May 15, 2018
The Second Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court has recently decided that two images of the Virgin Mary were not equal. With this decision the Court put an end to an eight year litigation between Amparo Serrano Espinosa, whose image is titled as “Virgencita Plis” and Mercedes Gertz Loizaga, whose image is titled “Guadalupana Niña”.
The Court did not recognize the “Guadalupana Niña” as an original work, although it was registered at the National Institute of Author’s Rights. Amparo Serrano’s “Virgencita Plis” image was registered both at the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and the National Institute of Author’s Rights.
The Court’s decision established that the “Virgencita Plis” image did not copy the “Guadalupana Niña” image because each of them were created with different drawing techniques, styles, colors and details. By denying that both images are the same, the grounds for any infringement action filed against Amparo Serrano are void. The Court also recognized that both images were derivative works of the “Virgen de Guadalupe” image, which is an important icon for Catholics in Mexico. Finally, it was also decided that Mercedes Gertz has no right to an “idea” with respect the type of image created by her.
Amparo Serrano was represented by Arochi & Lindner during the eight years litigation.
The contested images are the following: