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Cablegate: Expanding Ipr Awareness Among Mexican Judges

VZCZCXRO9099
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #2845/01 2741419
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011419Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8439
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USNORTHCOM
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 002845

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TPP/MTA/IPE/HUGHES/URBAN
STATE FOR WHA/MEX/BRAICH
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR MELLE/MCCOY/SHIGETOMI
STATE PASS TO JUSTICE FOR CCIPS/KOUAME AND OPDAT/TRUEBELL
STATE PASS TO COMMERCE FOR ITA/MAC/ONAFTA/WORD
STATE PASS TO ITA/MAC/IPR/WILSON
COMMERCE PASS TO USPTO FOR RODRIGUEZ/BERDUT/MORALES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ECON SNAR MX
SUBJECT: EXPANDING IPR AWARENESS AMONG MEXICAN JUDGES

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The Embassy and the United States Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO), in coordination with the National College of
Magistrates and Judges (Colegio Nacional), held a four-day workshop
on intellectual property civil and criminal cases for Mexican judges
in Mexico City from September 21-24. Financed by USPTO grant money
from State/INL, the program focused on providing the participants
with a better understanding of intellectual property and how to
adjudicate such cases in civil and criminal procedures. The Mexican
reaction to the course was very positive, and prompted considerable
discussion as to how to possibly improve the Mexican judicial system
and the handling of such cases. The Embassy plans to capitalize on
the success of this event and invite some of the participants to
receive additional training in a five-day study tour in the United
States. End summary.

Students and Instructors
------------------------

2. (U) The September 21-24 program was attended by 26 civil and
criminal judges and magistrates from Mexico's judicial system within
Mexico City. The Colegio Nacional organized the Mexican
participation. USPTO funded the participation of U.S. District Court
Judges Ronald Lew, Bernice Donald, and James Rosenbaum as well as
District Court Clerk Felicia Cannon. They were ably assisted by
USPTO's Jackie Morales. In addition, senior officials from the
Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI - counterpart to the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) and the National Copyright
Institute (INDAUTOR) delivered overviews of copyrights, patents and
trademarks and how they are protected under Mexican law.

Course Content
--------------

3. (U) The sessions were held in the evenings of September 21-24,
generally from 5-9 pm, which allowed the Mexican judges and
magistrates time to see to their court responsibilities during the
day. The program addressed specific policy and legal principles of
IP protection and enforcement. Sessions were dedicated to overviews
of copyright, patent, and trademark law; elements of criminal and
civil trademark counterfeiting and civil and criminal copyright
infringement; evidentiary considerations; provisional measures;
additional remedies; deterrent sentencing; and case management. The
U.S. judges and the Court Clerk took turns introducing these topics,
explaining how these issues were addressed in the U.S. judicial
system, and then would open up the discussion to the Mexican judges
to explain how these issues were treated in the Mexican judicial
process. The U.S. judges made considerable use of case studies that
allowed the participants to understand better how to adjudicate IP
cases effectively.

A Trip to the Mexican Courts
----------------------------

4. (U) As part of the preparation for her presentation on Case
Management, the Embassy arranged a morning visit for U.S. District
Court Clerk Felicia Cannon to the municipal and federal district
civil courts in Mexico City. For Ms. Cannon and the EconOff, this
was a fantastic opportunity to witness how the judicial system works
in Mexico. Mexico shares many features of other civil law
jurisdictions, but we learned quickly the striking differences with
the U.S. legal system and the challenges that the unique features of
Mexican law (such as the amparo proceedings) present to the Mexican
legal process. We were also given a demonstration of the electronic
filing system for civil court cases that is currently being
developed in-house in the First Federal District Court in Mexico.
Court officials told EconOff that the tests of the pilot program
have proven successful and they hope to distribute the system for
use by all federal civil courts within the year.

Achievements, Revelations, and Next Steps
-----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Feedback from the Mexican attendees was very positive,
particularly with respect to the increase in understanding the

MEXICO 00002845 002 OF 002


various international, U.S., and Mexican codes and regulations that
govern the adjudication of IP cases. The heavy focus on the
importance of protecting and enforcing intellectual property law
also received high marks, as did the many case studies.
Participants also appreciated the personal connections made between
the U.S. and Mexican judges, which we hope will lead to future
cooperation and consultation on IP cases and concerns. Bringing a
group of U.S. judges to present case studies and generate a
discussion among a small group of their Mexican counterparts has
proven an effective strategy in creating awareness as to the
importance of IPR protection and enforcement. Mexican judges are
more willing to receive advice from and share best practices with
other judges than from lawyers, industry or other government
agencies.

6. (SBU) An interesting issue that arose from the discourse was the
concern among the Mexican participants over the extent of power
exercised by IMPI in managing the IP regime in Mexico. For example,
a patent or trademark holder in Mexico seeking redress against a
possibly infringing product must initiate an administrative
infringement action within IMPI rather than through the civil court
system - as in the United States. Several judges called for
judicial reform to extend civil jurisdiction over such infringement
actions in order to check IMPI's perceived power. However,
throughout the years IMPI has gained substantial experience and
knowledge over civil cases. The judiciary has begun to realize its
role in IP protection and enforcement, but judges will require
substantially more training and experience before they should be
granted civil jurisdiction over these cases.

7. (SBU) The Mexican participants expressed a strong desire for
additional such programs. The Embassy has two proposed next steps.
Together with the Department of Justice and USPTO, we plan to assist
the Mexican judiciary in organizing and providing U.S. speakers to
their annual international IP conference. Last March's conference
in Monterrey had more than 250 participants, including 50
international judges. The third International Conference on
Intellectual Property will be held in Merida in March 2010. In
addition, together with the USPTO, in Spring 2010 we will organize a
study tour for several of the judges that participated in this
workshop. The tour will be held in the United States, possibly
within the Ninth Circuit, and will expand further the topics
addressed in this workshop, covering more advanced issues in civil
and criminal enforcement, special trial procedures, and sentencing
guidelines in IP cases.

COMMENT
-------

8. (SBU) COMMENT: Industry and Mexican government officials alike
have told EconOff and USG officials that problems persist in Mexico
with the civil and criminal litigation of intellectual property
rights, as Mexican judges do not understand IP law or view criminal
copyright infringement as a minor offense. Some even perceive it as
their responsibility to defend the weak Mexican "entrepreneur" from
the large multinational companies in IP legal actions.
Consequently, many IP cases are dismissed on technicalities and few
deterrent sentences are awarded. Embassy will continue to work with
the Mexican judiciary to increase their understanding of
intellectual property and how to adjudicate such cases in civil and
criminal procedures. In addition, as the handling of intellectual
property cases by the Mexican judicial system is not our only
concern, we would like to pursue a similar program for Mexican
judges and magistrates on competition law. END COMMENT.

PASCUAL

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