“Creating solid protection for IP rights should be an important element of any company’s strategy”

Fernanda Diaz, Global Intellectual Property Counsel at America Movil, a multinational telecom company present in more than 20 countries in the Americas and Europe, gives us her views on the protection of intellectual property rights and the main challenges facing the IP sector in Mexico.

Posté le jeudi, mars 9 2023
“Creating solid protection for IP rights should be an important element of any company’s strategy”

Fernanda Diaz

Leaders League: Tell us briefly about your role at America Movil

Fernanda Diaz: América Móvil is the leading company in integrated telecommunication services in Latin America. We offer a complete portfolio of value-added services and enhanced communication solutions in 23 countries in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe. Our main trademarks include Telcel and Claro.

I am América Movil’s Global IP Counsel, which means that I am in charge of the management, protection and expansion of its IP rights, including trademarks, copyrights, confidential information, trade secrets, patents, trade names, licensing and entertainment. Similarly, I oversee agreements that include intellectual property matters or clauses which comply with the vision of the company, bolstering its value and ROI through adequate protection, but also from registration and contractual perspectives. This obviously goes hand-in-hand with all the rest of the company; therefore, my role is to help companies have  proper protection for its rights, doing so with the invaluable help of our external counsel around the world.

How has your previous law firm experience helped you in your current role as in-house counsel? 

In my everyday work! Working in a law firm such as Olivares, which is one of the most important intellectual property law firms in Mexico, helped me become a strong all-around IP practitioner and enthusiast!

My previous experience as a litigator, with specific focus on anti-counterfeit/piracy matters, helped me create and develop a vision to protect the company’s IP rights proactively, rather than reactively, being cost-conscious to ensure proper housekeeping was achieved. Given my 15 years of specialization,, I consider that my vision of the intellectual property rights of a company is centered on a protective vision of the client; therefore, I view the IP rights of the company through the prism of protection.

I strongly believe that creating solid protection for IP rights is an important element in any company’s strategy, and to do that, you have to take into consideration the company’s scope, market trends, its competitors, and the impact of the services offered.

How does the firm's intellectual property department work? 

We invest a lot of effort to develop an excellent team along with our IP counsel, to protect our clients’ IP rights. It is important to mention that they are not only involved  in the IP department. 

Not only do we work with them on matters strictly related to the intellectual property department, but also every time we face a situation where an intellectual property matter might arise (now or in the future) ─ it is essential to know that you have capable and committed people by your side. I strongly believe that our IP counsel are a direct extension of our team, and to this day, they have shown me that the deserve to be considered as such.

What technological tools do you use to improve the efficiency of IP area? 

We use the technological tools that our law firm has developed during the past number of years those that aim to create a better understating, follow up, and surveillance of IP rights, mainly trademarks and domain names.

What do you consider to be the main challenges for IP in Mexico?

The main challenge is educating the Mexican society regarding intellectual property rights, its importance, and why they have an impact in our daily life, from an economic perspective. The fact that Mexico has so much cultural wealth ─ including art, traditions and creativity ─ should have been sufficient for us to understand IP rights and their importance; however, in practice, things are more  complicated.

Nevertheless, universities, business associations and chambers of commerce, have been creating outreach programs to inform the Mexican people of the relevance of IP rights in our lives. Despite this, nothing worthwhile will  be accomplished if the relevant stakeholders do not work hand-in-hand to reach this goal.