Monday, 6 July 2009

Vale dos Sinos recognised as a protected geographical indication

It is estimated that Brazilian leather industry represents a US$ 2 billion business and currently employs approximately 65,000 persons. Today Brazil produces nearly 45 million processed leather goods annually. Vale dos Sinos, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (southern Brazil), accounts for 40% of this production.

Last month, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) recognized Vale dos Sinos as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for finished leather. This is the first PGI for non-agricultural products registered in Brazil.

The BPTO has already declared as local PGIs (i) Vale dos Vinhedos (in Rio Grande do Sul) for wines, (ii) Região do Cerrado Mineiro (in Minas Gerais) for coffee, (iii) Pampa Gaúcho da Campanha Meridional (in Rio Grande do Sul) for bovine meat and derivatives and (iv) Paraty (in Rio de Janeiro) for Aguardentes, tipo cachaça e aguardente composta azulada, a distilled beverage obtained from the sugar cane.

In the same track goes Vale do Submédio São Francisco, approved in the meantime by the BPTO as a PGI for grapes and mangos. At this moment, there are now seven Geographical Indications applications pending at the BPTO ranging from coffee, water to electronic equipments.

The use of Geographical Indications for designating local produces has caught the attention of the Brazilian people and it appears that the success of Vale dos Vinhedos for wines (this being the first national PGI, granted in 2002) and the economic benefits generated by the growth rate of tourists in the region between 2002 and 2007 (almost 170%) is one of the reasons for the steady increase of GIs in Brazil.

Posted by Jeremy on behalf of Jorge Miguel Arruda da Veiga, Di Blasi, Parente, Vaz e Dias & Associados

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