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Friday 17 September 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Will ‘pewter craft’ be the next Brazilian GI?

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On September 15, the Associação dos Artesãos de Peças em Estanho de São João del-Rei (Associations of Artisans of Pewter) requested at the Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI) to register the name ‘Sao Joao del Rei’ for pewter craft as a GI.

Pewter craft in this Brazilian territory goes back to the 1960s. The members of the Association claim to retain the traditional method of production. Accompanying the form for registration, the Association submitted a survey from the Federal University of Sao Joao del Rei (UFSJ) which certified on the historical-cultural identity of the basic production of this ‘artisanal mining’. The Association also organized producers, gathered all necessary documentation and formed a technical regulation.

The INPI does not clarify whether the IG implication is a Denomination of Origin or an Indication of Source. However, it is evident the growing interest in Brazil in protecting its national products. Brazil has already granted seven Indications of Source and one Denomination of Origen to national products. There is also some pending ones, such as: three applications in the form of Designation of Origin (DO)for stones; one application for Vale dos Vinhedos (as a DO – it already posses an Indication of Source).

If registered, it will be the second GI for non agricultural products granted by the INPI. The first and only one at the moment is ‘Vale dos Sinos’ for finished leather.

For some background on the case click here to see a power point presentation by Antonio Polastri, Comissão de Propriedade Intelectual, Universidade Federal de São João del Rei.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia