Newsletter Edition 19 - November 2020


Brazilian government institutes innovation by decree

First, the Interministerial Group on Intellectual Property (GIPI) was revitalized in July last year, and then, followed the announcement of a Public Consultation to implement a National Intellectual Property Strategy. Last October, with the institution by decree of a National Innovation Policy (PNI) headed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications (MCTIC), the government made clear its willingness to play an important role in intellectual property as a master tool for development. Therefore, it will not be for lack of initiatives like this, as happens in developed countries, that innovation in Brazil will not take off.

Decree No. 10,534 was published at the end of October and instituted the National Innovation Policy, containing at least five distinct items on intellectual property: the establishment of a national IP system; the reassessment of IP in Brazil; the formulation of a national IP strategy, the stimulation of the internationalization of Brazilian IP and the simplification of patent application processes. And according to Article 1, its purpose is to “guide, coordinate and articulate strategies, programs and actions to foster innovation in the productive sector, to stimulate the increase in productivity and competitiveness of companies and other institutions that generate innovation in Brazil”.

The National Innovation Policy seeks to respond to historical problems, notably the low level of innovation of Brazilian companies and the lack of government coordination to deal with the problem. To operationalize the initiative, the same decree also instituted the Innovation Chamber, an instance chaired by the Civil House with the participation of 10 ministries. The Chamber will have the function of approving the Strategy and Action Plans, in addition to defining the government’s priorities for action on the topic.

The five purposes of innovation in the field of intellectual property are more than welcome, but especially for ABPI, the stimulus to the internationalization of Brazilian IP is a bottleneck to be overcome promptly in order to unblock the system. It is a fact that Brazil’s recent accession to the Madrid Protocol and participation in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) represent major advances in the country’s integration into the international intellectual property system, but there are still obstacles to innovation. The president of ABPI, Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta, points out “the high taxes that the Brazilian entrepreneur has to pay to send payment abroad regarding the fees of lawyers in each country for advising on the registration of trademarks and patents”.

The simplification of patent processes is also on ABPI’s urgent agenda despite the undeniable efforts made by the current BPTO administration to improve the system, such as the elimination of the patent backlog and the reduction of exam deadlines. However, according to Montaury Pimenta, there are obstacles in Brazilian legislation that prevent the system from flowing, such as ANVISA’s (National Health and Surveillance Agency) prior consent to grant a patent for pharmaceutical products and processes. “This only delays the processing of the patent application, and ANVISA does not have the function of examining patentability of medicines”, says ABPI’s president.