PROSUR expands to Latin America



By Luis Jiménez Sáncho

At the end of 2016, Costa Rica was the first non-South American country joining PROSUR, an integral cooperation platform among Industrial Property Offices, which aims to combine efforts and to transfer best practices in order to improve the Latin American industrial property system. This makes us feel very proud and look towards an integration that allows us to level up, that is, reaching international standards, which should promote in the best way possible the IP development in the region.

But not only Costa Rica joined the original members of this initiative. In addition to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, the offices of Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic have now become members of PROSUR, being already 12 Latin American countries gathered under this joint initiative, which seeks to provide solutions, at a regional level, in issues related to trademarks, patents, utility models, drawing and industrial designs and transfer of knowledge.

Cooperation is PROSUR´s main objective. This way, the work in Industrial Property is deepened through the integration of tools that provide a comprehensive solution for daily problems, avoiding duplication of efforts, and achieving efficient solutions. A clear example of this is what PROSUR is doing regarding the Patent Procedure Highway (PPH), which in simple words is a procedure that allows speeding up the processing of a patent application, based on the favorable result obtained in a foreign office with whom a cooperation agreement has been agreed. Or in trademarks, where as a result of the exchange of information, we have developed tools as robust as the classification tool for products and services, which allows users to find terms and its corresponding class number (of Nice), in order to learn the exact description of the products and/ or services intended to be distinguished by a trademark. The search is carried out in a catalog of terms that PROSUR offices have made available to users.

Also, technological information services have been developed, which provide the user with tools to search, analyze and process the corresponding Industrial Property Right. Much of this work is available on www.prosur.org, a modern, easy-to-navigate web page that enables applicants to access information from all PROSUR countries with just one click. In this website, people will be able to access a more limited search of what is required in the 12 states, being a strategic tool to promote innovation, competitiveness and entrepreneurship, favoring innovators, the scientific community, companies, SMEs and Universities in the region.

It is important to keep moving, being a successful example of Latin America and the Caribbean integration. The goal is that additional countries join the initiative, and while this occurs, search efficiency and quality, as well as examination and decision processes adopted by different offices will increase, and – as our mission states – become an international benchmark in cooperation in matters related to Intellectual Property, which provides solutions to our citizens.

Luis Jiménez Sáncho

PROSUR Pro-tempore Chairman

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