According to the interpretation of Article 15 of Decision 351 issued by the Andean Community, the declarative list of means of public communication is not exhaustive. In Prejudicial Interpretation 2221-IP-2020, issued on May 6, 2022, by the Andean Community Court of Justice, it was stated that broadcasting and other means of public communication in which technology carries information from a place to another, can be considered public. communication, in accordance with the aforementioned decision when the information is received by several people, whether they are in the same room or not, by electromagnetic waves or another mode of dissemination of signs, images or sounds. Rebroadcasting this information to the public is also a form of public communication, even when it has been previously broadcast or televised. Therefore, media that serve rebroadcasting, such as subscription television, are also subject to intellectual property protection and its laws.
Use of Franchises and Trademarks
According to the Court of Justice of the Andean Community, the license to use the brand granted to the franchisee will have the same duration as the initial franchise contract. Since the license to use is subordinate to the franchise agreement, determining its duration is crucial to know if a trademark infringement has taken place. According to the preliminary interpretation 15-IP-2020, issued by the Court of Justice of the Andean Community, a judge can decide what is the duration of the contract. If the judge concludes that the contract is no longer valid and has expired, the brand owner will have the right to sue its franchisee for damages caused by the unauthorized use.
“Mivacuna” APP receives EU approval
Since June 1, 2022, Colombia has become the first country to implement blockchain technology in its “Mivacuna” application. This technology makes it possible to have precise and up-to-date information on the vaccination process of each citizen via a digital certificate of security and confidence which aims to avoid fraudulent information in the system. The use of this technology makes it possible to extrapolate the information so that it is compatible with the database used in the European Union. The Ministry of Health has updated this application and the information of its users to obtain international approval, which is the only one given in Latin America. This application compiles information from the National Registry, Colombian Migration and INPEC to ensure that the resident population eligible for vaccination is associated with the application and informed using the Koibanx application platform .
Intellectual property rights and vaccines
The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), of which Colombia is a signatory, has established rules and guidelines for the protection of copyright, patents, trademark registration and other aspects of intellectual property rights. The TRIPS Agreement introduced an exception to this protection so that each country could modify its national legislation to circumvent existing regulations in the event of a public emergency. During the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, celebrated from June 12 to 17, 2022, a new project was approved by the Secretary-General based on the policies developed in the European Union. Instead of an exemption from intellectual property rights protection, this ruling would offer consistent guidelines to a limited number of exceptions and a specific 5-year time period during which the export of Covid-19 vaccines would be restricted.
The end of the national health emergency in Colombia
On June 22, 2022, the national government of Colombia announced the end of the health emergency, after 27 months and 18 days. This, in accordance with the WTO and its recommendation to relax the patents of vaccines against Covid 19 for third world countries. This is important for third world countries that have not been able to acquire enough vaccines and have low vaccination percentages. This measure will last for 5 years and only covers vaccines but not drugs used to treat the virus. Furthermore, the decision only refers to patent protection and excludes other intellectual property rights such as copyrights and trade secrets.
IMPI and BSA Alliance
The Mexican Intellectual Property Institute (IMPI) has signed a collaboration agreement with the BSA organization, Software Alliance. This collaboration aims to improve innovation, cybersecurity and digital inclusion of the Mexican population. While this alliance came into effect in previous years, it has been renewed to continue relations in the region to promote the proper use of technology and original computer programs in all productive units of the country. One of the main challenges of this alliance has been to fight counterfeiting in Mexico and to inspect companies in order to detect illegal use of the technology. Between 2018 and 2022, there were 2,184 visits to inspect illegal activities regarding misuse of software and technology.
5G patent infringement in Colombia (Apple vs Ericsson)
Apple devices with 5G technology have been banned from Colombia due to a patent infringement lawsuit ruling. Bogota District Jury 43 determined that since Ericsson holds a valid patent for this technology in the country and the license signed by Apple which paid royalties to Ericsson has expired, Apple cannot import, sell or advertise products with this type of technology, which is protected by patent NC2019/0003681 until 2037. Apple plans to appeal this decision.