Managing Partner of Dannemann Siemsen Advogados, Luiz Henrique Amaral talks about the state of IP in Brazil and explains why now may be the right time to invest in the country.
Leaders League. What is your opinion on the current situation in Brazil? How does it affect the IP market?
Luiz Henrique Amaral. The activities concerning innovation, research and intellectual property are inevitably connected to the economic performance of a country. Brazil’s economy has been sluggish for three years and the political turmoil has been jeopardizing its recovery. Yet most recent hard data suggest that a moderate upward movement is underway. In August, industrial production expanded for the second consecutive month, while in May the unemployment rate fell. The Central Banks hold robust hard currency reserves. The general expectation is that the political scene should stabilize and allow for a slow but consistent recovery. Regarding IP, the number of patent, trademark and industrial design filings in the country, although resilient over the last number of years, has shown signs of decreasing in 2017. The realistic projection, is that the number of filings should stabilize and grow from 2018 onwards, as Brazilian universities and national research centers increase the number of patents and the local companies resume the filing of trademarks. These initiatives should lead to the recovery of the IP market as well.
What would you say to a foreigner asking if now is the right time to invest in Brazil?
This country has consolidated its position as an attractive global player with a high degree of diversity in its industries, despite the recent economic and political crisis. Brazil is a vigorous democracy, with free multi-party elections and strong institutions. The rule of law prevails and the political scandals show that our society does not accept corruption.
Additionally, innovation has been at the center of discussions about the future of Brazil. Our country represents 50% of the entire IP market in Latin America. Eighty-five percent of the 150,000 trademark applications received each year are made by Brazilians. There has been a substantial increase in patents and industrial designs filed by people in Brazil.
Dannemann Siemsen is known the world over for its high-end IP skills. Are you developing other expertise?
Dannemann continues to improve its tools for ensuring client satisfaction, by intensively training our professionals and partners and by investing in new IT systems and infrastructure, which will allow us to offer better services at competitive costs. Also, we will further promote a broader scope of IP capabilities to attend to the needs of our clients, such as an expansion of the teams working with litigation, regulatory, licensing and franchising.
What are the firm’s major projects for the next 24 months?
We intend to launch a new extranet system to allow clients to interact with the firm. We also aim to release a new budget-management dashboard, which will provide clients with tools to maximize the use of services for a reduced cost and to control the use and management of budgets. We are in the process of improving the technical teams dealing with cutting edge technologies, especially concerning nanotechnologies, biotech, pharma and IT. We expect the IP market to grow in the coming years, under a new business model where companies expect knowledge and alignment with business and commercial strategies from IP advisers and attorneys, on top of their legal and technical skills.
“The general expectation
is that the political
scene should stabilize
and allow for a slow but
What do you think of INPI’s latest initiatives to tackle its backlog issue?
INPI has opened a public consultation on a proposed regulation on simplifying the patent applications in its backlog. This initiative would be a way to address the considerable backlog in patent examination. The proposal is that patent applications would be approved without examination, unless the applicant requests a review in a given period. Applications for pharmaceuticals would be excluded from this simplified procedure. Despite the concerns related to the granting of patents without examination, which may contain non-patentable subject matters or claims, the proposal should be a viable solution.