The University of Brasilia creates biofertilizer that increases productivity

The Chemistry Institute of the University of Brasilia (UnB), in partnership with Embrapa, has developed a nanotechnology capable of increasing plant productivity, increasing the nutritional value of food, reducing the use of pesticides and making crops less vulnerable to drought and plagues.

Krill A32, a luminescent carbon-based biofertilizer, is under patent application at the Brazilian Patent Office (BPTO).

The name Krill refers to small crustaceans (1 to 2 cm) that serve as food for various marine species, including whales, and are critical for maintaining ecosystems in the oceans. Nanotechnology handles atoms and molecules sized at 1 and 1000 nanometers, verifiable only in special equipment.

As it enables fast plant growth, nano-compost can be used to recover degraded areas, forest management for wood and pulp production, and intensification of agricultural activity – without the need to increase planted areas and shrink forests.

Nano-compound, which is non-toxic, can be applied to plant roots and leaves. The most advanced tests are with foliage. The application with lettuce, cotton, garlic, rice, cocoa, corn, soybean, and tomato was studied. As the substance is luminescent, its absorption in foods can be traced.

News from: Agência Brasil

BPTO will have 100% digital services

BPTO launched on Wednesday (July 31, 2019) the IP Digital Plan, which aims to expand and facilitate the provision of services over the Internet. The initiative is the result of the partnership with the Special Secretariat of Productivity, Employment and Competitiveness and the Digital Government Secretariat of the Ministry of Economy, as well as the Special Secretariat of State Modernization.

The plan foresees 24 actions, which will facilitate citizen service by deploying new information and communication technology resources. Among the measures is the deployment of e-Chip, an online system for ordering integrated circuit topographies. This will make BPTO’s services 100% digital.

A task force instituted by BPTO works to deploy new digital products. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Tool for the user to schedule, via the internet, attendance or distance attendance;
  • Evaluation system after the use of each service, via web and SMS;
  • Chatbot, a program that uses artificial intelligence to simulate conversations and provide information to the user;
  • New INPI portal, designed from user behavior;
  • Application of press releases and news;
  • Single Sign-On (Br Access), by adhering to the Digital Government Secretariat tool, through which it is possible to use digital public services with a single user registration;
  • Digital means of payment, such as credit and debit card, from solution under development by the Digital Government Secretariat.

With the IP Digital Plan, BPTO plans to adopt a new model of interaction with society, which values greater access to information, open data and the provision of a secure virtual environment for service provision.

The Plan also converges with the tools of the federal government’s Digital Citizenship Platform, which aims to expand and simplify Brazilian citizens’ access to digital public services, including through mobile devices.

 

News from: BPTO

AGREEMENT: Exports will have $ 10 billion more

Much has been said about the free market agreement between Southern Common Market and the European Union and what are the impacts on the Brazilian economy. According to the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), the deal could add nearly $ 10 billion in exports from Brazil to the EU. Negotiated for over 20 years, it represents the largest trade pact ever signed by both parties, with the creation of a market of 780 million consumers.

Brazil exported more than US $ 42 billion to the EU in 2018, approximately 18% of the total exported by the country. This means that reducing tax rates and legislation, the deal offers even greater business opportunities for domestic companies. However, the pact also underscores the need for change in the policies of national companies.

According to Rodrigo Zambon, the subregional director of TMF Group in Brazil, the deal will take some time to go into effect, giving companies the time to make adjustments. “The deal still needs to go through 28 countries, so the time to prepare your business without getting hurt is now,” he added. Check out the 5 main characteristics that must be adopted by Brazilian companies so that they can actively participate in the agreement.

FOODS

All imported food must comply with EU standards – the rules apply to all products sold in the EU, whether domestically produced or imported, so Brazilian companies need to ensure that they comply with all rules. For example: ensuring appropriate and transparent information about source, content, and labeling.

INSPECTION

Commitments on labor inspection, health, and safety at work – Companies wishing to make trade agreements in EU countries must ensure that fundamental labor rights, as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO), are fulfilled and respected.

ENVIRONMENT

Trade agreements should not come at the expense of the environment – under the agreement, companies must promote sustainable development and agree not to lower environmental standards to promote trade and attract investment. The agreement also incorporates the so-called “precautionary principle”. If there is any suspicion of deforestation or the use of pesticides not allowed in the EU, the economic bloc can veto the importation of the Brazilian product, even when the scientific analysis is not conclusive.

PATENTS

Strong intellectual property rights provisions – Brazil has committed to updating its intellectual property law based on international standards of legislation. Examples of this strategy are the copyright section and the trademark section, which companies will have to abide by.

STANDARDIZATION

Transparency and the use of international standards – Different technical regulations and rules/standards for products from other markets can be a major obstacle for exporters because they impose extra costs for adaptation. The agreement promotes transparency and the use of international standards to facilitate market access while protecting the levels of protection that each party considers appropriate.

For Zambon, beginning to understand and implement action plans will create a competitive advantage when the deal goes into effect. “Companies that start updating their policies will now have more time to adapt and probably less costs to implement than those leaving at the last minute,” he said.

 

News from: Diário da Amazônia

INPI and EPO extend their cooperation

The Brazilian Patent Office (BPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) agreed on July 17, 2019 to work on broadening their cooperation. EPO President António Campinos and BPTO President Claudio Vilar Furtado signed a Joint Declaration in this regard at a bilateral meeting held during an event between the EPO and the IP offices of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries held in Munich, in Germany. They also signed an agreement renewing BPTO’s access to the EPOQUE Net database, an EPO patent search tool with more than 1.3 billion references.

In the Joint Statement, the Officers agreed to work on a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a pilot project, to strengthen the capacity to search and examine patent applications in the BPTO.

After the ceremony, Campinos highlighted the importance of cooperation with BPTO: “I am pleased to sign this Joint Declaration today since traditionally Brazil has been an important cooperation partner for the EPO in Latin America. BPTO has a great deal of expertise in the patent granting process and, with today’s signature, we are paving the way for a closer relationship between offices, benefiting businesses in both regions. ”

Along the same lines, Furtado said: “BPTO welcomes the expansion of the partnership with the EPO. This is an essential step in the modernization of the Institute, the pillar of Brazilian development, to make it a world-class player in industrial property. ”

Cooperation between BPTO and EPO began in 2000, with a first technical cooperation project between offices. This was followed by a series of bilateral agreements extending cooperation to include BPTO access to EPOQUE Net (in 2005) and, in 2017, a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, which allows applicants to request priority treatment for their pending patent applications at BPTO and EPO.

About EPO

With 7,000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich and with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded to strengthen patent cooperation in Europe. Through the centralized patent granting procedure of the EPO, inventors can obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries covering a market of about 700 million people. The EPO is also one of the world’s leading patent information and search authorities.

 

News from: BPTO

The approved project that reduces the term of patent of medicines

The Social Affairs Commission (CAS) approved the Senate Bill (PLS) 437/2018 on Wednesday. The bill limits the ownership of drug patents by 20 years. Authorized by Senator José Serra (PSDB-SP), the proposal adapts Brazilian legislation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which Brazil is a signatory.

TRIPS – signed by Brazil, the United States, the European Union, Japan and other nations in 1994 – provides that property rights over intellectual creation, a patent, expire after 20 years of registration.

PLS 437/2018 received a favorable vote from the Rapporteur, Senator Romário (Podemos Party-RJ). In his evaluation, the project has the potential to improve the licensing of medicines patents in the country. From the sanitary point of view, said Romário, the project corrects flaws or omissions in the legislation in force.

“Through these extended patent validation strategies, the industry delays the arrival of generic drugs on the market and prolongs its economic gains from the original product monopoly. This harms both consumers directly and public pharmaceutical care policies, in which the main purchaser of medicines is the government, and in this context, the measures envisaged in the project under review reinforce Anvisa’s role and its obligation to evaluate patent applications from the perspective of health interest,” said the senator.

The text was followed by the Commission for Science, Technology, Innovation, Communication and Information Technology (CCT) and then by the Commission on Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship (CCJ), which will be a final decision.

 

News from: Agência Senado

Madrid Protocol: Learn how to apply

On July 2, 2019, Brazil filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) the instrument of adhesion to the Madrid Protocol, an international treaty that simplifies and reduces costs for the registration of trademarks of Brazilian companies in other countries.

The treaty enters into force in Brazil on October 2, 2019. As of that date, the Brazilian applicant who intends to register a trademark in other countries via the Madrid Protocol will file an international application within the BPTO. It can be a multiclass application and with more than one applicant in co-ownership.

In turn, the foreign applicant who wishes to register a trademark in Brazil may also choose to use the Madrid Protocol.

The filing is electronic, by means of payment of the Union Collection Guide (GRU) and then filling in the English or Spanish form MM2 in E-trademarks, a system also used for the national filing.

 

News from: BPTO

Agreement with the EU must rename products in Mercosur due to the protection of Geographical Indications

The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur may prohibit the nomenclature of some products in the bloc of which Brazil is part due to the chapter dealing with Intellectual Property Rights. Cognac, such as Dreher, different proseccos and Budweiser beer must have to gain new names because of Geographical Indications (GI), used in commodities that have a specific origin and possess qualities or reputations that are due to that location, and a of the main obstacles in the negotiations that have dragged on for 20 years.

According to a document released on Monday in Brussels, the European bloc will have 355 regional food and beverage products protected by this distinction, while the South American side will have 220 recognized delicacies. This means that nomenclature for non-genuine products of such a GI shall be prohibited and expressions such as “type”, “made in”, “style”, “imitation” or similar shall not be permitted. The agreement protects the misleading use of symbols, banners or images, suggesting a “false” geographical origin.

The term “cognac” is used only for the beverage produced in the Cognac region of western France. All other similar beverages are sold as “brandy”. In Brazil, the term is used interchangeably, but it has to be renamed: protection has been reinforced by the possibility of defending rights through administrative enforcement, including measures taken by customs officials at the border. The applicable sanctions range from court injunctions that prevent unauthorized use for the payment of damages and fines or, in serious cases, imprisonment.

In some cases, transitional periods have been granted to local producers to cease the use of the name within a certain period, which has not been revealed by either party. There are a very limited number of exceptions, under the so-called “grandfathering principle”, which were granted to pre-identified producers who had already sold products with these names on the market for some years. These companies may continue to use the name subject to approval.

Budweiser

In 2010, the European Court of Justice rejected AB InBev’s application to have the region-wide trademark and exclusive use of the Budweiser name for beers and other beverages because Budvar of the Czech Republic owns the trademark rights in the Austria and Germany. Both beers have been around for over 100 years. Budvar maintains that it holds the right because its beer comes from the Czech city Ceské Budejovice, or Budweis, in German. The strategy seems even more sagacious because restrictions are also placed on the marketing of these items with third countries, which may include Brazil.

Protected Products

Currently, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) – linked to the Ministry of Economy – recognizes nine denominations of foreign origin, seven of them European. Among the items highlighted by the EU after the signing of the agreement, the new products include Tyrolean ham (Austria), Herve cheese (Belgium), Munich beer (Germany), Comté cheese (France), parma ham (Italy), Polish vodka, São Jorge cheese (Portugal), tokaji wine (Hungary) and jabugo ham (Spain).

On the Mercosur side, some of the products include wines from Mendoza (Argentina), and cachaças from Paraty (RJ), Salinas (MG) and Abaíra (BA). The list of cheeses does not come close enough to the dozens of protected dairy products of Europeans but includes the Canastra and Serro (MG) cheeses, as well as the Witmarsum Colony (PR). Based on the “open lists” principle, the agreement will allow new names, from both parties, to be added after the entry into force.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, GI’s “identify a product as originating in a country, city, region or locality of its territory, where a particular quality, reputation or another characteristic of the product is essentially attributed to its geographical origin”. They arose as producers, traders, and consumers began to identify that certain products from certain places had particular qualities attributable to their origin. Distinguishing products and services through geographical indications promotes the promotion of the region, adding value and communication to the market regarding attributes of quality, typicality, tradition and cultural heritage.

News from: Correio do Povo

The magazine “Valor Inovação” includes patents in its annual ranking

The magazine Valor Inovação Brasil included in its fourth edition a new criterion in its evaluation methodology: The inclusion of patents published by the Brazilian PTO in the year of 2017. Such inclusion extended the analysis capacity, making some companies stand out in the ranking, according to specialists.

This is the case, among others, of CNH Industrial – which advanced from 54th to 13th position; Vale, from the 42nd to the 17th position; Microsoft, from the 79th to the 18th; and Petrobras, which moved from 11th place last year to 3rd place. The methodology is specific to the Brazilian market and allows to separate truly innovative companies from those that are following technological trends.

Of the 216 companies registered, 82% have revenues above R$ 1 billion (approximately US$ 270 million). The sample was divided into 21 sectors – three more than in 2017. From the area of Oil and Gas the companies of Mining, Metallurgy and Steel Industry left, forming a new group. The Banking segment, separated from financial services, also gained its own section, as well as Transport and Logistics. Another change was the sector Industries, Chemical and Petrochemical, is now called Chemistry, Petrochemical, Packaging, Paper and Cellulose.

The original publication (in Portuguese) can be found here

Brazilian Supreme Court will judge ‘pipeline’ patents

An action that questions the constitutionality of the legal provisions dealing with pipeline patents should be tried in September. Also called import or revalidation patents, they were granted to patented products abroad, but these patents were already in the public domain.
The justification of the Brazilian General Attorney of the Republic (PGR) is that these legal provisions allowed patents granted abroad to be automatically applied in Brazil without substantial verification of the qualities and innovations of the product, with a maximum duration of 20 years. More than 1,100 patent applications were granted automatically in 1997. But, today, they have fallen into the public domain.
One of the arguments about unconstitutionality is precisely in its legal nature, since it seeks to make patentable, to the detriment of the principle of novelty, that which is already in the public domain, promoting the legislator, thus, a kind of expropriation of a common good of the people without any constitutional protection.
According to such experts, pipeline patents favored foreign multinationals that privatized – without paying anything to the treasury – technology that was already in the public domain.
Tha judgement would be important to show that the Brazilian Supreme Court understands that it is not possible to enact a law and give patents to technologies that were already old, and already known, in this way, it would be possible to recognize the nullity of patents and the consequent return of money that was sent abroad.
Others claim that these patents are constitutional since all necessary requirements for them to be valid were fulfilled. The revalidation regime abroad is not an exclusivity of Brazil. Any decision to the contrary would generate much legal uncertainty, according to other experts.
The official publication about this case can be found here

Signed a New Agreement for the Examination of Pharmaceutical Patent Applications in Brazil

Yesterday (04/12/2017), in a formal ceremony held in Palácio do Planalto, in the capital Brasília, it was signed the much anticipated agreement between the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) regarding the examination of pharmaceutical patent applications.

In addition to expediting the processing and examination of patents in the pharmaceutical field, this will put an end to many lawsuits that exists over this issue. This will convert in benefits to Brazil, since this new found stability can attract investors to the field. Also, a final decision over certain patent applications can encourage companies to increase the production of certain products, generating more offers of pharmaceutical products in the Brazilian market.

The agreement signed yesterday was published also yesterday as a Joint Ordinance No. 1, with full effect on both entities proceedings. The main aspects of such agreement is summarized below.

As currently required by Article 229-C, ANVISA will continue to issue prior consent over patent application for pharmaceutical product or process (article 1 of the Joint Ordinance). However, article 4 of the Joint Ordinance prescribes that ANVISA will limit its analysis to the risk of the product or process to the public health. The risk is characterized by prohibited substances in Brazil. 

This procedure will be performed soon after the filing of examination request presented to the BPTO  (article 2 of the Joint Ordinance).

For those cases that may have great effect or consequences on public policies for health (related, for example, on the access of certain medications), ANVISA will be capable to offer subsidies for BPTO Examination. Therefore, ANVISA cannot interfere in the analysis of patentability requirements.

The BPTO, in turn, will evaluate the patentability requirements.  This Joint Ordinance is already in effect and, by force of its article 8, will affect all current patent application still pending, even the ones already examined by ANVISA.

Our office and our attorneys act before the BPTO and the ANVISA. We will be able to enforce the new Join Ordinance on benefit of your clients.

If you are interested in finding more about this Join Ordinance or the measures that can be taken to expedite your client’s patent applications in the pharmaceutical field in Brazil, please contact us at info@tavaresoffice.com.br