Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Uruguay and Chile: new agreement in the region

Economic and trade relations between Chile and Uruguay are currently governed by the Economic Complementation Agreement between Chile and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) which comprises also Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. In order to deepen and stimulate trade relations, both countries agreed to start negotiations in early 2016 to set up a Free Trade Agreement.

This project has now reached the Chilean Chamber of Deputies for its First Constitutional Process.
This Agreement in general will coexist with the international agreements in which both countries are parties. Therefore in regards to Intellectual Property they reaffirm the commitment of both parties to the Berne Convention, Paris Convention, the TRIPS agreement and to its amendment protocol contained in the Doha Declaration (re. access to generic medicines).

If you are looking at the agreement, see chapter 10 (at page 183) which is the one that covers IP.
Article 10.5 covers ‘principles’ which refers to a balanced treatment between the rights of innovators on their creations and the social component of the use of knowledge for the benefit of citizens – provided they are compatible with the IPRs provisions. In this we observed that Article 10.5bis refers to the commitment to public health acknowledging the Implementation of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and public health WT/L/540; and furthermore, the commitment to support the agreement presented by WT/L/641: inserting Article 31bis after Article 31 and by inserting the Annex to the TRIPS Agreement after Article 73.

Article 10.11 covers ‘denominations of origin and geographical indications’. In this, it asserts that each party must ensure in its legal system the protection of DOs and GIs and this to be in line with the TRIPS. The agreement further contains an Annex, if you look at Annex 10.11 it only covers Pisco and it contains this disclaimer “The foregoing shall be understood without prejudice to the recognition that Uruguay may grant to a country which is not a party in relation to homonymous geographical indications and denominations of origin.” According to MENSAJE Nº 348-364/ Pisco then has automatically secured access to the Uruguayan market without any geographical identifier.

Annex 10.7 has a list of DOs and GIs from both parties. From Uruguay is is mainly wines while Chile shows others such as ‘Limón de Pica’, ‘Sandía de Paine’, ‘Aceituna de Azapa’, ‘Dulces de la Ligua’, ‘Oregano de Putre’, and ‘Cordero Chilote’ to name a few.

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