With the goal of conducting an IP audit of Colombia’s agriculture-related IP, three DLA Piper lawyers, under the guidance of partner Lisa Haile and International Pro Bono Counsel Kristen Abrams, recently visited Bogotá.
Pamela Bechtel, Tiffany Nichols and Eduardo Blanco, accompanied by R. Mark Davis of Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA), also sought to identify Colombian agricultural innovations which are not being protected by patents and may have export value.
While in Colombia, the team met with the Superintendent of the Patent Office and the Director of Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario, which regulates Colombia’s Plant Registry, as well as with government-funded researchers and university researchers.
Their research was part of a project being carried out by New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s nonprofit affiliate dedicated to global pro bono work, in partnership with PIIPA. The project’s aim is not only to help identify agricultural innovations in Colombia but also to stimulate use of Colombia’s patent system. The project is currently in its second and final stage, and includes interviewing researchers and government officials in Medellín, Cali and Cartagena.
Ultimately, the project will release a report outlining the results of the patent audit, to be presented at a conference of CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger while protecting natural resources in developing countries.