also revoked by INDECOPI.

What is sought?
According to the report INDECOPI does not ask technical opinion to the Ministry of Health before granting a patent on a drug. This should be done as to protect the public interest. It gives the example of Colombia, where there is an advisory body that gives opinion before granting a patent. INDECOPI examines “whether a drug, component or process is new, has inventive step and industrial application.” INDECOPI is unable to verify the effectiveness of the drug nor the public interest.

Patent as a monopoly against public health
This is not the first time that newspapers has reported over INDECOPI’s function and the health sector. Back on March 18, the newspaper La Republica criticized INDECOPI’s action against EsSalud, a Peruvian importer. EsSalud offered the drug Dasatinib 20% cheaper than the one produced by Brystol Myers Squibb. The pharmaceutical brought an action to prevent the marketing of Dasatinib, for chronic myeloid leukemia which it owned a process patent since 2007. INDECOPI granted to the pharmaceutical a preliminary injunction and the drug was seized.

Source La Republica.

This story continues...