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Inspiring Women In Law - An interview With María del Pilar López Quirós: Protecting intellectual property, a key step for businesses and innovation

Marina Vanni,  February 6, 2024

The co-director of the Intellectual Property department and partner of Arias Law in Costa Rica talked to Latin Counsel about the importance of safeguarding the intangible assets of companies, the challenges posed by technologies such as artificial intelligence, and the assistance given to entrepreneurs seeking to transform the market. In addition, the lawyer listed in Chambers & Partners Latin America and in the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame of The Legal 500 gave advice to women seeking to grow in this area. 

Latin Counsel: What are the key aspects to developing intellectual property strategies?

María del Pilar López Quirós: The key aspects include a thorough understanding of a company’s intangible assets, identifying what can be legally protected, whether through patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets. It is also crucial to be aware of changes in legislation and market trends, as well as to establish internal policies for the management and protection of intellectual property.

LC: What new debates on intellectual property have arisen in the legal field as a result of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

MPLQ: The proliferation of Artificial Intelligence has raised new intellectual property debates in the legal field, especially regarding the attribution of copyrights to works generated by algorithms, liability for copyright infringement in automatically generated content, and the protection of algorithms and data used in AI systems.

LC: What progress has there been in the region with respect to intellectual property and what obstacles remain?

MPLQ: In the region, there have been significant advances in intellectual property, including legislative reforms to align laws with international standards and encourage innovation. However, obstacles remain, such as a lack of awareness of the importance of intellectual property protection and the need to strengthen the effective enforcement of laws.

LC: As an innovation specialist, how do you assist entrepreneurs to consolidate their businesses?

MPLQ: I assist entrepreneurs to consolidate their businesses by providing advice on the protection of their intellectual property, helping them identify market opportunities, connecting them with support networks and financial resources.

LC: What is one professional achievement you are very proud of?

One professional achievement I am particularly proud of is having advised a team of physicians on the protection of an invention of an innovative device to correct bone growth deficiencies that has had a positive impact on people’s lives and on the market.

LC: What advice would you give to professional women looking to enter your field?

The advice I would give is to be confident in your skills and knowledge, look for opportunities to train and develop professionally, build a strong network of contacts, and don’t hesitate to speak up and defend your ideas in an environment that is often dominated by men. Diversity of perspectives and experiences is essential to drive innovation and progress in any field.

More about María del Pilar López Quirós - Arias Law

Interview by: Marina Vanni

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