Bolivian cyber activists worked collectively to unfold a potential unlawful patent over the use of Quick Response Codes, known as QR codes, in the country.
Earlier this month, Bolivian netizen @hermany [es] sparked curiosity when he enquired on Twitter about the alleged patented use of QR codes in Bolivia:
Following up with the collective enquiring under the hashtag #QRBolivia, blogger Mario Durán from El Alto got in touch with the Intellectual Property National Service [es] (SENAPI in Spanish) and representatives of the company.
Mario has been posting regular updates on the case in his blog [es] under the question, “Can the use of QR codes in Bolivia be patented?”
According to the information gathered by Mario, Advice Marketing officially states [es, pdf] that QR codes can be publicly used just by notifying them in advance. Meanwhile, officials from SENAPI confirmed [es] that the company applied for the patent back in September 2012; however, SENAPI has not issued a resolution on the matter (the legal term to reach a decision is 18 months). Therefore, such patent or restriction may not be applicable.
Bolivian cyber activists will surely keep a close watch on the issue as the case develops in the coming months. You can follow their discussion under the hashtag #QRBolivia.