Recently elected president of the Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property (ABPI), Luiz Edgard Montaury has been an active figure in the Brazilian IP market for over three decades now. A name partner at leading firm Montaury Pimenta, Machado & Vieira de Mello, he outlines what he aims to achieve throughout his presidency below.
LEADERS LEAGUE. How has the field of intellectual property changed over the last number of years in Brazil?
LUIZ EDGARD MONTAURY. IP litigation has increased significantly, however patents and trademark filings have decreased and clients are now facing limited budgets for IP-related work. The extent of the patent backlog in Brazil is such that local and foreign companies think twice before filing patent applications in Brazil, and this is an additional reason why there has been a reduced number of local patent applications lodged in the last few years.
What major developments can we expect to see coming out of Brazil in the near future?
One of the major expected developments coming down the pipe is a decrease in the patent backlog at the BPTO (Brazilian Patent and Trade Mark Office). This will be achieved thanks in the main to the initiatives taken by the current administration. The BPTO launched a public consultation into the proposal to have all 225,000 pending patent applications approved without examination.
There is some way to go, as this project is still being reviewed by the federal government, but if approved, we expect backlogs will no longer occur as the BPTO is taking additional measures to improve the performance of their examiners.
What exactly is your mission?
Our aim is to be the leading entity in terms of solutions for existing IP issues in Brazil and to communicate the importance of intellectual property to government bodies and society as a whole. ABPI is also collaborating with the Brazilian PTO in order to improve its technology, its internal systems and boost the performance of its examiners.
What are the main priorities to be addressed during your mandate as president of the Brazil Association of Intellectual Property?
Speaking from a personal point of view, my main priorities are to bring greater visibility to the patent backlog issue both to Brazilian society in general and to the government; to help the BPTO succeed in obtaining independent management over its own funds; and to implement effective solutions to the aforementioned patent backlog problem.
Another priority for the ABPI is to strengthen our ties with the judiciary at both state and federal level. What we would like to see is a greater number of specialized IP chambers set up within the State Court of Appeals of Rio de Janeiro and to promote the education of judges on IP related matters.
Finally, ABPI would like build a much closer relationship with equivalent entities in other Latin American countries so that intellectual property organisations throughout the continent are able to exchange information and share experiences.
We will have the opportunity to do just this at the next ABPI congress taking place from August 19th to 21st, in São Paulo. The event will see presidents of other Latin American IP bodies discussing ideas and experiences on how respective jurisdictions handle universal issues, especially urgent matters such as backlogs.