With the change in administration for the 2023 to 2026 mandate, some predictions were already being made about how Brazilian IP would be affected, with particular attention on the INPI (the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office), which is the central body in the definition of policies and procedures of this sector.
Because it is a federal public authority, the INPI has traditionally undergone changes with each exchange of presidential mandate, starting with its leaders. Within a few days of the new administration, it became clear that the then President of the institution, Dr. Claudio Vilar Furtado, and other board members, would be relieved of their posts.
Replacing Mr. Furtado, Mr. Julio Cesar Moreira has been appointed as provisional President of the INPI as of January 17th, 2023.
Mr. Moreira holds a degree in Chemical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Petroleum Science and Engineering and a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology. Since 1998 he has been a Researcher in Industrial Property at the INPI and from June 2011 to June 2018 he served as the Director of Patents at the INPI. In his last role, Mr. Moreira used to be the Director of Administration of that autarchy.
In addition, during the first week of 2023, members of the new administration spoke about the first changes related to the INPI, which now ceases to be part of the Ministry of Economy and becomes part of the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services (MDIC), under Decree 11.340/23, headed by the Vice President and Minister Geraldo Alckmin.
The MDIC will be responsible for issues such as industrial policy and green economy, those related to micro and small enterprises and trade defense, foreign trade, industrial property, and metrology.
The process of appointing leaders of the INPI requires approval by the Legislative Power, through the National Congress, in turn providing legal certainty.
On future policies, in his inaugural address on January 4 2023, Alckmin stressed the importance of reindustrialisation of the country. According to the Vice President, the manufacturing industry today represents “only 11% of Brazilian GDP and accounts for 69% of all research and development investment.”
In talks with the pharmaceutical sector, Alckmin said he will announce measures to reduce the time required to process a patent application in the INPI by less than half.
In turn, the Industry, Trade and Service Working Group had already held a meeting with the press on 7 December 2022, in which Alckmin highlighted the importance of the INPI’s financial autonomy and its impact on the efficiency of the institution, with the prediction that this change would eliminate the backlog once and for all.
The current Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had already shown support for the INPI in his former mandates.
Therefore, the creation of incentives for innovation, research and development of the country in its new management can all be expected, gestures that would perfectly accommodate the plan to reindustrialize the country, as Alckmin emphasised.
By way of background, Brazil has already implemented the National Industrial Property Strategy (ENPI), with the following progress having been made previously: the accession to the Madrid Protocol and the Hague Agreement; notorious advances in the backlog in the examination of patents; diverse partnerships signed with industrial property institutes in various countries; the patent examination acceleration program (PPH), among other relevant initiatives.
In conclusion, to date, the steps taken by the new administration, in combination with the context of the ENPI and other relevant aspects listed here, provide us with good prospects for intellectual property in Brazil, with clear possibilities that it will continue to evolve, and consolidate its position of relevance, especially among developing countries.
We will continue to follow the topic closely to keep you informed.
Note: This article was first published on the Daniel Law website.
Daniel Law states: the comments of this text are not legal advice and should not be used as such. They reflect the opinion of Daniel Law experts and are subject to inaccuracies inherent in the current political scenario. Please contact our experts for advice on any of the issues raised.