Brazilian IP Landscape: Why Startups Should Choose It
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Unlocking Growth: Why Startups Should Choose Brazil’s IP Landscape

By Louis Lozouet, Venturini IP

 

In today’s dynamic global economy, startups face the daunting task of navigating the intricate landscape of intellectual property (IP) strategy to secure their foothold in diverse market environments. Among the myriad destinations available, Brazil stands out as an increasingly compelling choice, with its burgeoning innovation ecosystem and evolving IP laws offering a fertile ground for growth and expansion. In a recent discourse among IP experts, Louis from Venturini IP shed light on the distinct requirements, programs, and advantages awaiting those venturing into the Brazilian IP market.

Content

 

1. Why Opt for the Brazilian Market?

2. Specialized Requirements and Programs

3. International Interest in Brazilian IP

4. Challenges and Strategies

5. Recommendations for Startups

6. Venturini IP: Pioneering Innovation and Collaboration

7. Conclusion

1. Why Opt for the Brazilian Market?

 

Brazil has made significant strides in fortifying its innovation framework through regulatory reforms and incentives aimed at fostering research and development (R&D) collaborations. Various initiatives, such as tax incentives for innovation and legislative milestones emphasizing the importance of fostering innovative activities, create an environment conducive to experimentation and advancement. Furthermore, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BRPTO) has undertaken substantial efforts to address patent backlogs and streamline examination procedures, thereby facilitating a smoother path to IP protection. Programs like the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreements with foreign Patent and Trademark Offices around the world, as well as the green patent fast track exemplify Brazil’s commitment to expediting patent examination processes, particularly for technologies with environmental benefits. The BRPTO is on track to join the world’s leading IP offices.

2. Specialized Requirements and Brazilian IP Programs

 

One of the hallmarks of Brazil’s IP landscape is the BRPTO´s tailored approach to accommodate the diverse needs of innovators across different sectors. When it comes to trademarks, Brazil joined and implemented the Madrid Protocol for the International Trademark Application in 2019, and at the end of 2023 implemented the Hague Agreement concerning the International Design System. Moreover, the country offers an array of programs designed to support individuals, small businesses, startups, and academic institutions in their quest for patent protection and commercialization. For instance, these initiatives include expedited examination processes tailored for technologies already in the market or facing infringement issues, among other, thereby minimizing time-to-market and enhancing competitiveness.

Green Patent Fast Track

 

The Green Patent fast track program, initially introduced as a pilot project and later institutionalized, exemplifies Brazil’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. By expediting the examination of patent applications related to environmentally friendly technologies (in the fields of alternative energies, transportation, energy conservation, waste management and sustainable agriculture), the program accelerates the journey from ideation to commercialization. Applicants in fields such as agriculture, alternative energies, and transportation benefit from swifter decision-making processes, fostering a favorable environment for the development and adoption of green technologies.

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreements

 

As of December 2019, a new PPH Pilot Program, with standardized requirements and governed by a single rule, was implemented by the BRPTO. In summary, such a program allows the prioritization of the examination of a patent application at the BRPTO once the subject matter of a patent application is considered patentable by a partner office. Brazil has PPH agreements in force with countries like Spain, France, Portugal, EPO, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, USA, China, Japan, UK, Canada, Austria, and Finland. A PPH agreement for South American countries (PPH PROSUL) is also in force with some countries.

Other Fast Track Patent Examination Programs

 

In addition to the PPH Agreements and Green Patent fast track programs, applicants may request a priority examination in the following cases: 

  • applicants (natural person) that are more than 60 years old; 
  • applications infringed by third parties; 
  • applicants who need a granted patent to obtain funding for exploration of their inventions;
  • applicants (natural person) with a physical or mental disability, or carrying a serious illness;
  • applications relating to treatment of Diseases (AIDS, cancer, rare or neglected diseases);
  • applications related to the treatment of COVID-19; 
  • applications filed by small small and mediuem entities, as well as startups; 
  • applications filed by science and technology institutions; 
  • applications filed in Brazil that serve as priority for applications filed abroad.

 

Furthermore, the following parties may request fast track examination:

  • third parties being accused of unduly copying the object of a patent application; 
  • third parties that hold a technology that was subsequently filed as a patent;
  • the Ministry of Health, in cases of patent applications for medicaments acquired by the National Public Health System (SUS); 
  • the State when a national emergency is declared or when there is a public interest in the examination of a given application.

3. International Interest in Brazilian IP

 

Brazil’s robust innovation ecosystem and improving IP infrastructure have attracted significant interest from international stakeholders. With nearly 80% of patent applications originating from non-residents, including major markets like the US, EU, and China, Brazil emerges as a preferred destination for companies seeking to expand their global footprint. Initiatives such as tax incentives for innovation and the Green Patent fast track program underscore Brazil’s commitment to fostering innovation and attracting foreign investment, further bolstering its appeal on the global stage. Check how to register a utility model in Brazil in our guide.

 

Additionally, it is noteworthy that Brazil can be an interesting venue when filing an infringement lawsuit. It is possible for a plaintiff to obtain a preliminary injunction ex parte to force the alleged infringer to stop infringing its IP rights. To obtain such injunctive reliefs some specific requirements need to be met, but it is possible, and they can be extremely effective.

4. Challenges and Strategies

 

Despite the promising opportunities, navigating Brazil’s patent landscape can be fraught with challenges, especially for startups and researchers. Issues such as comprehension of patent language, adherence to formal requirements, and potential opposition or rejection of trademark filings necessitate meticulous planning and professional guidance. Startups are advised to leverage IP assets strategically, aligning them with business objectives to maximize their value and competitive advantage. By integrating IP tools throughout the R&D lifecycle and adopting efficient IP operating models, startups can effectively navigate Brazil’s IP landscape while safeguarding their innovations against potential threats.

5. Recommendations for Startups

 

For startups eyeing the Brazilian market, leveraging IP assets strategically is paramount for long-term success. Assessing the maturity of IP assets and aligning them with business objectives lays the foundation for sustainable growth. Understanding the myriad benefits of IP, including market positioning, exclusivity, and attracting investors, empowers startups to make informed decisions. Integrating IP tools throughout the R&D lifecycle, such as patent landscapes and non-disclosure agreements, safeguards innovations and enhances competitiveness. Moreover, structuring efficient IP operating models aligned with business strategies enables startups to navigate Brazil’s IP landscape effectively.

6. Venturini IP: Pioneering Innovation and Collaboration

 

As a leading intellectual property boutique firm based in Rio de Janeiro, Venturini IP stands at the forefront of driving innovation and fostering collaboration in Brazil’s dynamic IP landscape. With a team of professionals boasting technical expertise and legal acumen, Venturini IP offers a comprehensive suite of services spanning patents, trademarks, and industrial designs. From conducting patent landscapes and freedom-to-operate analysis, prior art searches, drafting and filing applications to providing strategic IP consulting in the fields of IP management and monetization, the firm assists clients in unlocking the full potential of their intellectual assets and navigating the complexities of Brazil’s IP ecosystem.

7. Conclusion

 

The Brazilian IP market offers unparalleled opportunities for startups seeking to innovate and expand their presence in Latin America and beyond. By capitalizing on Brazil’s specialized programs, navigating its evolving IP landscape, and partnering with experienced firms like Venturini IP, startups can unlock the full potential of their intellectual assets and establish a strong foothold in one of the region’s most promising markets. As Brazil continues to bolster its innovation ecosystem and enhance its IP infrastructure, now is the opportune time for startups to seize the moment and embark on a transformative journey towards success through IP.

 

***

 

Need any help with IP matter in Brazil? Contact Venturini IP via iPNOTE now!

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 800 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

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