For this reason the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in cooperation with ICC Mexico, the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI), and Microsoft Mexico, co-hosted a seminar that explored ways that Mexican companies can benefit and become more competitive, while protecting and managing their innovations through IP.
During the seminar Maximizing the Value of Mexican Innovations through Intellectual Property, which took place on 29 November at the Nikko Hotel in Mexico, companies and governments discussed ways to improve the country’s competitiveness through the promotion and adherence of IP protection.
Jorge Amigo, General Director of the IMPI, said: “Intellectual property is a critical and strategic factor for the country’s competitiveness. Its protection is essential, not only to generate and maintain the necessary stimulus for creative and innovative efforts to transform into products and services beneficial to society in general, but also for Mexico to preserve and enhance its position as an attractive economy for investment and business development.”
“The 21st century is and will be the century of the knowledge economy. We all know that natural resources are no longer producing more growth: the countries that are advancing worldwide are those who invest in innovation and produce goods and services of higher added value,” said Pierre Froidevaux Chavan, Chairman of ICC Mexico.
According to recent figures, research and development (R&D) expenses have been low in Mexico compared with more advanced economies. The government provides incentives for investment in R&D, and even if it finances part of the expenses, it is the companies that absorb most of the costs involved (the private sector represents 50% of the total spending in Mexico). In comparison, the business sector in OECD countries represents a larger segment (70%) of total expenditure on research and development.
The programme also included Mexico’s launch of the ICC-Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business. The Guidelines provide information to businesses on practical steps they can take to assess the effectiveness of their IP management policies, as well as help consider new options for improving performance and managing the risks associated with counterfeiting and piracy.
“As companies seek to grow and be successful in tough economic times, it is vital for their strategy to include development and proper management of intellectual property,” said Allen Dixon, General Director of International Intellectual Property and Technology Consulting in London. “Companies that develop and protect their patented inventions, copyrights, trademarks, and other innovations are more successful than those who do not,” he added.
The event also provided a venue for discussions with officials from Mexican banks, and from the Inter-American Development Bank (Baco Interamericano de Desarrollo) about the importance of IP for economic development and trade in Mexico. Legal and business representatives from local companies also spoke about how IP protection is acting to maximize value for Mexican companies.
“Mexico has a problem with its competitiveness and innovation. The lag is evident in many sectors and the long term solution will depend on greater investment in intellectual talents – the educational sector must be reformed, more money must be put into science, IP rights must be guaranteed, the venture capital market must be fortified and competitiveness in key sectors must be stimulated. Intellectual talent generates wealth exponentially,” said Jaime Granados, Trade Expert from the Interamerican Development Bank.
For the authorities and companies attending the event, raising awareness about the importance of promoting and protecting IP is crucial to advance in terms of competitiveness in the country. Jorge Vega-Iracelay, Director of Corporate and Legal Affairs of Microsoft Mexico highlighted the importance of these scenarios for discussion. “IP is one of the main incentives for innovation and creation, and therefore, a tool available to contribute to competitiveness, productivity, growth and economic development,” he said. “Public policies that encourage and protect Mexican innovation through IP will mark a milestone in the agenda of economic development to create economic growth opportunities for all Mexicans.”
There is no doubt that the activities of IP enforcement in Mexico have increased dramatically in recent years due in part to the initiatives and best practices of ICC Mexico and enforcement work by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property.
Guidelines on management of intellectual property in Latin America – BASCAP Guidelines
The Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business are designed to provide information to businesses on practical steps they can take to assess the effectiveness of their IP management policies, particularly in the field of copyright and trademark; to help companies protect their IP assets and to consider new options for improving performance and managing the risks associated with counterfeiting and piracy. The IP guidelines are useful for internal use best practices in the distribution chain, relations with intermediaries and the management of IP of others. Jeff Hardy, BASCAP Coordinator, said: “BASCAP is going to extend this workshop series Maximizing the Value of Innovations through Intellectual Property throughout Latin America, including Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Perú, and Costa Rica and possibly Uruguay, Panama and Ecuador. In addition, BASCAP is working with the ICC national committee network in these countries and local IP offices to co-host these workshops and promote the importance of effective IP management policies.”