Newsletter Edition 14 - May 2020


Compulsory Licensing in Patents

On May 20th, in the Summit: Intellectual Property and Society, promoted by the Brazilian Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and supported by ABPI, among other entities, ABPI’s vice president Gabriel Leonardos defended that Brazil does not need, due to the pandemic, new legislation to trigger the compulsory patent licensing device, as it already has the appropriate legal framework for that. “If the rules change, moving us away from international law, there will be legal uncertainty”, said Leonardos, in a debate with Fiocruz researcher Jorge Bermudez. The webinar, mediated by Henry Suzuki, dealt with PL (draft bill) 1.462/2020, on compulsory licensing when facing an emergency in public health, and the sole paragraph of Article 40 of the Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279/96), on the term for the utility model patent.

 The position defended by Leonardos is in line with the international treaties on the subject, of which Brazil is a part and, based on work developed by the Commission for Patent Studies, detailed in the letter sent in late April by ABPI to the Chamber of Deputies. “It is known that the current Brazilian legal framework already provides for measures related to patent compulsory licensing, including situations of national emergency, provided for in art. 71 of the IPL (Industrial Property Law), regulated by Decrees 3.201/1999 and 4.830/2003, which prove to be adequate and sufficient, with no need to change them”, emphasizes the document.

 In defending the convenience of PL 1.462/2020 Bermudez argued that the ordinance provided for in the current legislation for granting a compulsory license, case by case, would not meet the country’s emergency demand, given that in Brazil the pandemic is already responsible for 18 thousand deaths and has 271 thousand infected people. “In times of crisis, there is a situation of emergency”, he said, citing Canada, Germany, Israel, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru as countries that are adopting special compulsory licensing regimes for drug patents.