You Can’t Patent Our Fruits, Warns Brazil

Brazil is negotiating with the United States and the European Union the possibility of accepting a list of Brazilian products ineligible for patents.

The list, which the government’s Inter-Ministerial Intellectual Property Group (GIPI) has been preparing for around a year and a half, could benefit such products as some Amazonian fruits that are unfamiliar to foreigners.


According to the president of the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI), Roberto Jaguaribe, the international community is not compelled to recognize the list.


But many countries could sign on, since “one of the basic rules of trademarks is not to accept the name of a product as its brand name.”


Moreover, he explains that these countries are reluctant to contribute to something that, at bottom, “will dupe their own consumers.”


The list, for which no deadline has yet been set, should also be submitted to Japan, where two multinationals, Asahi Foods and Cupuaçu International, got as far as patenting the cupuaçu, an Amazon fruit.


The registry was cancelled last year by the Japanese Copyright and Patent Office, following a series of Brazilian legal suits.


The cupuaçu fruit was registered in Japan in 1998, but Brazil only got wind of the patent four years later, when a candy manufacturers’ cooperative was prohibited from exporting products derived from the fruit of this name to Germany.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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