With the ongoing modernization of the free trade pact, the European Union aims to attack one of the biggest concerns in the commercial relations it has with Mexico: the lack of respect for intellectual property, in one word piracy.
A memorandum from the desk of the director of the General Secretariat of the European Commission, Jordi Ayet Puigarnau, puts Mexico on the “black list” of 14 countries where the application of intellectual property is a cause for concern and internal activities must be monitored for the damage caused to the European Union.
In particular, it places Mexico in the third priority ranking for the Union in the fight against counterfeiting in third countries.
China comes up as the undisputed number one piracy generator in the world, 80% of illegal imitation items confiscated in the European community territory come from that country.
In a second level come India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Argentina, the latter housing the largest black market in Latin America, the commercial complex of La Salada, located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, is a “piracy temple”.
The third block is made up of Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States.
“The application of intellectual property rights continues to be a fundamental problem in Mexico. Interested parties in the European Union complain that judicial procedures are very slow,” says the report.
“The process to repair damages can involve multiple instances and take between eight and ten years, period during which the plaintiff must assume the costs of storing the seized property.”
The report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property in third world countries is based on documents sent by EU delegations abroad, high-level discussions and consultations with different actors who own patents and trademarks.
As of February 21, the report argues that, in Mexico, efforts are insufficient to fight counterfeiting, because of the weak cooperation between federal and state authorities, the lack of resources to dismantle responsible criminal organizations and the absence of meaningful punishment s or sentences.
Although he considers that the “most serious legal gap” in the Mexican system is the lack of a mandate for the customs authorities to act on their own initiative, hence the existence of markets such as Tepito and San Juan de Dios, in Guadalajara.
The text considers the European pharmaceutical and agrochemical sector among the most vulnerable in the country. It also refers to the lack of provisions to reduce the risks of piracy through the Internet.
Mexico has also not ratified the Geneva Act of The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.
In the transnational sphere, Mexico is classified as one of the main global centers for the transit of pirated toys, video games and sports equipment.
At least two high-risk areas in the country are identified: the borders with Guatemala and Belize, where Asian products with a prior scale in Panama mainly arrive.
The text closes its observations on Mexico stating that in the context of the negotiations to update the bilateral agreement, the European Union will seek to elevate the protection of European products through the “effective application” of the commitments assumed.