World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated today, on April 26.. This date was chosen by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to increase people’s awareness of Intellectual Property issues, such as trademarks, patents, copyright, and its influence on daily life. This year, the WIPO highlights the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises to the economy and how the use of intellectual property rights helps build stronger and more competitive businesses.1
In Brazil, we use intellectual property rights to protect trademarks and industrial designs, to register patents, to license software in technology contracts, and many other activities.
Among the current debates on the subject in the country, we can mention Direct Unconstitutionality Action n. 5529, which discusses the constitutionality of art. 40, the sole paragraph of the Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279/1996) that establishes different deadlines for the validity of patents, depending on the delay in analyzing the application by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). The Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the plaintiff of the lawsuit, argues that the sole paragraph of the article harms the production of generic drugs and, therefore, it affects public health. Other parties in the proceeding argue that there is no unconstitutionality in the rule that merely defines the minimum term of protection for the inventor. On April 7, Reporting Minister Dias Toffoli granted an injunction, as requested by the PGR, suspending the application of the sole paragraph only for future patents on medications and health products. The case is scheduled for trial on April 28, and this will be the first opportunity, in which the Supreme Court can take a stand on the subject of intellectual property. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion of health care access makes the decision on patent rights even more important.
Our office has a specialized team that deals with various intellectual property issues, such as the registration of national and international trademarks before the INPI, the analysis of software license agreements, legal opinions and articles, among others. Click here to learn more.