IP News brought Into Focus
Issue 2, Volume 2
BRAZILIAN BIODIVERSITY CORNERSTONE
Since May 20, 2015, Brazil has a new law that deals with access and use of the Brazilian genetic assets and traditional knowledge, known as Biodiversity Legal Cornerstone (Law no. 13,123 of May 20, 2015). The bill approved by Brazilian Congress and sanctioned by the President was acclaimed by entities representing the traditional communities, as well as by the industry, because it clarifies the limits for researches and uses of plant and animal genetic material and traditional knowledge. The law also governs financial and non-financial compensations to and division of benefits between traditional communities whose knowledge and genetic resources will be used by third parties. Local manufacturers of products that use resources protected by the said law will be directly responsible to provide such compensations. In case of products or processes used by companies headquartered abroad, their local distributors or subsidiaries will bear such compensations. Concerning Intellectual Property rights, the law brings significant changes in relation to the protection of “creole seeds”, defined as seeds whose genetic improvement was introduced in a traditional manner through the intervention of traditional communities. The law also establishes that Intellectual Property rights for processes or products that use any of the resources protected by it will only be obtained if a specific governmental authorization is given. The law is now awaiting for regulation that will dispose how it will be duly applied by the concerned governmental bodies.