ABPI goes to court for BPTO’s financial autonomy
At the beginning of September, ABPI joined the 31st Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro with a Public Civil Action (ACP) aiming to ensure the financial autonomy of the BPTO (Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office). The ACP is based on the vote of Minister Dias Toffoli, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), who, in the judgment of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 5529, highlighted that the excessive delay in the examination of patents due to lack of investment by the government in the institute would have been preponderant in the discussion, by the STF, of the single paragraph of art. 40 of the Brazilian IPL. “Minister Dias Toffoli’s vote was decisive for ABPI to take this initiative, seeking to make the BPTO’s much-desired financial and administrative autonomy viable”, said the president of ABPI, Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta.
The judgment that considered the sole paragraph of Article 40 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Law 9,279/96) unconstitutional – which provided for the extension of the patent validity period due to the delay in the analysis of examinations by the BPTO, once again brought up the issue of the institute’s inefficiency. With a surplus but without control over its revenue, the BPTO does not have the resources to invest effectively in productivity, hire servers, outsource services and leverage its IT system. The result is that, for more than two decades, it has been dragging a backlog of patents and taking an average of more than eight years to grant a patent, while similar international offices take less than half that time.
The BPTO’s financial autonomy is an old ABPI banner and, recently, at the first meeting of the GIPI (Interministerial Group on Intellectual Property), it was defended by ABPI’s president and its vice president, Gabriel Leonardos. Even the current administration of the institute is in favor, as stated in the ACP: “Please support us politically in our demand for the great independence that the BPTO needs today. We do need financial autonomy”, said the president of the institute, Cláudio Furtado, in his participation in ABPI’s 41st International Congress on Intellectual Property. ABPI’s action was praised by a former BPTO president, Paulo Afonso Pereira. “Congratulations on the initiative. The BPTO will only be fully effective if it has applied what is in article 239 of the IPLI, I speak with in-depth knowledge of the cause”, he commented.
Read the ACP on ABPI’s website.