Fernando Becerril
Former President of the Mexican Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AMPPI) and Partner and President
Becerril, Coca & Becerril
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Enforce Intellectual Property Rights

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 13:24

Q: As the former President of AMPPI, what professional profile would you say AMPPI is looking for to gain a comprehensive view of the country’s needs?
A: What AMPPI has been looking for is to diversify its membership to get closer to the industry related to intellectual property. Almost all of AMPPI's members are lawyers from different firms that are also consultants on intellectual property, but we have few company lawyers. Including company lawyers gives us a broader vision in terms of what intellectual property is. Traditionally, we view intellectual property from a lawyers’ perspective but the industry as a whole analyzes the topic as it relates to protecting rights and obtaining a better return on investment. By broadening our membership profile, we broaden our vision and can start working on how to approach the topic not only from the side of protection but also from the side of profitability and generation of economic benefits as a result of all these innovative processes in R&D. This means that we analyze intellectual property not only from the legal protection side, but as an intangible asset to generate business.  
Q: How does Becerril, Coca & Becerril contribute to achieving AMPPI’s vision?
A: We have worked with the industry for several years. In 2018, we acquired a civil law firm that expanded our offering beyond intellectual property to include corporate, civil, commercial and family law. Also, three years ago we founded a company called Nivel 72, which provides support and assistance specifically to newly-created businesses. Nivel 72 accompanies new businesses throughout the strategic planning stages, including the definition of a business plan. In the entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurs have a great deal of enthusiasm but lack operational fundamentals. The idea is to help entrepreneurs direct their focus so they can create a profitable and sustainable business.
In some cases, we have supported our clients in the commercialization process for their technology. We have a technology transfer office certified by CONACYT and we have helped many companies with the process of requesting and implementing public funds to generate results.
Q: What is the profile of the entrepreneurs that Nivel 72 likes to work with?
A: We have not defined a specific profile. If we were to work to a profile, many companies would be left out. However, we do have some minimum requirements. We conduct a technological evaluation, and in some cases, we even take on some of the risk while in others, we help them obtain public funds. We look for projects that are scalable and viable or that we perceive as interesting.
Q: What are the main challenges regarding intellectual property protection in the pharmaceutical industry?
A: The persistent challenge in the pharmaceutical industry is how to enforce intellectual property rights in Mexico. While companies might hold the patent for their products, the moment there is an illegitimate use of a patent, it is very hard to demand protection of rights. We have seen a reduction in the number of patent applications in Mexico from the pharmaceutical industry, which is the result of the perception that it is hard to enforce intellectual property rights.
There is a persistent idea that the violation of intellectual property rights only happens with movies and music. While it is true that piracy impacts many industries, pirated health products can be fatal. Medicines and food supplements in unregulated and informal businesses put people at risk and, unfortunately, there is no real and clear action to combat these activities.
Another topic that has come up recently is related to pharmaceutical products. There is talk of modifying patents and limiting the protection for certain pharmaceutical patents to make them more easily available to the population. We have to be careful not to disrupt what we have achieved in terms of protection of intellectual property rights, particularly in the health sector.