By: Luiz Miranda
Today in Brazil, it takes over eleven years to receive legal rights to an invention by means of a patent. This state of affairs provides inadequate intellectual property protection for inventors and businesses, hampering Brazil’s desire to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth through a national patent system. But a new Joint Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil could mean rescue is on the way. Both governments agreed to engage in patent work sharing programs between the two patent offices, in hopes of increased efficiency. Yet, some scholars have warned of dangers and impossibilities such programs could cause, such as an even greater backlog of patents waiting to be prosecuted by a flood of new patent filings.
This Note addresses the concerns raised by other scholars by providing an alternative scenario, using data from similarly executed patent work sharing programs, along with data from the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program already underway, as a basis for its proposition. It explains why Brazil continues to pursue a working patent system, and also provides extensive background in how patent work sharing programs work. Finally, it explains how a properly executed program between the United States and Brazil could work, and why this Joint Agreement could mark the beginning of a new path to meaningful intellectual protection in Brazil.