The administrative authority and one or more private parties intervene in the vast majority of administrative procedures regarding Intellectual Property. Once this stage has been exhausted, resolutions issued by the National Intellectual Rights Service (SENADI) can be judicially challenged before the competent Administrative Contentious Court. The processes culminate with the sentence that agrees with one of the parties. With its execution, the mission of imparting justice is considered accomplished. However, the experience in intellectual property matters is different.
Once the client obtains a favorable ruling from the Contentious Administrative Court, SENADI usually files a cassation extraordinary appeal to prevent the execution of the Court’s ruling. This attitude is not justified because it is a dispute between private parties, in which the resources of the State are not compromised.
The competence of the aforementioned institution to appeal adverse decisions is not questioned, since we understand that it wants its criteria to prevail, however, it is necessary to consider that the filing of these appeals by SENADI is not always motivated to protect public interests.
In terms of intellectual property, there is no justification for SENADI in all cases to try to nullify the sentence so that its legal criteria prevail. With this attitude, state resources are wasted because the Supreme Court must allocate time to address these challenges. Worse still, in cases in which SENADI files an extraordinary protection action before the Constitutional Court.
It is very difficult for Intellectual Property clients to accept this behavior from the administrative authority, which seems to be destined to hinder the timely exercise of the corresponding rights. This reality is even worse in the case of patents, whose validity is 20 years from the filing of the application, since the administrative and judicial procedures can consume half of that time and in some cases the full term.
The justice system is saturated in Ecuador; responsibility, effective judicial protection and legal security do not go hand in hand with the principle of opportunity. The exhaustion of resources and actions by SENADI should not become the rule, since this causes the processes to be delayed, the execution of the sentences postponed and greater public and private resources spent.