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Brazil protects a gem business – literally!


The Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propriedad Industrial (INPI) announced this week the granting of a geographical indication (GI) in the form of Indicação de Procedência ( Indication of Source/Origin) to ‘opalas preciosas’ (opal gem) and jewelery produced from these semi-precious stones in the town Pedro II situated in the state of Piauí in the Northeast region of Brazil. According to INPI from the date of the notification the local council has a period of 60 days to pay the fee for issuance of the certificate and thus ensure the formalization of the whole process.

The municipality of Pedro II has the only reservation of prime quality opal in the country. Australia and Brazil form the primary sources of opal in the world.

The TRIPs Agreement sets up the standard of protection in the area of IP and in regard to GI it defines it as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.” (Art 22). What is of importance here is that the TRIPs grants this figure to ANY good and so, we are not talking about the common wine and/or foodstuff but we are talking about other things such as art, craft, stones, shoes, and well now gems! There is indeed so much sense of geographical origin about this last one, don’t you agree? [literally – no man made or manipulated, but just brought by the territory/land/earth ]

GI does improve marketing because it differentiates it more successfully from competitors and I particular see the protection of many products under this figure as one of the best way to publicize a country. I feel so happy that I should get and buy one, any sponsors?

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