A special U.S. issued report explores Argentine IP field
By Noelia Cueva
In June, the United States Trade Representative´s Office (USTR) issued an official report entitled “Special 301 Report,” which highlighted the different problems that both U.S. Government and companies experience in several countries, including Argentina.
In this regard, the USTR not only questioned resolution 283/2015 issued by the Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) – which introduced changes in the patenting guidelines– but also made a special reference to the limitations in patent technological innovations based on living matter and substances.The project “Special 301 Report” was aimed at amending the Seed and Phytogenetic Plant Breeding Law (Law 20.247), brought to Congress by the Argentine Government, was also criticized by USTR.
The Seeds Law, which dates from 1973, contemplates that the producer can do without limitation to the private use, the figure that allows him to keep as seed part of the crop in order to return it to sow.
As Law 20.247 does not take into consideration the new productive realities, the Argentine Government’s proposal states that large producers would have to pay additional sums for three campaigns following the purchase (in terms of intellectual property) if they maintain the same crop area. Should a fourth campaign take place, they would be exempt from payment if they have not expanded the number of cultivated hectares.
Despite the Argentine government’s well-intentioned project to balance the rights of producers and patent owners, the USTR believes that they may adversely affect the recognition of intellectual property rights. Nonetheless, the USTR expects tangible results, creating a more attractive environment for investment and innovation.