Transfer Pricing Associates

Brazil too slow in approving patents

post Tuesday July 24, 2012


In the 1990’s, the acronym “BRIC” was given to Brazil, Russia, India and China coining their remarkable current and expected economic growth. Among the four countries, Brazil’s exponential economic growth has been the most significant. Also, the country’s IP enforcements and infrastructure have grown considerably. However, the fast growth in the IP sector fueled by many governmental incentives does not occur smoothly. Despite Brazil’s high rate of patent application, it has one of the lowest patent grant rates in the world.

The patent-grant-rate is defined as the number of patents that have been granted, divided by the number of patents that have been filed, given as a percentage. This has caused a great accumulation of patents to be reviewed and granted: over 150,000 patent applications further slowed down by the current conversion time of 8 to 10 years. Brazil is one of the top 15 of the world’s larger producers of scientific research, further hindering the patent process.

The number of trademark filings have gone up by 200% from 2009 to 2011, where most filings were in the consumer products, pharmaceuticals and news/entertainment industries.  Due to the large number of trademark applications, the process of obtaining trademarks has greatly slowed.  

Brazil has a unique set of rules governing trademarks requires companies to shift their filing strategies. The government has also made efforts to prevent trademark squatters from making profits off of known brands, by only allowing those filing for a trademark to actually be in that respective field of business.

Brazil’s weak venture capital system and slow growth private equity markets decrease the ability of the country to internally spur innovation and product development. It is imperative as the country grows it focuses on developing a strong capital system.

Efforts to address slowing patent growth and spur innovation are currently underway.

Source: Intellectual Asset Management, Woodrow Wilson International School of Scholars

Image Source: World Intellectual Property Organization

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