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EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

The EU is the first major partner to strike a trade pact with Mercosur, a bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The agreement concluded today will cover a population of 780 million and cement the close political and economic relations between the EU and Mercosur countries. It represents a clear commitment from both regions to rules based international trade and will give European companies an important head start into a market with an enormous economic potential. It will anchor important economic reforms and modernisation undergoing in Mercosur countries. The agreement upholds the highest standards of food safety and consumer protection, as well as the precautionary principle for food safety and environmental rules and contains specific commitments on labour rights and environmental protection, including the implementation of the Paris climate agreement and related enforcement rules.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I measure my words carefully when I say that this is a historical moment. In the midst of international trade tensions, we are sending today a strong signal with our Mercosur partners that we stand for rules-based trade. Through this trade pact, Mercosur countries have decided to open up their markets to the EU. This is obviously great news for companies, workers and the economy on both sides of the Atlantic, saving over €4 billion worth of duties per year. This makes it the largest trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. Thanks to the hard and patient work of our negotiators, this is matched with positive outcomes for the environment and consumers. And that’s what makes this agreement a win-win deal.”

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström added: “Today’s agreement brings Europe and South America closer together in a spirit of cooperation and openness. Once this deal is in place, it will create a market of 780 million people, providing enormous opportunities for EU businesses and workers in countries with whom we have strong historical links and whose markets have been relatively closed up to now. The agreement will save European companies over €4 billion in duties at the border – four times as much as our deal with Japan – whilst giving them a head start against competitors from elsewhere in the world. It also sets high standards and establishes a strong framework to jointly address issues like the environment and labour rights, as well as reinforcing sustainable development commitments we have already made, for example under the Paris Agreement. Over the past few years the EU has consolidated its position as the global leader in open and sustainable trade. Agreements with 15 countries have entered into force since 2014, notably with Canada and Japan. This agreement adds four more countries to our impressive roster of trade allies.”

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “The EU-Mercosur agreement is a fair and balanced deal with opportunities and benefits on both sides, including for Europe’s farmers. Our distinctive, high quality EU agri-food products will now get the protection in Mercosur countries that they deserve, supporting our market position and growing our export opportunities. Today’s agreement also presents some challenges to European farmers and the European Commission will be available to help farmers meet these challenges. For this agreement to be a win-win, we will only open up to agricultural products from Mercosur with carefully managed quotas that will ensure that there is no risk that any product will flood the EU market and thereby threaten the livelihood of EU farmers.”

Main features of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement:

The EU-Mercosur region-to-region agreement will remove the majority of tariffs on EU exports to Mercosur, making EU companies more competitive by saving them €4 billion worth of duties per year.

  • As regards EU industrial sectors, this will help boost exports of EU products that have so far been facing high and sometimes prohibitive tariffs. Those include cars (tariff of 35%), car parts (14-18%), machinery (14-20%), chemicals (up to 18%), pharmaceuticals (up to 14%), clothing and footwear (35%) or knitted fabrics (26%).
  • The EU agri-food sector will benefit from slashing existing Mercosur high tariffs on EU export products, chocolates and confectionery (20%), wines (27%), spirits (20 to 35%), and soft drinks (20 to 35%). The agreement will also provide duty-free access subject to quotas for EU dairy products (currently 28% tariff), notably for cheeses.

Mercosur countries will also put in place legal guarantees protecting from imitation 357 high-quality European food and drink products recognised as Geographical Indications (GIs), such as Tiroler Speck (Austria), Fromage de Herve (Belgique), Münchener Bier (Germany), Comté (France), Prosciutto di Parma (Italy), Polska Wódka (Poland), Queijo S. Jorge (Portugal), Tokaji (Hungary) or Jabugo (Spain).

The agreement will open up new business opportunities in Mercosur for EU companies selling under government contracts, and to service suppliers in the information technology, telecommunications and transport sectors, among others. It will simplify border checks, cut red tape and limit the use of export taxes by Mercosur countries. Smaller companies on both sides will also benefit thanks to a new online platform providing easy access to all relevant information.

While delivering significant economic benefits, the agreement also promotes high standards. The EU and Mercosur commit to effectively implement the Paris Climate Agreement. A dedicated sustainable development chapter will cover issues such as sustainable management and conservation of forests, respect for labour rights and promotion of responsible business conduct. It also offers civil society organisations an active role to overview the implementation of the agreement, including any human rights, social or environmental concerns. The agreement will also provide for a new forum to work closely together on a more sustainable approach to agriculture and, as part of the political dialogue under the Association Agreement, address the rights of indigenous communities. The agreement also safeguards the EU and Mercosur’s right to regulate in the public interest and preserves the right to organise public services in the way they consider appropriate.

EU food safety standards will remain unchanged and all imports will have to comply with the EU’s rigorous standards, as is the case today. The agreed food safety, and animal and plant health provisions will reinforce cooperation with the authorities of the partner countries and speed up the flow of information about any potential risks through a more direct and efficient information and notification system. In this way, the agreement will increase our efficiency in ensuring the safety of the products traded between the EU and Mercosur countries.

The trade agreement reached today is part of a comprehensive new Association Agreement under negotiation between the EU and Mercosur countries. It is composed of a political and cooperation pillar – on which negotiators already reached a general agreement in June 2018 in Montevideo – and the trade pillar. Beyond trade, the agreement will enhance political dialogue and increase cooperation in areas such as migration, digital economy, research and education, human rights, including the rights of indigenous people, corporate and social responsibility, environment protection, ocean governance, as well as fight against terrorism, money laundering and cybercrime. It will also offer increased possibilities for cooperation at multilateral level. The Association Agreement will complete the network of Association Agreements in the Americas and consolidate the relations with the important partners in the region, supporting EU positions on many global issues.

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Staying in the technology race, avoiding protectionist pitfalls

It is vital for law firms and in house counsel that they are at the forefront when advising on the specifics and legalities of the technology supply chain, which increasingly relies on mining raw materials for use within the manufacturing process of ‘smart’ products. However, an acute awareness of the barriers is also essential.

As such, Gowling WLG’s Protectionism 2.0 Report highlights how protectionist domestic policies from country to country can stifle the commercial overseas collaboration opportunities that technology offers.

Given the increase in protectionist policies, and the inherent link that exists between these and mining essential raw materials, it has never been more important that in house teams work closely with their advisers to anticipate market changes and implement strategies to manoeuvre through what can be difficult events and circumstances.

What is becoming evident, as set out in the report, is that there is a startling correlation between countries that pursue digitally protectionist policies (laws that prevent the overseas collaboration that is needed for technology to properly develop) as well those that are protectionist in relation to their natural resources – in particular China, Russia, India, Vietnam, Argentina and Turkey – six key global players in both areas of the economy. Given that countries like these are the very same which house the essential raw materials that need to be mined to fuel the development of technology, it is crucial to understand how to anticipate the impact of such behaviour on the technology supply chain.

General Counsel could be forgiven for focusing more on the operational and trading aspects relating to the existing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and global trade – and simply seeing digital protectionism as a side-line issue to focus on at a later date. This would be a mistake, given that these measures pose as much a threat to international trade and development as the more traditional tools of trade protectionism that seem to be most in focus at present.

Not only do the identified countries above have a strong track record in imposing trade barriers and tariffs on imports, they also have a high number of restrictive data laws and large deposits of the vital raw materials needed to make smartphones, connected devices and batteries for electric vehicles.

While this is happening in real time, many technology focused brands – focused on the manufacturing side of the industry – may not yet have anticipated how this will affect their sourcing and subsequent supply chain partners and processes. This makes it even more important that General Counsel communicate the effect of this on the output of their businesses in order to assist internal relationships or indeed, using the foresight of their selected legal advisers.

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Lessons for business leaders to take from World Cup 2018

We’ve seen it all before. We’re a likeable bunch of tryers who will put in a shift, but then watch depressed as the organised and efficient Germans prove too much for us.

A World Cup prophecy? No. That’s an analysis of European productivity rates.

The World Cup holders may have suffered a shocking 1-0 loss to Mexico on Sunday, but the characteristics of Germany’s first 11 – a well-organised unit who know their individual roles inside and out, and work hard to achieve their team’s goals – are also reflected in the country’s working economy.

But what are the other lessons that business leaders can take from the greatest tournament in sport? Are skills transferable from the beautiful game into the office?

Team Structure

Few bookmakers are tipping England to be the team to lift the World Cup trophy. According to some sports data analysts, England has less chance of winning the tournament than Peru.

However, that hasn’t deterred some fans who – for the first time in decades – are cautiously optimistic about the national team’s prospects.

In terms of ability, most would argue that past England teams have been superior “on paper”, but previous managers have failed to find the right formation to suit the team’s strengths.

Where earlier squads have failed, this year’s team has a clear plan in place. Rather than a set of square pegs for round holes, Gareth Southgate, our current manager, is going for a three-four-three formation that suits the players’ abilities perfectly.

Similarly, businesses can get the best results out of their staff by establishing the right team structure. This means creating specialised roles within clearly defined departments that are geared towards completing a specific set of tasks. It’s important that each staff member understands the requirements of the job, and is given the training and support they need to perform to the best of their abilities.

Recruitment

As the 32 managers taking part in this year’s tournament know, people decisions are often the most difficult.

When choosing their 23-man squads, the national managers were tasked with recruiting the right characters into the team without upsetting the apple cart.

Unlike England’s balanced squad, Argentina suffers from a weak defence, while boasting several of the world’s finest attacking players, from established stars like Lionel Messi to up-and-coming talents like Paulo Dybala. I’d go as far as to say that the lack of balance and cohesion jeopardises Argentina’s chances of winning.

Their top-heavy squad is a lesson to any business that fails to consider its recruitment process carefully. Organisations must employ the right balance of junior and senior staff in each department, and each function is serviced by the right number of people.

Motivation

History shows that many of the stars billed to shine at the start of the World Cup often fail to make an impact. Perhaps it’s a result of the pressure involved in the tournament, but often it’s the unexpected players and teams that capture the imagination.

Business managers can similarly reap the dividends if they are able to provide staff with the motivation and encouragement they need to perform at their peak. Ultimately, this comes down to confidence. Managers should remove barriers to staff development, and in time their self-confidence in their role will grow too.

It’s an age-old sporting cliche that youngsters play without fear. With the third youngest squad in the tournament, there is plenty of confidence in the England squad, and reason to believe that the Three Lions may yet ensure football’s coming home this summer.

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Argentina seeks IMF financial aid to avoid crisis

Argentina is to start talks about a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday amid reports it is seeking $30bn (£22bn).

Finance minister Nicolas Dujovne is due to fly to the IMF’s Washington offices.

After recent turmoil that saw interest rates hit 40%, President Mauricio Macri said IMF aid would “strengthen growth” and help avoid crises of the past.

The talks come 17 years after Argentina defaulted on its debts and 12 years since it severed ties with IMF.

Mr Macri said in an address to the nation on Tuesday: “Just a few minutes ago I spoke with (IMF) director Christine Lagarde, and she confirmed we would start working on an agreement.”

“This will allow us to strengthen our program of growth and development, giving us greater support to face this new global scenario and avoid crises like the ones we have had in our history,” he said.

Local media and Bloomberg reported that Argentina was seeking $30bn, although the government declined to comment.

The peso has lost a quarter of its value in the past year amid President Macri’s pro-market reforms.

Last week the central bank raised interest rates from 33.25% to 40%.

Many people still blame IMF austerity requirements for policies that led to a financial and economic meltdown in 2001 to 2002 that left millions of middle class Argentines in poverty.

Argentina eventually defaulted on its debts. And although its last IMF loan was paid down in 2006, the country severed ties with the Washington-based body.

Reforms

Mr Macri said Argentina was suffering as a result of high oil prices and the expectation that US interest rates would rise in the coming months.

Describing Argentina as a “valued member” of the IMF, Ms Lagarde said: “Discussions have been initiated on how we can work together to strengthen the Argentine economy and these will be pursued in short order.”

Argentina is in the middle of a pro-market economic reform programme as Mr Macri seeks to reverse years of protectionism and high government spending under his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Inflation, a perennial problem in Argentina, was at 25% in 2017, behind Venezuela as the highest in Latin America.

This year, the central bank has set an inflation target of 15% and has said it will continue to act to enforce it.

Last week’s rate rise to 40% was the third increase in eight days in an attempt to boost the peso.

Avoid Crises

News of the new talks may be controversial in some quarters. Many people in Argentina still blame the IMF for the policies that led to the 2001 financial and economic crisis. The country defaulted on $80bn (£59bn) of sovereign debt – the biggest in history.

Millions of middle class Argentines were plunged into poverty as a result.

However, Mr Macri said the new negotiations with the IMF would give the country “greater support to face this new global scenario and avoid crises like the ones we have had in our history”.

Markets reacted positively to the news, with both local shares and the peso recovering some ground.

Miguel Kiguel, a former Argentine finance official who runs local consultancy Econviews, tweeted: “An IMF line of credit is the least expensive option for growth in Argentina.”

Argentina has had a turbulent relationship with the IMF.

In 2013 the country was censured by the Fund over the inflation and economic growth data published by the administration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. It was a step in a process that could ultimately have led to Argentina’s expulsion from the IMF.

Earlier, many had blamed the IMF for contributing to a financial and economic crisis that came to a head around the end of 2001, which set back living standards severely.

Relations have improved under the current president, Mauricio Macri, whose approach to economic policy was much more consistent with that favoured at the IMF.

The prospect of a new IMF loan will test that improvement. It will come with economic policy conditions, including almost certainly spending cuts and tax rises, which are likely to aggravate political strains in Argentina.

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Winds of change in Argentina

Substantial Amendments in the prosecution of trademarks and patents.

The Decree 27/2018 of January 10, 2018, (here in after the “Decree”) amends certain articles of the current Law of Trademarks and Designations (Law No. 22,362), the Law of Patents and Utility Models (Law No. 24,481), and Decree (Law No. 6673/1963).

The recitals of the “Decree”, indicate the need to implement an administrative procedure for the parties, prior to the judicial instance, for the administrative procedure and resolution of the oppositions IN trademarks, in order to reduce deadlines in obtaining resolutions. In connection with Utility Models and Designs, with the proposed amendments, users may make multiple applications for registration per file, adopt new technologies in the manner of submitting drawings, and request the postponement of publications.

We have prepared a comparison of the present procedures and the changes that are introduced by the Decree, which are not yet in force upon receiving this Newsletter.

Trademarks: specifically referring to the formalities of the registration process of a trademark, article 70 of the “Decree”, states that oppositions to the registration of a trademark must be electronically filed at the National Institute of Industrial Property (hereinafter “I.N.P.I.”), and not in writing as it is currently.

Article 71 of the “Decree”, introduces an important change regarding the opposition procedure in the current Law No. 22,362 of Trademarks and Designations. The aforementioned law foresees in article 16 that 1 (year) after the notification of the opposition “the application shall be declared abandoned in the following cases: (a) If the applicant and the opponent do not reach an agreement allowing for an administrative solution and the applicant does not bring legal action within the period indicated; (b) If legal action is brought by the applicant but the period of limitation expires”. The new article 16, establishes a system by which, 3 (three) months after the notification of an opposition, if the applicant does not obtain it’s removal, the National Trademark Office will be the one in charge of resolving it in an administrative instance.

Likewise, article 17 of Law Nº22,362, states that the procedure to obtain the withdrawal of oppositions is carried out through the initiation of a legal action. The “Decree” modifies said article, as follows: “the procedure to resolve the oppositions, will be fixed by the Application Authority (…)”, and “(…) the resolutions by oppositions issued by the National Directorate of Trademarks will only be subject to direct appeal before the National Chamber of Federal Civil and Commercial Appeals within 30 (thirty) business days of it’s notification. The appeal must be submitted to the I.N.P.I., who will notify the latter and sent to the courts (…)”. Thus, the administrative instance must first be concluded, in order to be able to initiate a legal action to obtain the withdrawal of an opposition.

In regard of Nullities, the “Decree” establishes that “The I.N.P.I., through the National Trademark Directorate, ex officio or at the request of a party, shall resolve in administrative instance the nullity of trademarks which refers to paragraph a) of this article. The resolution of a nullity of a trademark shall be appealable within the term of 30 (thirty) business days as from the notification, only by direct appeal before the National Chamber of Appeals in the Civil and Commercial Federal, which will be filed at the I.N.P.I.”. This change is significant, since Law Nº22,362 in articles 23 and 24, only refers to nullity in a judicial instance.

Presently, Article 26 of Law Nº22.362, states that ” At the request of a party, a trademark shall be declared expired if it has not been used in Argentina within the five (5) years preceding the date of institution of proceedings, unless the non-use was for reasons of overwhelming force. A trademark that is registered and not used in one class does not expire if it has been used to commercialize a good or provide a service included in other classes or if it is part of the designation of an activity. In this connection, the “Decree” states that I.N.P.I., ex officio or upon request, according to the regulations that will be dictated, will declare the revocation of the trademark, even partially, in relation of products or services for which it has not been used in the country within 5 (five) years prior to the expiration request, unless if there were causes of overwhelming force. The resolution of trademark expiration shall be appealable within 30 (thirty) business days since the notification, only by direct appeal before the National Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial matters, which shall be filed with the I.N.P.I. A trademark registered and not used in a class or for specific products or services shall not expire, if this trademark was used in the commercialization of a product or the provision of a related or similar service to those, even if it was included in other classes, or if it is part of the designation of an activity related to those. Likewise, once the fifth year of the registration of the trademark has been granted, and before the expiration of the sixth year, the owner must submit a Declaration of Use regarding the use that would have been made until that time”.

Article 47 of Law Nº22.362 establishes that “Procedures with the National Directorate of Industrial Property shall be subject to the payment of official fees, the amounts of which shall be determined in the regulations (…). The “Decree” amends said article, granting greater powers to the I.N.P.I., since, according to said decree, ” the latter is empowered to dictate the complementary regulations of this law, regarding the procedure of trademark registrations, in everything that facilitates this procedure, eliminate requirements if they became obsolete in order to, accelerate and simplify the registration process. For this purpose it may, among others, modify the procedure described in the second section of this law; limit the examination of applications to absolute prohibitions or those related to public order, subordinating those relating to it’s approach by third parties; establish the publication for oppositions of third parties subsequent to the granting of the trademark; subordinating the validity of the title to what the I.N.P.I. resolves in case of oppositions that may be received, as well as the expiration of the priority period of the Paris Convention in the event of the existence any priorities unknown at the time of the concession “.

Patents: Article 19 of the Patents and Utility Models Law (Law No. 24,481) states that “A patent application should include: a) The title and the description of the invention; b) The plans or technical drawings necessary for understanding the description; c) One or more claims; d) A summary of the description of the invention and copies of the drawings, to be used only for publication and as technical information; e) Written evidence of the payment of official fees; f) Documents of assignment of rights and priority documents. If 90 (ninety) days elapsed from the date of the filing of the application without accompanying the entire documentation, the latter will be denied without further formality, except cases of overwhelming force duly justified. The lack of filing within the same period of the documents recorded in paragraph f) will cause the loss of the right of the international priority.” The “Decree” amends article d) hereinafter, namely: “To obtain the patent, the following documents must be submitted: A summary of the description of the invention that will serve only for publication and as technical information. After 30 (thirty) consecutive days, from the date of presentation of the application without completing the requirements indicated above, the patent application will be denied without further procedure”.

Likewise, we can again appreciate a reduction in terms established by the recent “Decree”, in that Law No. 24,481 in article 23 establishes that ” During it’s prosecution, a patent application may be changed into an application for a utility model, and vice versa. This change may be made only within 90 (ninety) days of the application date, or within 90 (ninety) days of a requirement by the National Patent Office for said conversion to be made. If the applicant does not perform such conversion within the required period, the application shall be considered abandoned”. The “Decree”, states that in regard to said conversion, the applicant may make it “(…) within 30 (thirty) calendar days counted from the date of filing the application; or within 30 (thirty) calendar days from the date on which the National Patent Administration would have requested the same (…)”.

Article 24 of Law No. 24,481 will also have a reduction in terms, since it currently states that “The National Patent Office shall carry out a preliminary examination of the documents filed and may require the applicant to provide any further details as may be deemed necessary, or to save any omissions therein. If the applicant fails to meet this requirement within a period of 180 (one hundred and eighty days), the application shall be considered abandoned”. The “Decree” shortens that term to 30 (thirty) calendar days.

Another reduction of terms is applicable to article 27 of Law No. 24,481, given that in its last paragraph states that “(…) If after a period of 3 (three) years counted as from the filing date of the patent application, the applicant does not pay the official fee corresponding to the substantive examination, the application shall be considered abandoned”, while the “Decree” establishes the patent abandoned after 18 (eighteen) months of said filing.

Article 32 of Law No. 24,481 is also amended by the “Decree”, given that the granting of patent will no longer be published in a Bulletin, but “on the I.N.P.I.’s website, according to regulations that will be established by the Application Authority “.

Utility Models/Designs: Article 57 of Law No. 24.481 states that “Once an application for an utility model has been submitted, it will be examined if the requirements of articles 50 and 53 have been fulfilled. Once this examination has been carried out, and the verification of the stated in the previous paragraph is completed, or rectified when it is possible, the certificate will be issued”. In this respect, the “Decree” states that “Once an application for an utility model has been filed and after paying the examination rate, the National Patent Administration will examine if the requirements of articles 53 and 55 have been fulfilled. Once this examination is approved it will proceed to publish the application. Within the term of 30 (thirty) calendar days counted from the publication, any person may carry out observations to the utility model application and add documentary evidence. The observations must consist of the lack or insufficiency of the legal requirements for it’s granting. Once this last term has expired, the National Patent Administration will proceed to resolve the request and issue the utility model certificate if applicable. After 3 (three) months from the presentation of the utility model application without the payment of the substantive examination official fees by the applicant, the application shall be considered abandoned.“

Article 68 of Law 24.481 establishes that “When the applications are filed through a legal representative, this one must prove his / her legal capacity through: a) Power of Attorney or certified copy of power that empowers him / her; b) Power of Attorney granted in accordance with the applicable legislation in the place where it is granted or in accordance with international treaties, in case the representative is a foreign legal person; c) In each file that is processed the legal status of the representative must be evidenced, being sufficient a simple copy of the registration certificate, for the case that the power of attorney is registered in the general registry of Power of Attorneys at the I.N.P.I. The “Decree” states that “The representation invoked in applications for patents of invention and / or utility models shall have the characteristic of an affidavit. In case of considering it pertinent, the National Patent Administration may request documentation that proves the nature invoked. In the event that the role of business manager is invoked, the latter must be ratified within a period of 40 (forty) business days after the filing, under penalty of declaring the nullity of the submission “.

Likewise, article 72 of Law Nº24.481 establishes that “The appeal for reconsideration will proceed: a) Against a resolution that denies the granting of a patent or an utility model; b) Against the resolution that gives place to the observations, in the terms of article 29 of the present law. In both cases, it shall be submitted in writing to the President of the I.N.P.I. within a peremptory period of 30 (thirty) days, counted as from the date of the notification of the respective resolution. (…) “. On the other hand, the “Decree” establishes that “The administrative appeal will proceed against the provision that denies a patent application or utility model, which shall be filed before the I.N.P.I. within the peremptory term 30 (thirty) business days as from the date of notification of the respective provision. (…)“.

The Decree-Law No. 6673/63, is also amended by the “Decree”. In it’s article 6, subsection a, Decree-Law N ° 6673/63 establishes that “They cannot enjoy the benefits granted by this decree: a) Those models or industrial designs that have been published or exploited publicly, in the country or abroad, prior to the date of deposit, except in the cases contemplated in article 14 of this Decree. However, it will not be an impediment for the authors to cover the said benefits by having exhibited, either by themselves or through an authorized person, the model or design of their creation in exhibitions or fairs made in Argentina or abroad, with the condition that the respective deposit be filed within a period of 6 (six) months from the opening of the exhibition or the fair”. The “Decree” amends this item as follows: “They cannot enjoy the benefits granted by this Decree-Law: a) Those models or industrial designs that have been published or exploited publicly, in the country or abroad, prior to the date of registration. However, the models or designs divulgated within the 6 (six) months preceding the date of the presentation of the application or priority are considered not known when: 1. Such divulgation would have been direct or indirectly result of acts performed by the author or his / her legitimate successors. 2. The divulgation from a third party by an act in bad faith or incidence; of a breach of contract or other unlawful act committed against the author or legitimate successor. 3. The publication of applications made erroneously or improperly by the management of industrial models and designs.“

Another important change, this time in regard the quantity of requests for models or industrial designs. The “Decree” states that “The application for registration of a model or industrial design, the inclusion in the application of up to twenty (20) industrial models or designs, applications for divisional registrations, postponement of publication, as the renewals mentioned in the previous article, will pay the official fees that will be determined in the respective regulation, whose values will be established proportionally to the value set for the official fees that is received for the original registration of a model or industrial design. The I.N.P.I. is authorized to establish, modify and eliminate official fees, including those applicable to the maintenance of the right of the owner”.

The “Decree” states that “The same application for registration may include up to 20 (twenty) Industrial Models or Designs only when all of them are applied or incorporated into products that belong to the same Class of the International Classification for the Industrial Designs of the Locarno Agreement. If an application that includes more than 1 (one) Model or Industrial Design does not meet the conditions prescribed by the current regulations, the I.N.P.I. may require the applicant to choose between the modification of the initial registration application to fulfill such conditions, or divide the initial registration application into 2 (two) or more divisional registrations, distributing among these ones the industrial models or designs for which protection was requested in the application for initial registration. The divisional applications will keep the date of presentation of the initial application and the benefit of the right of priority if this were appropriate. The rights derived from the models or designs included in an application or in a multiple registration will be independent from each other and, given the provisions of article 15, may be exercised, transferred, taxed, renewed or canceled separately”.

The “Decree” states that “The application for renewal of the registration must be filed within the term of the last 6 (six) months of its validity. The renewal may also be filed within 6 (six) months after said term, with the payment of a different official fee that will be established. “

On the other hand, the “Decree” stipulates that “(…) The resolution rejecting an application for registration shall be appealable before the I.N.P.I. Once the administrative instance has been concluded, the resolution issued by the I.N.P.I. shall be appealable before the Federal Civil and Commercial Court.

Finally, It is important to mention the amendment introduced to article 21 of Decree-Law N° 6673/1963, given that it currently states that “They will be punished with a penalty of three thousand to one hundred thousand pesos: 1. Those who manufacture or have manufactured industrial products that present the protected characteristics by the registration of a model or design or its copies. 2. Those who are aware of its illicit nature, sell, exhibit, import, export or otherwise trade the products referred in the preceding paragraph. 3. Those who maliciously, hold these products or cover their manufacturers. 4. Those who, without having registered a model or design, maliciously invoke it. 5. Those who sell as their own, plans of designs protected by a third party registry. In this case of recidivism the penalties established in this article will be doubled”. On this item, the “Decree” determines: “will be punished with a minimum penalty fee equivalent to the value of the official fees that is received for 50 (fifty) records of industrial models and designs, and a maximum of three hundred and 330 (thirty) of the same rate or tariff: a) Those who manufacture or have manufactured industrial products that have the characteristics protected by the registration of a model or design, or their copies. (…) “. We see that in this way it is sought that the value of the penalty fee is not affected by inflation, keeping its value constantly updated.

We shall keep you updated of the implementation of these changes.