Peru is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization, and a party to most intellectual property agreements, including the Berne Convention and Paris Convention. In June 2009, Peru officially became a Patent Cooperation Treaty member.
IP in Peru is protected by the Andean Community Law, which covers Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and is mainly governed by Decision 486 for Patents and Trademarks, and Act 822 for Copyright and related rights.
Other norms that must be taken into consideration are Act 27444, which regulates the general administrative procedure in Peru, and Legislative Decree 1075, which approves supplementary provisions to Decision 486.
The administrative agency in charge of IP matters is the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi), which was founded in November 1992 and is recognised as one of the most efficient administrative agencies in Latin America. Because Peru’s legal framework provides safe, fast and easy proceedings for the registration of patents, trademarks and copyright, many companies, businesspeople, inventors and entrepreneurs have succeeded in protecting their rights.
Peru is a member of the Pacific Alliance, together with Chile, Colombia and Mexico. During the past few years, the alliance’s members have been exchanging information of interest to allow the construction of an action plan regarding IP matters, which ultimately will benefit the users of the IP system.
In Peru, inventions, utility models and industrial designs are patentable, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable. An applicant can also obtain protection certificates for layout designs of integrated circuits and new plant varieties, and authorisation certificates to use the collective knowledge of indigenous peoples.
An invention, utility model or industrial design:
May be deemed new when it is not included in the state of the art;
Shall be regarded as involving an inventive step when it is neither obvious nor obviously derived from the state of the art; and
May be deemed as industrially applicable when its subject matter may be produced or used in any type of industry.
The state of the art comprises everything that has been made available to the public by written or oral description, use, marketing, or any other means prior to the filing date of the patent or the priority claimed.
"In Peru, inventions, utility models and industrial designs are patentable, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable."
Patents for inventions are granted for 20 years after the application is filed, while patents for utility models and industrial designs are granted for ten years. Plant varieties are protected for 25 years after the breeder’s certificate is granted.
The Peruvian legal framework concerning patents is designed to effectively promote technological innovation in Peru and abroad. Authorities are well aware of the importance of technology in human development, so they are constantly improving the patent system.
Peru’s trademark law is largely consistent with international standards. Its trademark office, consisting of experts in dealing with trademark matters and litigation, is one of the most professional and highly efficient in Latin America.
The promotion of a competitive market, based on a culture of development and respect for intellectual property, is one of the main tasks of the Peruvian Trademark Office.
Because Peru is a first-to-file country, obtaining a registration is highly recommended. Proceedings may last between four and seven months, priority can be claimed as established in the Paris Convention and multi-class applications can be filed.
Words, figures, sounds, smells, letters, numbers, colours, shapes and any combination of them, can constitute a trademark. Once granted, a trademark is protected for ten years and can be indefinitely renewed every ten years, six months before its expiration or during the six months after its expiration.
Peru’s copyright law is generally consistent with the TRIPS Agreement. Protection is for all intellectual works in the literary or artistic scope, whatever their genre, form of expression and merit or purpose. Works are protected for life plus 70 years.
In the past few years, Peruvian authorities, in coordination with the private sector, have conducted numerous raids on large-scale distributors and users of pirated goods. Also, diverse campaigns promoting an attitude of respect towards authors and their works have been organised.
Gino Piaggio is an attorney-at-law at Valencia Law Office. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gino Piaggio, Valencia Law Office, IP, TRIPS Agreement, trademark, copyright, patent,