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Peru: identifying, preventing and avoiding biopiracy


In a recent event, the Peruvian National Institute for the Free Competence and Intellectual Property (INDECOPI), Hebert Tassano Velaochaga, has highlighted the work of officials of different entities working on the National Anti-biopiracy Commission.

Mr Herbert pointed out that Peru is the world leader in the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, since there is no other country that has a special commission which has been set up to just identify and track biopiracy. He noted that countries such as Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia are interested in replicating this Peruvian experience.

The National Anti-Biopiracy Commission was “created by law on 1 May 2004 and is responsible for identifying, preventing and avoiding biopiracy related to biological resources of Peruvian origin and the collective knowledge of the indigenous peoples of our country.” The news goes on to observe that the said Commission “is attached to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and is chaired by INDECOPI. It is also made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), Ministry of Environment (MINAM), Commission for the Promotion of Peru (PROMPERU), National Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture (Ex INRENA) ...the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA), International Potato Center (CIP), National Intercultural Health Center (CENSI), National Institute of Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples (INDEPA), Assembly National Rectors (ANR), Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA), representing NGOs and the Peruvian Institute of Natural Products (IPPN).”

The news came after the National Anti-Biopiracy Commission has reported 19 cases of biopiracy. So far, it has managed to stop 11 of them. For example, it managed to have invalidated six patents related to ‘maca’ registered in Japan, Korea and Europe for the production of drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis, sleep disturbances, increased testosterone and as a food supplement. Moreover, it succeeded in having the patent filed in Japan, on the use of 'yacon' to treat diabetes, abandoned, as well as the patent on the use of 'pasuchaca'.

Source INPI.

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