Newsletter 03 - June 2019


Biotechnology increases agricultural productivity

Thanks to biotechnology – which edits DNA code and creates new characteristics in plants – Brazil has increased agricultural productivity and is among the world’s largest producers. Since the 98/99 harvest the average productivity of soybean crops in Brazil has registered an annual growth rate of 2% and the country’s share in the global market jumped from 20% in 1998 to 44% in 2018. More: according to Celeres research company, the accumulated economic gains with soybeans until the 2017/2018 harvest totaled $20 billion. At least 50% of this gain is due to biotechnology.

These data were presented by Maria Isabel Bingemer, co-coordinator of the Plant Varieties Study Committee of the Brazilian Intellectual Property Association (ABPI), on June 12th, during a Public Hearing in the Federal Senate that discussed the “Importance of Government Policies of intellectual property in order to combat negative impacts on agribusiness”. According to ABPI’s co-coordinator, in Brazil the two laws that guarantee the intellectual protection of plant species, the Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279 / 96) and the Plant Variety Law (Law 9.456 / 97), coexist harmoniously, both complement each other and are aligned with the international treaties of which the country is a signatory”.

Strengthening the BPTO – For the professor and researcher Antonio Marcio Buainain, from Unicamp (University of Campinas), author of the study “Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development Challenges for Brazil” commissioned by ABPI, the agricultural sector has not benefited much from the mechanisms of intellectual protection given the sluggishness for patent analysis. “We cannot do without a strong educational system, and also a solid system of intellectual property protection that offers legal certainty. Therefore, we need to address two key issues: how to contribute to improving the legal framework of intellectual property and how to strengthen the BPTO”.

At ABPI’s Congress, the Biotechnology Study Committee meeting will discuss the new biotech patent examination guidelines.