18 | ENE | 2019
Copyright infringement, key issue for Mexico-EU trade agreement
Market selling counterfeit goods in Guadalajara, Jalisco – Photo: José María Martínez/EL UNIVERSAL

Copyright infringement, key issue for Mexico-EU trade agreement

Inder Bugarin, Correspondant for EL UNIVERSAL
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Mexico is one of the 14 “black-listed” countries whose implementation of intellectual property rights is a cause for concern for the European Union

With the ongoing renegotiation of the free trade agreement between Mexico and the European Union, Europe stands firm in fighting one of the most pressing concerns in their trade relationships with Mexico: copyright infringement.

According to a document from the office of the director of the Secretary-General of the European Commission, Jordi Ayet Puigarnau, Mexico is one of the 14 “black-listed” countries whose implementation of intellectual property rights is a cause for concern for Europe and whose internal activities should be monitored due to the losses this situation represents for the European Union.

Specifically, Mexico is ranked number 3 in the list of priorities of the EU in the fight against copyright infringement.

China is ranked number 1 since 80% of counterfeit products confiscated in European territory come from the Asian nation.

The second place is for India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Argentina, the latter housing the largest warehouse of the Latin American black market, the open-air market of La Salada, located in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

The third bloc is comprised of Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and the United States.

“Implementation of intellectual property rights is still a core problem for Mexico. The interested parties of the European Union complain about legal proceedings being too slow,” claims the report, adding that “compensation may involve several courts and may take between 8 to 10 years, a period in which the plaintiff has to pay for the storage of the seized goods.”

The report on the protection and compliance of intellectual property rights in third countries is based on documents sent by delegations of the EU overseas, discussions with high-ranking officials, and enquires to several copyright owners.

Dated on February 21st, the report claims efforts in Mexico fight infrigement are failing due to the weak cooperation bewteen federal and local authorities, a lack of resources to dismantle criminal organizations, and no effective punishments.

Although the report states that the “most severe loophole” of the Mexican system is the lack of jurisdiction that could enable customs authorities to act, which enables the appearance of markets such as the ones of Tepito in Mexico City, and San Juan de Dios in Guadalajara.

Mexico has also failed to ratify the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

Overall, Mexico is classified as one of the main transit hubs for counterfeit toys, video games and sports equipment.

The text identifies Mexico's border with Guatemala and Belize as a high-risk area, as it is the entrance point of most Asian products coming from Panama.

The document closes its observations on Mexico clarifying that for the negotiation of the bilateral agreement, the European Union will seek to elevate the protection of European products though the “effective implementation” of contracted commitments.


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