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Cablegate: Brazil: New Online Patent and Trademark Registration

VZCZCXRO5299
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #2083 2721848
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291848Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6870
INFO RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 3007
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 5573
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 8201
RUCPDO/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS BRASILIA 002083

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDOC FOR USPTO
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/OLAC/MWARD
USDOC FOR 3134/ITA/USCS/OIO/WH/RD/SHUPKA
USAID FOR LAC/AA
USTR FOR CRONIN/SULLIVAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ECON EIND EINV ETRD PGOV BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: NEW ONLINE PATENT AND TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
PROCESS


1. Summary: The GoB's National Institute of Industrial Property
(INPI) has adopted an electronic system designed to reduce
bureaucracy in the country's patent and trademark registration
process. This new "e-marcas" system, launched on September 1,
should enable patent and trademark requesters to process their
applications online via internet, and permit INPI to complete the
entire process electronically. Brazilian patent and trademark
seekers have historically experienced long delays. Goals are to
reduce the processing time by a year for trademarks and by five for
patents, by 2007. End Summary.

2. Background: Currently, Brazil lags far behind developed
countries, particularly Japan and the U.S., in number of
applications for copyrights and patents. This has been attributed
to a lack of "patent and trademark culture," particularly among the
private sector. 70 percent of patent applications in Brazil are
done by universities or public research institutions, and only 30
percent by the private sector. In developed countries, the
proportion is the opposite, according to INPI. Part of the reason
for a lack of impetus or culture for turning innovation into
intellectual property is the time it currently takes to register a
trademark or patent in Brazil. According to news reports, it takes
six years to register a trademark in Brazil, and, while the average
is five years, a patent can take up to nine years. Currently, only
10 percent of the patents registered in Brazil are for domestic
inventions.

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3. Director Claudio Barbosa of the Brazilian Association for
Intellectual Property, ABPI, affirmed in a recent press article that
the switch to a more rapid system "can provide the basis for
investment decisions . . .it's not necessary that something be a
Nobel prize winner to be registered; [even] simple innovations that
were born on the floor of a factory need to be protected." Barbosa
further said that improving the system of registering trademarks and
patents protects innovation, provides the legal security to increase
research, and attracts investment. However, Barbosa also cited cost
as a barrier, saying that the registration of even a simple patent
cannot take place for less than 3,000 Brazilian Reais (approximately
US$1393.)

4. According to INPI, in 2005, businesses that operate in Brazil
applied for little more than 21,000 patents. By stark comparison,
in Japan, 420,000 requests were registered in 2004, and in the
United States, 357,000.

5. Comment: The statistics cited reveal longstanding barriers in
terms of timing, money, and ideology, to registering trademarks and
patenting inventions in Brazil. It is too soon to predict whether
INPI's new "e-marcas" system will function smoothly, reduce
processing time by as much or as soon as the GoB predicts, or foster
a true culture of innovation and intellectual property protection.
That said, it is a step in the right direction.

SOBEL

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