Monday, 8 March 2010

MARCH 2010: A MONTH FOR HIGH EXPECTATIONS ON IP IN BRAZIL

While Summer time slowly drifts away in Brazil, unresolved issues in 2009 recommence to arise and take most of the recent headlines. IP matters have once more been catching the attention of the Brazilian population. This is mainly due to two important events yet to be debated in this March 2010 that may affect the pharma industry and international trade.

According to the website of the Ministry of Development, Industry and International Trade, CAMEX will make public today the final list of the American products that will suffer tariff increase of up 100% of the value when imported into Brazil. The American patents affected by the WTO’s decision that allowed the Brazilian government to cross retaliate American IP rights will be also published tomorrow.

Unofficial sources state that the retaliation list of products has been reduced from 220 to 130 products, since the government wants to prevent side effects, such as the interference of importation of components and other materials in Brazil’s exportation. Further, it is believed that the retaliation will not reach the maximum amount of US$ 560 million on products and US$ 270 million on services and IP rights.

Therefore, today is a big day as the international community awaits Brazil’s final decision: Retaliate or not against the US?

March 24 is another important day for IP in Brazil. The Superior Court of Justice in Brasilia will rule about the Viagra patents. The generic pharma companies, as well as consumers, are anxiously waiting the decision on this matter. The decision may open up the possibility for local generics production. For the consumers, this could represent a price reduction of up to 50%. As a whole, this means consumer’s accessibility, increased market for the generic industries and, ultimately, big profits. The size of the Brazilian market can be partially measured by looking at the results of the Brazilian subsidiary of Pfizer: Viagra alone resulted in 2009 in a profit of around USS$ 95 million in Brazil.

Yet, the decision on Viagra is only one among others that will be rendered by the local courts in 2010 concerning patent protection. There are more than 80 medicines awaiting confirmation on patent extension under the pipeline rules. 2010 is definitely a year to pay attention to regarding Brazilian decision on IP.

No comments: