Intellectual Property is an intangible with significant economic potential

“Chile has built a balanced property system that seeks to protect the interests of creators and innovators, as well as users and society as a whole,” says Martin Correa, Head of the Intellectual Property Department of the General Directorate of International Economic Relations (Direcon) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Department coordinates and conveys Chile’s position on international negotiations before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Intellectual Property is precisely the focus of the Latin America Intellectual Property SME Helpdesk project, which belongs to the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (COSME Program) of the European Union. The Eurochile Foundation is a partner of this project.

The subject is highly relevant, since a wider knowledge and respect for intellectual property rights leads to improved opportunities for Chilean companies.

“Today, IP has been gaining importance, since it has been proven that it may be an intangible with a significant economic potential not only for consolidated and larger companies, but also for small and medium enterprises. In this sense, knowing the value of IP enables SMEs to value their trademarks and generate spin-offs when granting licenses,” states Correa.

“Additionally, having an invention patent, for example, can be a plus when applying for loans to continue the development of an SME or even for expanding. Finally, IP can encourage the sale of traditional niche products by granting geographical indications. They create communities among small producers of the same product by recognizing its added value. As you can see, being aware and knowing the economic potential of IP can allow SMEs to make better business decisions and to benefit from the profits IP can generate,” he adds.

– What is the state of Intellectual Property protection in Chile?

“The country has made great strides in recent years, introducing major changes to the intellectual property system, such as the enactment of Law 17,336 on Intellectual Property, the reform of Law 19,039 on Industrial Property and the creation of the National Industrial Property Institute (Inapi, in Spanish). There has also been progress in creating tools to bring people closer to IP through programs such as the origin seal and Inapi Proyecta, as well as in boosting the role of the intellectual rights keeper belonging to the Chilean Libraries, Archives and Museums Board (Dibam, in Spanish).”

– What are the pending issues in this regard?

“Chile has a strong intellectual property system with clear and strict rules, comparable to the standards of major international institutions that cover these issues, such as the WTO and the WIPO. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that new technologies and recent innovations in the digital environment pose new challenges not only for Chile, but for the international community. It should address the interaction between IP and these new developments.”

– What is Chile’s level of compliance regarding international agreements and obligations on this matter?

“Chile has fulfilled its international obligations on intellectual property. In this sense, the current institutional framework in Chile reflects the standards described in our free trade agreements (FTA). It even went beyond what was agreed on the FTAs. However, there are still some issues to be addressed internally, derived mainly from the FTA with the US. One example is complying with technological protection measures linked to copyright, which has not been addressed yet. Therefore, Direcon’s efforts have been instrumental in coordinating thematic working tables to address this issue internally in the near future.”

– What are the most common problems for a foreign company wishing to do business with Chile, in terms of IP?

“Even though the rules on intellectual property in Chile are relatively similar to those in most developed countries, there are some differences that must be taken into consideration when doing business. They have to do with the territorial nature of IP. In this regard, it is important to be aware of certain basics, such as the civilian origin of Chile’s legal tradition and the balance of our system when pondering the interests of creators and innovators, and the interests of users and society as a whole. They differ in each country. Therefore, it is indispensable to learn about the system as a whole in order to enjoy the economic benefits of IP in all its dimensions.”

Introducing Your LATAM FlagshIP

WHO ARE WE

The Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk team proudly welcomes you to its brand new blog, in which you will find updated information concerning Intellectual Property Rights in Latin America, as well as other interesting information about SMEs, Internationalization, R&D or Innovation.

The  Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk  offers free of charge, first-line support on IP and IP rights matters to facilitate the expansion of European SMEs (EU SMEs and SMEs from the Associated countries) already established at, or working with entities in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) as well as those potentially interested in establishing commercial and R&D activities and ventures in these countries.

The Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk is a project, co-funded by the European Commission, and implemented from July 2015 to January 2018 by a consortium of organisations from Europe and Latin America:

  • University of Alicante, Spain (General Coordinator)
  • Eurochambres, Belgium
  • Instituto Nacionale da Propriedade Industrial, Portugal
  • Instituto Dannemann Siemsen, Brazil
  • Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial, Chile
  • Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico
  • Eurochile, Chile
  • Senior Experts from Latin American countries

How European SMEs can benefit from the Helpdesk?

EU SMEs are offered free of charge information, training, first-line assistance and support in IP rights matters related to Latin American countries.

WHAT WE DO

Our goal is to facilitate our users the most relevant and reliable information about Intellectual Property and related areas in Latin America, in order to be, in the near future, a reference in the Intellectual Property world in the framework of the bilateral relationships Europe- Latin America.

To reach such goals we rely on our wide network on experts, that will tackle the most relevant IPR topics from a useful and easy-to-understand approach.

If you are an SME follow what our highly qualified team have to say, follow us in our social media, subscribe to our newsletter and do not hesitate to contact us by using our helpline if you need additional advice or clarifications.

JOIN THE TEAM

If you are an experienced lawyer and want to collaborate with the blog, contact us.

The Latin America IPR SME Team

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