Newsletter Special Edition - 40th ABPI Congress - Day 4


ABPI Congress registered a record number of participants

The president of ABPI – Brazilian Intellectual Property Association, Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta, closed the 40th International Congress on Intellectual Property, announcing a record number of 1,223 participants from more than 30 countries in the event. In the four days of the congress, 107 speakers, 24 from abroad, debated “The Role of Intellectual Property in Digital Transformation” in 28 virtual rooms. In its first fully virtual version, with an average of 900 accesses per plenary and 600 connections in the panels, ABPI’s Congress confirmed its importance as the largest of its kind in Latin America. “This format worked very well and I invite everyone to the next congress, which I hope will be in person so that we can meet and socialize”, said Montaury Pimenta, in a plenary session that also counted with the participation of Megan Carpenter, Dean of University of New Hampshire School of Law, the president of the European Patent Office, Antonio Campinos, and the regional director of WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization – in Brazil, José Graça Aranha.

The Dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law addressed the challenges for intellectual property in global economic development. “We need to create systems that support innovation at a global level”, she said. “As lawyers, we can build a bridge to increase the capacity for innovation in agriculture, health, energy, and boost economic development”. For Megan Carpenter, it is necessary to think about intellectual property in an interdisciplinary way and establish global cooperation networks. “This congress highlighted the connections between the adjacent fields of IP, such as 5G technology, licensing, blockchain, and other forms of IP that are emerging compared to what we had previously”.

The president of the European Patent Office praised the efforts of the BPTO in its fight against the patent backlog, and the Brazilian government initiative to implement a National Intellectual Property Strategy, as it is being announced. Campinos also addressed the connection between intellectual property and the economy. According to him, the intensive use of IP in European companies accounts for 45% of European GDP and generates 84 million jobs. He explained that innovative companies cope better with adverse conditions and recover more quickly from economic crises. “Innovation makes them smarter and more sustainable and, with that, they will be able to better face the pandemic”, he said, adding that other challenges will come in the wake of new technologies. “What will change the game is artificial intelligence”.

In his speech, the regional director of WIPO in Brazil criticized the suspension of the effectiveness of the sole paragraph of art. 40, of the Industrial Property Law – IPL (Law 9.279/96), which ensures a minimum term of 10 years of validity of patents, after their grant by the BPTO – Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office. “There is no reason for this single paragraph to be removed when in Brazil it still takes eight years to grant a patent, while in other countries it takes two or three years”, stated Graça Aranha. For the WIPO representative, this delay explains why Brazil registers filing requests for 30,000 patents per year against 500,000 deposits from the United States and 2 million from China.

Regarding the withdrawal of the sole paragraph of art.40, Montaury Pimenta recalled that ABPI recently published a manifesto in a Brazilian newspaper of great circulation, positioning itself against the measure. “The norm that ensures minimum protection for granted patents guarantees predictability and legal certainty for companies that invest in the most diverse segments, including the production of generic drugs, as all market players are informed about the expiration of patents with a broad advance notice of 10 years”, says the manifesto. And it goes on: “In an ideal scenario, the commented norm should rarely be applied, as our law determines that the validity of patents must be of 20 years counted from the protocol, being only guaranteed at least 10 years after the concession. Now, it should suffice that the examination of patent applications by the BPTO is completed in less than 10 years, and then it would not be necessary to count the validity from the grant”.