Bacardi and its yeast, a tale of exiled IP?

It’s not often an IP story comes along that reads more like a film script, but here’s one!  It’s the tale of how a yeast strain, one of Bacardi’s biggest assets for its rum production, left the country during Cuba’s Communist nationalisation program in the 60s.  It’s quite a read…

For the full story:
Bacardi, and its yeast, await a return to Cuba

3 responses to “Bacardi and its yeast, a tale of exiled IP?

  1. Fascinating story – thanks! This goes to the very heart of so much IP (the recipe for Coca Cola, for example) that is a major asset to the businesses that control the rights and the knowledge. An example we came across recently is a high-yielding non-shatering sesame seed controlled by a Texas-based company, Sesaco. To buy this seed from any of the company’s agents, a contract with Sesaco must be in force.

  2. @Peter; having littl4e better to do, I went looking for the patent, and found it here

    What intrigues me is the complexity of the pedigree, given in Fig 1. Each of those lines is described in the Patent. In your opinion, is the patent deserved? And couldn’t another breeder find a different source for non-shattering? Or does the patent cover all non-shattering sesame varieties?

  3. I’m not a germplasm or a patent expert, but I do know that a) thousands of patents have been granted for “inventions” that were NOT novel, and b) Sesaco’s patent appears to be very solid. There are, however, other non-shattering sesame varieties and I’m actually in the process of trying to nail down how many, where they are and – more to the point – if indeed there are any in the public domain. Your last question – for which many thanks, Jeremy – is a very good one and I’m now going to get some expert input on that!

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