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Is there a relationship between PVP Law and agribusiness?

In the field of intellectual property, it is common to think in trademarks, patents and computer programs as its great representatives. Although that is true, there is a specific area that are both agribusiness and IP subject we are required to understand: the cultivated variety, or just “cultivar”.

Brazilian IP Law bars the protection of natural living beings, in whole or in part, and biological material, when found in nature or isolated, from patent system. Such provision was an option for each signatory of both Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) and International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the UPOV Convention from 1978). In this regard, plant variety such as sugarcane, cotton, banana, orange and corn, whose harvests were particularly responsible for increase in 3,81% the Brazilian agrobusiness GDP in 2019, have a sui generis protection system.

The Brazilian Plant Variety Protection Law (Law No. 9,456/1997) regards several criteria in order to distinguish the cultivar use and reproduce from another kind of plant. To do so, the article 10 presents actions that are not deemed to be breeder’s right infringement. For instance, a person who stores and plants seeds for his/her own use on his/her premises or on the premises of third parties shall not be considered a PVP infringer. Using the plant as a source of variation in genetic improvement or in scientific research is another exception.

A special treatment is given to small rural producers (familiar agriculture), who are allowed to multiply seeds for donation or exchange in dealings exclusively with other small rural producers, under programs of financing or support authorised by the Government.

But such general provisions do not apply to the cultivation of sugarcane. A specific list of provisions regulates cultivar. The producer who wants to multiply vegetative propagating material, for example, is obliged to secure authorisation from the owner of the right to the plant variety, even for his/her own use. It does not apply just in case the rural property the producer has possession or ownership has less than four modules, according to Law No. 4,504/1964.

To regulate and manage applications for protection, Brazilian PVP Law established the National Plant Varieties Protection Service (SNPC), under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA). All responsibilities of this agency are listed at article 3 of Decree No. 2,366/1997, that implements regulations of the Plant Variety Protection Law.

Under article 9 of UPOV Convention, Brazilian PVP Law provides restrictions in the exercise of breeder’s right in two main cases: compulsory license and restricted public use.

The first restriction ensures the availability of the plant variety on the market, at reasonable prices, when the maintenance of a regular supply is being unduly hampered by the title holder. Any part having legitimate interest may request this measure if there is evidence that the requester has attempted, unsuccessfully, to obtain a voluntary license from the holder of the cultivar.

Conversely, the second restriction is declared ex officio by the MAPA, based on a technical opinion issued by the competent agencies. Article 36 of Brazilian PVP Law allows restricted public use declaration in case of national emergency, abuse of economic power or other circumstances of extreme urgency. The cultivar may be exploited directly by the Federal Union or by third parties designed by it.

According to article 6 of the law its provisions also applies to applications for PVP originating abroad and filed within the country by a natural or legal person whose protection is ensured by a treaty effective in Brazil. It is important to note that the person domiciled abroad shall appoint and maintain an agent with power of attorney domiciled in Brazil to represent him/her in dealings with the SNPC.

In addition, the term of protection under Brazilian law is basically the minimum settled at UPOV Convention: fifteen years. For vines and fruit, forest and ornamental trees, including their rootstock, the period is eighteen years. Both periods begin in the date of grant of the Provisional Certificate of Protection issued by SNPC, and at the end of such term the cultivar shall pass into the public domain.

The law also ensures that any person who infringes the rights of a protected plant variety shall be bound to indemnify the title holder as well as shall be deemed guilty of the crime of infringement of the rights of the breeder.

The increasing of agricultural activities depends on plant variety protection for planting and harvesting. Consequentially, nowadays intellectual property has a tight relationship and is becoming a more and more important issue for agribusiness.

Dentons launches combination with Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena

Dentons has launched its combination with Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena, a leader in the Argentine legal market, positioning Dentons as the largest global law firm in the country. In Argentina, the office will be branded as Dentons Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena. Dentons now has more offices in all of Latin America and the Caribbean than any other law firm, making it the first truly Pan-Latin American and the Caribbean law firm.

“Dentons’ launch in Argentina enables us to meet client needs in another priority market for our clients,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons. “We can now connect our clients to our leading talent at Dentons Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena as well to our 19,000+ people in 183 locations and 75 countries around the globe.”

“Dentons’ polycentric strategy has seen the Firm scale its presence to 24 countries across the Latin America and the Caribbean region,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “Despite the current challenges created by Covid-19, Dentons continues to execute its strategy to scale the firm through virtual combinations with leading law firms like Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena and is now present in virtually all of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

“Since entering the region in 2016, Dentons has combined with elite firms across Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Jorge Alers, Latin America and the Caribbean Region CEO of Dentons. “Argentina has a number of exceptional legal service providers, but Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena stood out for its leadership and innovative and forward-looking thinking. This new launch means we can now connect clients to market-leading talent in Argentina and the whole of the Americas.”

Less than 15 years since its foundation, Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena became a highly recognised leader in practice areas such as Corporate and M&A, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Banking and Finance, Compliance and Anticorruption, Government Relations, Infrastructure, Labour Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Pharmaceuticals and Tax.

“We are very proud and terribly excited with this distinction. As part of Dentons, our Buenos Aires office will now have at hand’s reach all of the knowledge, talent, best practices and state-of-the-art technology to better support our clients, allowing them to do business throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and, quite literally, in any other place of the world,” said Michael R. Rattagan, who in 2005 co-founded Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena.

So far in 2020, Dentons has launched Dentons Bingham Greenebaum and Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, the first step in forming a truly national law firm in the United States as part of Dentons’ “Project Golden Spike,” Dentons Kensington Swan in New Zealand, Dentons Lee in South Korea and Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga in Uruguay, and opened an office in St. Lucia.

Dentons names Michael Zolandz to head its Washington DC office

Dentons has announced the appointment of Michael Zolandz as managing partner of its Washington DC office. Zolandz chairs Dentons’ Federal Regulatory and Compliance practice, and is a key leader in the firm’s Global Public Policy and Regulation and Government practices. He has focused on creative solutions to clients’ most challenging regulatory and commercial issues. His practice has focused on cross-border commerce, including regulatory investigations, trade and export controls, and anti-corruption due diligence.

Zolandz also advises clients on cross-border transactions and regulations related to international commerce, including inbound foreign investment reviews under the jurisdiction of CFIUS. He has developed and enhanced compliance programs and conducted regulatory investigations and remediation of trade control and anti-corruption matters for many of the Firm’s largest clients, as well multinational companies across industry sectors throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and US.

“Mike is an outstanding lawyer and strong leader whose collaborative team-oriented approach to client service will be a tremendous asset to our strategy in the Washington, DC market and serve as a model to the lawyers in that office,” said Mike McNamara, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons US. “DC is a key office in the US region, and the exceptional lawyers here are working on some of the most complex and exciting projects of the Firm. Mike is a highly-regarded leader inside the Firm and in the global legal community, and under his guidance the office will continue to flourish.”

Zolandz has also counseled on campaign finance and ethics law, lobbying disclosure requirements and pay-to-play restrictions, including the formation and management of federal and state political action committees, Securities and Exchange Commission and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules related to investment advisors, and compliance programs for both lobbying disclosure and political activity. His experience also includes advising and counseling US technology developers and software companies, a Global 500 insurance company, leading financial institutions, an international cellular conglomerate, Indian and Chinese corporations, and a multinational energy company.

A prolific writer he has written articles for Law360, Global Trade, WorldECR Report and Westlaw Journal. He has also given presentations for the American Bar Association, the Economic Sanctions and Financial Crime Forum (London), the Annual CLE Seminar for In-House Counsel and Thomson Reuters Accelus. Zolandz earned his JD and BA from George Washington University, with high honors and cum laude, respectively.

Norton Rose advises consortium of banks on $500m bond issuance

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Dubai (DIFC) Branch, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Société Générale as joint lead managers on a US$500 million bond issuance by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC.

The notes are due February 2025 and were issued off Emirates NBD Bank PJSC’s $12,500,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme, which was updated in July 2019 and on which Norton Rose Fulbright also advised.

The Dubai-based Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by head of debt capital markets for the Middle East, Gregory Man, with assistance from senior associate, Ganna Vlasenko.

Gregory Man commented: “We are proud to have been involved in this transaction. This deal builds on Norton Rose Fulbright’s track record of advising on notable bond transactions in the region and once again provided us with the opportunity to represent many of our leading financial institutions clients.”

About Norton Rose Fulbright

We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3,700 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg.

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Jorge Jiménez to join Dentons’ Global Board

Jorge Jiménez has been appointed as a member of Dentons’ Global Board.

Jiménez, a partner in Dentons’ Mexico office with significant Energy and Natural Resources and Manufacturing practices, has been focussed on fostering connection and integration in Dentons’ fast-growing Latin America and the Caribbean region.

“I am delighted to be joining my talented colleagues from around the globe in helping Dentons to continue to challenge the status quo to serve clients better,” said Jorge Jiménez.

“Our Global Board members work together in the critical role of driving innovation and delivering value to our clients,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons. “Jorge understands the importance of collaboration and connection, and will no doubt make a valuable contribution in helping the Global Board to meet its agenda.”

“Our polycentric approach means that all Dentons’ regions have a voice on the Global Board,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons. “Jorge will make a strong addition to the Global Board and help to drive the continued success of our Latin America and the Caribbean region and the Firm.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.dentons.com/

Argentina Trademarks non-use Cancellation and Invalidation actions

On October 10, 2019, Resolution No. 279/2019 was published in the Official Bulletin establishing the administrative procedures for the non-use cancellation and invalidation actions in connection with trademarks, as well as the applicable official fees.

This new procedure shall be in force in sixty (60) days as from the date of the publication of this resolution:

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Focused on IP

With more than 30 years of experience in the handling of IP portfolios for domestic and international clients in Argentina and Latin America, our lawyers, industrial property agents and select network of engineers and technical professionals, bring together their broad backgrounds and experiences in different disciplines and industries to work closely as a team representing international, regional and local companies in trademarks, patents, utility models, designs, copyright, software, domain names, transfer of technology, franchising, licensing and related matters.

Wholly responsive to clients needs based on the firms large local and international IP experience and expertise, in order to satisfy the IP community requirements in a new scenario of a globalised world following the premises of reliability, quality, efficient action, adaptability to price tailoring and flexibility, with equal emphasis in customised and personalised services.

The firm handles clients of different areas: food, winery, technology and telecommunications, pharmaceutical, entertainment, clothing and textile; among others.

The broad experience of O’Conor & Power’s team in the management of local and international IP portfolios in Argentina and in the region, makes O’C & P a superior “one stop resource”, as Latin American increasingly factors into the world economy.

We are also qualified to protect and enforce clients IP interests through transactions, dispute resolutions, litigation, border enforcement measures and unfair competition related actions.

Our professionals and staff regularly participate in seminars and conferences nationally and internationally, thus keeping updated on the latest IP legal developments in Argentina, Latin America and throughout the world.