Posts

El Salvador Becomes First Country to Accept Bitcoin as Legal Tender

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender. The announcement comes amid protest and uncertainty, as questions remain about the integration of cryptocurrency into the Salvadoran financial system.

Multiple surveys reveal the level of distrust within El Salvador towards the new law. A poll of 1233 Salvadorans run by Disruptiva at the beginning of July revealed that two-thirds of participants were not willing to be paid in Bitcoin.

Recent studies conducted in late August by El Salvador’s University of Central America (UCA) revealed a high level of negative sentiment towards the Bitcoin law. The survey found that 80% of 1281 Salvadorans polled had no trust in bitcoin and only 17% think it will improve the economy.

Since the announcement, lawmakers in both Paraguay and Uruguay have proposed their own bitcoin legislation. In mid-August, president of Argentina Alberto Fernandez told one of the nation’s media channels that he was open to making bitcoin legal tender in the country.

Countries in other parts of the world, especially those with currencies pegged to the United States dollar, are keen to see if Bitcoin could offer them more monetary autonomy.

However, Nelson Rauda Zablah of El Faro digital newspaper, urged empathy towards Salvadorans who are in effect becoming guinea pigs in the world’s first state-run cryptocurrency experiment. He called for those “cheering the president from the side-lines” to consider what it would be like if their own national economy was about to be tossed into a “virtual casino,” and it was “their own business, credit rating, pension scheme, or savings at stake.”

Trademark Cancellation and Invalidation Actions

Resolution No. 279/2019 has been published establishing the administrative procedures for Trademark cancellation and invalidation actions, as well as the applicable official fees.

With more than 30 years of experience in the handling of intellectual property portfolios for domestic and international clients in Argentina and Latin America, our lawyers, industrial property agents and select network of engineers and technical professionals, bring together their broad backgrounds and experiences in different disciplines and industries to work closely as a team representing international, regional and local companies in trademarks, patents, utility models, designs, copyright, software, domain names, transfer of technology, franchising, licensing and related matters.

Wholly responsive to clients needs based on the firms large local and international intellectual property experience and expertise, in order to satisfy the intellectual property community requirements in a new scenario of a globalised world following the premises of reliability, quality, efficient action, adaptability to price tailoring and flexibility, with equal emphasis in customised and personalised services.

The firm handles clients of different areas: food, winery, technology and telecommunications, pharmaceutical, entertainment, clothing and textile; among others.

The broad experience of O’Conor & Power’s team in the management of local and international IP portfolios in Argentina and in the region, makes O’C & P a superior “one stop resource”, as Latin American increasingly factors into the world economy.

We are also qualified to protect and enforce clients intellectual property interests through transactions, dispute resolutions, litigation, border enforcement measures and unfair competition related actions.

Our professionals and staff regularly participate in seminars and conferences nationally and internationally, thus keeping updated on the latest IP legal developments in Argentina, Latin America and throughout the world.

Staying in The Technology Race and Avoiding Pitfalls

Technology is the continually developing result of accumulated knowledge and application in all techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in industrial production and scientific research.

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.

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 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.