IP experts from Latin America and Europe have arrived in Mexico City to take part in three events organised by IP Key LA, an international cooperation project in the field of IP under the direction of the European Commission, and executed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). From November 12th to 16th, the events focused on the exchange of experiences, trends and best practices in the application of intellectual property (IP) regulations, with special focus on piracy and counterfeiting.

The Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Mexico, Imma Roca i Cortés, explained that the EU sees IP as an engine of economic development because it is associated to innovation as well as to a law system that fosters it. “In Europe, IPR-intensive sectors account for 90% of EU exports. This is not a legal luxury, but an economic need and a consumer’s right.” She also emphasized the utility of the Enforcement Week as a way to “consolidate the cooperation between Latin America and the European Union in terms of fighting IP infringements.”

In this context, the IP Enforcement Summit took place on November 13th at the Hyatt Regency Polanco Hotel in Mexico City. Ricardo Ferreira, Deputy Project Leader, IP Key LA, assured that for the project it is of the outmost importance to organise these kind of activities, and to “contribute to the creation of an international IP experts network that allows permanent exchange and cooperation. This facilitates commercial transactions, guarantees the protection of IP right holders and generates trust and competitive advantages.” Mr. Ferreira stated that in the context of a global economy “innovation and creativity are the key forces and IP rights are the means to recognise and value the effort of innovators and investors.”

During his participation, Miguel Ángel Margáin, General Director of IMPI, highlighted that one of the main challenges of bilateral or regional agreements in terms of IP is the implementation of programs within the ecosystem, where the role of customs stands out, in synergy with all the involved actors. He also mentioned that “there are studies that talk about the economic losses of companies and the Mexican state because of tax evasion and counterfeiting and piracy … There are victims of these phenomena: people who depend on IP-intensive industries, the loss of investment and products that can cause damage to people. That is why we need the cooperation of all the actors in the system to launch awareness campaigns.”

Some of the topics addressed by regional and international IP experts were the importance of the enforcement of IPR, the economic impact of piracy and counterfeiting, the enforcement of copyright in the digital environment and internet piracy. In addition, relevant cases were discussed regarding administrative, civil and criminal actions and procedures.

Some figures that show the impact of IP in the EU include:

  • The IPR-intensive industries represent 42% of the EU’s GDP, with a value of 5.7 trillion euros
  • 38% of all jobs in the European Union (82 million) can be attributed directly or indirectly to IPR intensive industries.
  • The IPR intensive industries pay wages significantly higher than those of other sectors, with a salary difference of up to 46%.

With these actions, IP Key LA and its local partners contribute to consolidating an efficient and effective IP infrastructure that helps reduce the infringement of IP rights on a commercial scale.

During the IP Enforcement Week, the Regional Seminar for Latin American Judges on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) brought together judges, magistrates and administrative authorities with jurisdiction over IPR enforcement throughout Latin America.

The Regional Seminar on Border Enforcement on IPR for border officials from Central America and Mexico will continue until the end of the week, with participants learning techniques to increase criminal deterrence at the border and techniques to visually differentiate fraudulent products from the originals, among other topics.

Since its official launch in March 2018, IP Key LA has implemented 20 different events in the region, which share the same goal: to support national IP offices in the region on the improvement of their processes and harmonization of practices. This will allow the development of an IP Network that fosters global cooperation among EU countries, third countries and multilateral organizations.