Box 10 - Recommendations about the Patent Law

Some changes, such as the concession of patents to pharmaceutical products and process, are unavoidable to normalize Brazil's international economic relations.
  • the new legislation should be based on the text being negotiated with within GATT, as it is the case of the proposal put forward by the Interministerial Group. American pressures to include the patenting of life forms and the "pipeline" do not correspond to internationally accepted rules as yet. In addition, no short-term agreement of free trade with the U.S. is being considered, to justify such concessions. A rapid approval of a new legislation without transition adjustment periods for specific industrial sectors would attend, in general terms, American demands.
  • Industrial property is just one policy instrument for science and technology. Investments in research and development, institutional environments and a competitive context are more important for scientific and technological development than patent legislation.
  • The revision of the Code of Industrial Property should not be interpreted as a way to attract direct foreign investment in research and development. This revision is required above all by the need to stabilize Brazil's international economic relations, specially with the United States.
  • Patents are important as an asset in the competitive strategies of firms. In this sense, it is important for sectors that are potentially more dynamic in terms of new technology generation, such as biotechnology.
Patent legislation, in short, should not be confused with "nationalism" or "isolationism." The revision of the Code of Industrial Property is an unavoidable consequence of the current international scenario.

Lia Valls Pereira, 1993