Trademark Assistance to Fundación EducarUno

Empowering Youth to Become Change Agents in Their Communities

Client: EducarUno
Firms:  Basham, Ringe y Correa, Lex Mundi member firm for Mexico
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega (ARIFA), Lex Mundi member firm for Panama Issue: Trademark Sector: Education

Recognizing the urgent need to solve pressing community challenges and the power of children to identify and implement these solutions, Fundación EducarUno launched a program, proven successful in India, called Diseña el Cambio (Design Change) in Mexico in 2010. Diseña el Cambio is a national school competition designed to empower participants to be key players in the development and implementation of ideas to transform communities with leadership and proactive attitudes. Teams of five students and a teacher address challenges including insecurity, pollution, poverty, corruption, and violence.

Designed as an empowerment project, Diseña el Cambio participants are motivated to think what changes they would like to see in their communities and then they are encouraged to design a project and see it through to achieve these changes. For example, students have cleaned up waterways and tested them for safety, developed instructional videos on using recycled waste, launched anti-bullying campaigns, built playgrounds, and removed waste from and planted barren fields. Open to elementary and middle schools from all regions of the country, all types of schools and students, over 10,300 Mexican students and teachers have ventured into the adventure of design change. 

In 2012, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation (Foundation) met Alfonso Romo, President of Fundación EducarUno, through Lex Mundi’s member firm for Mexico, Basham, Ringe y Correa. Given the success of the program in Mexico, Fundación EducarUno was looking to scale the innovative Diseña el Cambio competition throughout Latin America. As a first step in the expansion process, the Foundation was able to connect Alfonso with a number of Lex Mundi member firms eager to assist with critical pro bono assistance to trademark Diseña el Cambio in a number of key jurisdictions including: Panama, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru. 

The Lex Mundi member firm for Panama, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega (ARIFA), has provided pro bono legal trademark assistance to Fundación EducarUno. Handling all of the trademark registrations, including a comprehensive search of the trademarks available for registration. In addition to the registration process, ARIFA generously provides ongoing trademark monitoring services in the event that any future applications filed are identical or similar to Fundación EducarUno’s marks which will require defense. And, the firm stands ready to assist with additional pro bono assistance as the organization begins to establish its program in the country. Sandra Rivera of Fundación EducarUno commented: “Ileana del C. Martinelli and her colleagues at ARIFA were great! They provided wonderful legal counsel as we take the first steps in our Latin America expansion. It has been wonderful to see the willingness of ARIFA, and so many other Lex Mundi member firms in the region, to support our work.” Fundación EducarUno and their Diseña el Cambio program highlight the power and impact that the Lex Mundi network of firms can have to help innovative social entrepreneurs in Latin America and around the world help to change lives and communities.