Luis Alonso Garcia Muñoz-Najar, partner at Echecopar law firm is the President of the Peruvian Association for Intellectual Property. He shares with Leaders League some trends he has identified in Latin America and particularly in Peru concerning IP matters.
Leaders League. What are the main trends in IP in South America?
Luis Alonso García Muñoz-Najar. The first trend in the region comes from the public sector, IP offices have been evolving towards more efficient and modern services. In Peru, INDECOPI (the national authority for the defense of the competition and the protection of intellectual property) was a starting point for many regional offices and a guide for IP management. Today, there are also other offices that are benchmarks in this topic, such as Chile and Colombia which have high IP management standards. They are very efficient and concerned with promoting IP in their respective countries by participating actively in public actions and policies where innovation, research, development and technology transfer topics are included, as well as collective brands and protection of geographical indication boost.
Another important point is that many countries from the region concluded free trade agreements. Such is the case with the Dominican Republic, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Central American countries. The implementation of these agreements implied legal modifications concerning IP in each country. It is not only a simple IP agreement but real regulation evolutions that go further than TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) minimum standards.
Leaders League. What are the main issues for APPI members?
L.A.G.M.-N The activity of Intellectual Property law firms and agents (boutiques) in Peru has remained stable. New stakeholders have appeared over time and there has been a consolidation of offices that were already operating in the Peruvian market. Almost all of them are APPI members.
APPI’s interest in general can be summarized by the need and concern for having an Authority (INDECOPI) that acts in a predictable and efficient manner, that is capable of adequately managing administrative issues and solving and taking decisions (in a technical and timely fashion), and that is capable of providing services in line with technological improvements and developments. APPI plays an important role in working and collaborating with the Authority, for the benefit of its members and the intellectual property system in Peru.
Leaders League. What is your opinion concerning Peru’s adhesion to the Madrid Protocol?
L.A.G.M.-N I think that neither the Authority (INDECOPI) nor the local companies are prepared for Peru’s adhesion to the Madrid Protocol. This is mainly due to the following: First,, the agenda that will enable intellectual property to be an instrument of development and contribution to the country requires concrete actions and economic investment, mainly aiming at fostering science and technology, creating efficient mechanisms for diversification of production and transformation of the company culture based on intellectual property. The government (INDECOPI) needs to implement concrete measures in order to benefit from the free trade agreements it has entered into as of today (17 agreements in force). Such agenda is presently stalled. The Authority (INDECOPI) will need a significant investment in order to have a suitable technical and human platform that will enable it to offer a service according to the Protocol scheme. On the other hand, the majority of local companies do not export trademarks to the world, and those that actually do so (although timidly) are mostly focused in markets where the Protocol is not operating. In other words, today is not a good time for Peru’s adhesion to the Protocol.