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Guest post: ASIPI debates IP in agriculture

During two days of work in the Paraguayan capital, the Inter American Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI) gathered experts in the field. By Natalia Nogues

ASIPI stage

The seminar, declared of national interest by the Paraguayan Senate (Resolution 56 of March 12 2015), began on March 17 at sunset with the Opening Ceremony of this new meeting which brought together knowledge and networking.

Juan Vanrell, president of ASIPI, emphasised in his opening words the reasons why the topic of agriculture was chosen for this seminar. He stressed the importance of agriculture in Paraguay, both in its economy and the livelihood of its people.

After the ceremony, a cocktail was held at the Gran Salon of the Sheraton Asunción Hotel, where the seminar took place.

Panel discussions

From Monday morning, panels began offering the audience varied themes and workshops for participants.

The first panel, Intellectual Property Strategies in Agricultural Companies, raised the importance of IP protection for agricultural and agro-chemical companies whose technological development and innovation are engines of development in recent years.

The system of legal protection of plant varieties and biotechnological inventions applied to plants was the second topic in the debate and raised the issue of the need for the legal system of intellectual protection of plant varieties to have a different scope than the patent law.

On the afternoon of the first day a mediation workshop took place where panellists spoke about mediation as a necessary skill in today’s world of conflict resolution. During four hours they put within reach of lawyers and clients the basics of mediation, including its benefits, the process and how it differs from litigation and arbitration.

ASIPI audience

And after a long day of sharing knowledge and networking, the evening activity took place at the exclusive event centre Las Hortensias, hosted by local law firms.

Tuesday began with a panel on Agricultural trade marks: protection and defence strategies, where the discussion of regional jurisprudence conflicts between different kinds of agrochemicals and experience of protecting them was presented.

The defence of competition in the agri-food sector was the topic of the second panel. It dealt with the leeway to make the food industry more competitive.

The morning of the second day ended with a presentation on The importance of test data in the agrochemical industry. There the analysis of triple-agrochemicals concatenation between agriculture and protection of test data was highlighted.

Designations of origin and geographical indications: The case Ka'a He'e (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) expanded on the analysis of the findings of scientist Moises Bertoni in 1887 when he identified the "sweet herb" that would later be called KA'A He'e (stevia rebaudiana Bertoni), which revolutionised the development of the sugar and sweeteners sector.

The academic sessions culminated in the evening with a workshop on drafting claims for chemical-agricultural patents. Panellists raised the criteria for correct technical wording of the claims of a patent application of a chemical-agricultural product.

The seminar provided both an academic contribution and social activity, culminating with a closing dinner at the luxurious Bourbon Conmebol Convention Hotel of Asuncion.

The enjoyment and exchange between partners was highlighted once again as in all ASIPI events.

The Association continues working to organise the event that will gather us again in December, in the beautiful Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias.

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