Free trade treaty Free Trade Treaty between the UE and the Mercosur - Impact in IP matters

The UE and the Mercosur have finally signed a Free Trade Treaty which will definitely strengthen the commercial relationship between the European Union (which is the major commercial partner of the region) and the four founding members of the Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).

The main purpose of this agreement is to simplify import-export procedures, to reduce tariff barriers and encourage both European company’s investments in the region as well as agricultural sales from the Mercosur to the European Union.

In relation to Intellectual Property, around 350 European traditional products have been recognized as geographical indications but local regulations have not been altered.

As a consequence, it is important to remind that:

 – Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are still not a PCT members (while Brazil already is). So the one-year term of Paris Convention is still in force to claim priority. PPH procedures are available for EU granted patents, allowing a granting in Argentina after 60 days of its filing.

 – Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have not yet signed the Madrid Protocol (while Brazil already has).

 – Copyright term protection has not been extended, but Argentina is a signatory member of both the Berne Convention and the TRIPS agreement providing protection for life plus 70 years.

It is our belief that this agreement is a great accomplishment that will also have beneficial effects in the Intellectual Property field.