Trademark "Cupuaçu" cancelled in Japan


The campaign against bio-piracy, initiated by the Brazilian NGO Amazonlink.org, obtained an important victory against the appropriation and monopolization of Amazonian resources. On March 1st, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) in Tokyo decided to cancel the trademark Cupuaçu. Cupuaçu (pronounced "coo poo uh sue") is the name of an Amazonian fruit and was registered as a trademark in Japan by the company Asahi Foods.

The JPO examiners agreed entirely with the arguments brought forward by Amazonlink, GTA, APA Flora and other partners. The lawyer of the campaign Adriana Vicentin (law office Trench, Rossi & Watanabe) informs that this decision cannot be invalidated by any other administrative measure. "But it is important to state that Asahi Foods can appeal in the period of thirty days via the ´Tokyo High Court´, counted from date of receiving the decision."

"This is not simply about the cancellation of a trademark. The Cupuaçu case has become a landmark in the formation of Amazonian and Brazilian civil societys self-assertion and capacity to act." says Michael Schmidlehner, president of Amazonlink. "Another important aspect is that this lawsuit and the campaign has given us the opportunity alert communities and broadcast information and clarifications about biopiracy in general." stated Schmidlehner.

Last week, the Japanese Patent Office already rejected a patent request for the production of Cupuaçu chocolate (Cupulate), requested by Asahi Foods.