When Costa Rica signed the Central America Free Trade Agreement with the United States, it ushered in a new era of intellectual property protection for authors, patents and trademarks owners. In recent years, Costa Rica has also implemented regulations regarding copyright protection, trademarks and patents to ensure increased protection for original works and inventions.
On an international level, Costa Rica has agreed to the terms of several Intellectual Property agreements such as the Budapest Treaty, the Vienna Agreement, the Paris Convention, the Rome Convention, the Bern Convention, the Lisbon Treaty, and many other proposed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Costa Rica's Law No. 8039: "Procedures on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights," reflects Costa Rica's commitment to comply with the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The nation recognizes that intellectual protection is a crucial element to sustain long-term economic growth and development.
Intellectual property protection includes copyrights, which may be held by writers, pop stars and entertainment companies, ranging from Stephen King, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez to Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios and more. Intellectual property rights also include trademarks, designated to protect respected brands from purposefully misleading copy-cat competitor brands. Brands like Apple, Toyota, Porsche, Nike, Luis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Coca-Cola must be protected to preserve the rights of consumers and corporations from unrelenting trademark thieves that deceive consumers and undermine quality, time-honored global brands. Under the umbrella of intellectual property, inventions are protected by patents through a sophisticated global system including international agreements already signed by Costa Rica.
The challenge for Legal Firms is to have the expertise to analyze these assets to implement strategies, policies and precautions to meet emerging intellectual property business needs. Industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, IT and others from the research and creative sector are typically of great added value, representing huge opportunities for Costa Rica.
These high value companies are constantly facing issues with their IP assets, but now more than ever, are also dealing with data protection and privacy matters, cybersecurity risks, software license compliance and IT related asset management.
"Corporations face serious challenges managing data protection, privacy and IT in today's ultra-competitive market environment," says José Antonio Muñoz. "Intellectual property protection and cutting edge technology safeguards are necessary to prevent data leakage and possible cybersecurity breaches," says Muñoz. Arias is a recognized leader in the IT market, offering specialized legal and business services for local, regional and international IT companies seeking protection and growth in Costa Rica and throughout Central America.
Arias, underscored it's growing commitment to intellectual and industrial property law, copyrights, patents, data protection, privacy, IT issues and more, through the recent recruitment of Monserrat Guitart Piguillém, an internationally recognized intellectual property law specialist.
Monserrat, a leader in intellectual property and IT law, brings her experience advising companies and trade associations earned while practicing in Argentina, Colombia and the United States since 2005.
She started her career with a law firm in Argentina with offices in Cordoba, Buenos Aires y Bogota, where she led the IP team, managing the enforcement campaigns of clients like Microsoft, Business Software Alliance (BSA), Autodesk and other software corporations. Monserrat also advised companies in matters relating to IT contracts, import and export of IT, data protection and privacy. She also served as a spokesperson for BSA, solidifying her skills coordinating and facilitating communication with the media, press, and government.
In 2011 Monserrat accepted a position at BSA´s headquarters in Washington DC as Legal Counsel of the Latin America program to oversee legal firms all over the region. In February 2014 she joined BSA´s global compliance team, where her responsibilities included copyright license analysis, contract revision and negotiation and tax advice in Brazil, Mexico, India, Thailand, Poland and Russia. Monserrat also served as program manager, in charge of standardizing processes and training in several of BSA´s international offices.
Monserrat is pleased to join the illustrious team at Arias to continue her career. "It´s no question that Arias is a legal powerhouse in Costa Rica and throughout Central America. What better way to continue my leadership in intellectual property law than to partner with the leading IP firm in the region? I look forward to contributing to the continued success of this extraordinary firm," says Monserrat.