Welcome to our blog for Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Latin America!
¡Bienvenidos a nuestro blog de Derecho y Práctica de la Propiedad Intelectual en Latinoamérica!
Bem-vindo ao nosso blog sobre Direito e Prática de Propriedade Intelectual na América Latina!

Tuesday, 11 May 2021


[Guest Post] The Brazilian Supreme Court: The Direct Action for the Declaration of Unconstitutionality of the sole paragraph of article 40 of the Industrial Property Law

IPTango is pleased to publish a guest post by Pedro Matheus and Leonardo Cordeiro (Gruenbaum, Possinhas & Teixeira), discussing the Direct Action for the Declaration of Unconstitutionality concerning the sole paragraph of article 40 of the Industrial Property Law of Brazil. The provision establishes the minimum validity term of 10 years for patents and 7 years for utility models (counted from the granting date) to compensate for an excessive delay of the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) to grant them.

On 28 April 2021, the Supreme Court heard the Direct Action for the Declaration of Unconstitutionality No. 5529 (ADI No. 5529) concerning the sole paragraph of article 40 of the Industrial Property Law (LPI), which establishes the minimum validity term of 10 years for patents and 7 years for utility models.


The action was filed in May 2016 by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), claiming, among other reasons, that the rule of the sole paragraph of article 40 violates the constitutional provision established in item XXIX of article 5th of the Brazilian Constitution, which grants “to the authors of industrial inventions a temporary privilege for its use”.

In the PGR’s opinion, by establishing a minimum term of validity of 10 years counted from the granting (that is, an uncertain date), the IP Law creates an unconstitutional rule since it would not be possible to determine the validity term of a patent, allegedly violating the temporary nature established in the constitution.

The PGR also argues that the challenged rule interferes with consumer’s rights and free competition, since the provision generates instability and unpredictability in the market, passing to the Brazilian society the burden caused by an eventual delay in patent examination by the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), binding the consumer to the prices determined by the patent holder, for an undetermined time.

Moreover, according to the PGR, the rule violates the constitutional principle of isonomy since economic agents in identical situations receive different treatments depending on the duration of the administrative proceedings. The PGR also claims the rule stimulates the delay in the administrative analysis of patent applications.

The Preliminary Injunction

ADI No. 5529 received a record number of amicus curiae requests by civil organizations (with entities against and in favour of the PGR’s opinion), a situation highlighted by Justice Luiz Fux (President of the Court), which demonstrates the relevance and the controversy of the case.

In this context, the Supreme Court scheduled to hear ADI No. 5529 on 7 April, with Justice Dias Toffoli as rapporteur. However, the Court heard another constitutional case regarding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and postponed the decision on the merits of ADI No. 5529.

Nevertheless, and despite the postponement, Justice Dias Toffoli issued his opinion in advance, in which he recognized the unconstitutionality of the sole paragraph of article 40.

Justice Dias Toffoli also granted a preliminary injunction to suspend the validity of the challenged rule only concerning patents related to pharmaceutical products and processes and medical equipment and/or materials for the use in healthcare with ex nunc effects [i.e. no retroactive effects]”.

The Declaration of Unconstitutionality

After further postponements in the following weeks due to the judgement of other cases with relevant political and social repercussions, the hearing was held on 28 April.

In such session, oral arguments were presented by the PGR (the action’s plaintiff), the Union Advocate General, the Federal Union (in favour of the dismissal of the action and maintenance of the rule), and the 15 amici curiae (defending both the constitutionality and unconstitutionality of the rule, depending on the interests of their associates/affiliates).

Once the oral arguments were presented, which extended throughout the afternoon of 28 April, Justice Fux (the President of the Court) ended the session and adjourned the judgement to the next day.

On 29 April, Justice Dias Toffoli started reading his opinion (more than 80 pages long), recognizing the unconstitutionality of the sole paragraph of article 40.

Since the rapporteur had already divulged his opinion, there were no surprises regarding its content. He advocated for the recognition of the unconstitutionality of the rule, arguing, among other things, that patent protection does not start with the granting since article 44 of the LPI establishes that the protection granted by the patent is retroactive to the date of publication of the application.

The rapporteur also argued that there are no similar rules in other jurisdictions, characterizing the minimum term of 10 years established in the sole paragraph as a rule exclusive to Brazilian legislation, and he further mentioned that its eventual exclusion from the national legislation would not conflict with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Moreover, the rapporteur agreed with the PGR’s opinion that the rule violates some constitutional principles relating to the efficiency of public administration. He alleged that the existence of the rule could induce the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) to delay the analysis of patent applications and allow applicants to postpone the administrative proceeding to obtain a longer term of protection.

The judgement was adjourned again on 29 April and 5 May. Thus, another session was held on 6 May in which the Supreme Court decided, by a majority of votes, that the sole paragraph of article 40 is unconstitutional.

In this sense, Justices Kassio Nunes Marques, Alexandre de Moraes, Edson Fachin, Rosa Weber, Cármen Lúcia, Ricardo Lewandowski, Gilmar Mendes and Marco Aurélio Mello agreed with Justice Dias Toffoli’s opinion. On the other hand, Justices Luis Roberto Barroso and Luis Fux dissented, recognizing the constitutionality of the rule.

Due to the declaration of unconstitutionality of the rule, the Court began analyzing the proposal to modulate the effects of the decision, i.e., if the decision will have retroactive or prospective effects and if such effects will be applied to patents and utility models in all technological areas.

However, considering the possible consequences arising from the declaration, the Justices decided to resume discussing the modulation of the effects of the decision in the next session, to be held on 12 May 2021.

Stay tuned!

Second image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.
Third image by succo from Pixabay.
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Sunday, 9 May 2021


Book notice: The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights under International Investment Law

The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights under International Investment Law is the new book written by Simon Klopschinski (Rospatt Osten Pross), Christopher Gibson (Suffolk University Law School), and Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (University of Cambridge, King’s College).

The monograph analyses “the standards of treatment and protection enshrined in IIAs [international investment agreements] for IP rights, with reference to topics such as the fragmentation of international law; investor-host-state dispute resolution; investors and investments; relative standards of treatment (such as most favoured nation); absolute standards of treatment (such as fair and equitable treatment); and expropriation”.

The book was published by Oxford University Press and can be ordered here.

The book launch will be held online on 27 May 2021. The introduction will be provided by Joseph Straus (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), followed by presentations by the authors. The commentators are Rochelle Dreyfuss (NYU School of Law), Peter Yu (Texas A&M University School of Law) and Christophe Bondy (Steptoe & Johnson).

Review here more information about the book launch.

Read here the book review posted by our cousin blog, The IPKat.

Credit: the image is courtesy of Simon Klopschinski.
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Wednesday, 28 April 2021


Encounter 12, The Race for the Vaccine: from Invention to Effective Vaccination - IP as a Tool or as a Toll?

On 4 May 2021FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 12, The Race for the Vaccine: from Invention to Effective Vaccination - IP as a Tool or as a Toll?.

The panellists are Professors David Mirchin (Tel Aviv University Law School, Bocconi University and Meitar), Didier Patry (France Brevets, ESCP Business School and LSE), and Dr. Michael Geist (University of Ottawa, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law).

The suggested readings and the report on the session will be available on the Global Digital Encounters (GDE) website as time goes by.

The Encounter is offered free of charge, but registration is required. Register here now!

If you missed previous Encounters or you want to watch them again, click here.

Credit: The image is courtesy of FIDE.

UPDATE 7 May 2021: the recording of Encounter 12 is available here. 
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Tuesday, 20 April 2021


WIPO session on Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will hold the first session on Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property on 28 April 2021.

The online event is part of a series of sharing sessions in light of WIPO initiatives around Gender Equality, Diversity and Intellectual Property.

The first session theme is Mapping and Addressing Barriers to close the gender gap in Intellectual Property.

The program “will map the existing barriers that prevent women from using the IP system in greater numbers and with greater benefits, and will explore opportunities to foster their participation based on case studies from Chile and South Korea”. You can review here the full program and the list of speakers.

The event will be held in English, but interpretation in French and Spanish will be provided.

The session is free of charge, but you can register here. The event will also be streamed here (no registration required).

Review more information here.

Source: WIPO newsletter.

Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay.
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Saturday, 17 April 2021


Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual 2021

Como cada año, el 26 de abril se celebrará el Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual.

Con el objetivo de “fomentar una mayor comprensión general de la PI”, la fecha fue elegida por los estados miembros de la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI) en el año 2000, de tal suerte que coincidiera con la fecha de la entrada en vigor del Convenio de la OMPI (26 abril de 1970).

El tema de este año es “La PI y las pymes: Para que las ideas lleguen al mercado”.

En este contexto, la OMPI ha señalado que las pymes “representan alrededor del 90% de las empresas del mundo, dan empleo aproximadamente al 50% de la fuerza de trabajo mundial y generan hasta el 40% de la renta nacional en muchas economías emergentes”.

La OMPI ha enfatizado que “el Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual 2021 es una oportunidad para descubrir la manera en que las herramientas del sistema de PI —a saber, las marcas, los derechos sobre dibujos y modelos, el derecho de autor, las patentes, los secretos comerciales, las indicaciones geográficas y muchas más— pueden ayudar a que sus ideas lleguen al mercado”.

De igual manera, la Organización ha indicado que el “Día Mundial de la PI 2021 también pone de relieve la función central que la OMPI y las oficinas nacionales y regionales de PI de todo el mundo desempeñan a la hora de crear condiciones favorables para que las pymes impulsen la innovación y la creatividad, faciliten la recuperación económica y generen empleo”.

La página web dedicada al Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual ya se encuentra disponible, la cual contiene entre otras secciones, las siguientes:

Se puede enviar aquí la información sobre los eventos para que sean incluidos en el calendario virtual del Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual.

Asimismo, los videos producidos para difundir las campañas en el marco de las celebraciones, pueden enviarse a la OMPI para que sean compartidos en los canales de la Organización.

¡No olvides revisar los eventos incluidos en IPTango para conmemorar el Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual!

Fuente: página web de la OMPI dedicada al Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual.

Crédito: imagen disponible en la carpeta para medios sociales de la OMPI.
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Thursday, 8 April 2021


2022 WTO Young Professionals Programme (YPP)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is calling for applications for the 2022 WTO Young Professionals Programme (YPP).

The YPP is addressed to qualified young professionals up to the age of 32 years from a developing or least developed country.

Some of the requirements the applicants must fulfil are the following:

  • The applicants must hold an advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to the WTO’s work.
  • The applicants must be fluent in English. Good working knowledge of Spanish is an advantage.
  • Applications must include a letter of motivation indicating up to three work areas which may include Intellectual Property Rights, Dispute Settlement, Trade and Development.

The selected applicant “will be placed in a specific Division of the WTO Secretariat in accordance with the needs and priorities of the Organization”.

The deadline to apply is 29 April 2021. More information here.

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Wednesday, 31 March 2021


Encounter 11: The Future of Geographical Indications and Traceability in a Covid Transformed World

On 6 April 2021, FIDE (Legal and Business Research Foundation) and TIPSA (Transatlantic Intellectual Property Academy) will hold the Encounter 11: The Future of Geographical Indications and Traceability in a Covid Transformed World.

The panellists are Professor Patricia Covarrubia (University of Buckingham, Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk and member of the IPTango team), Professor Justin Hughes (Loyola Marymount University), Dr. Delphine Marie-Vivien (CIRAD) and Professor Arul George Scaria (CIIPC).

The suggested readings and the report on the session will be available on the Global Digital Encounters (GDE) website as time goes by.

The Encounter is offered free of charge, but registration is required. Register here now!

If you missed previous Encounters or you want to watch them again, click here.

Credit: Image is courtesy of FIDE.

UPDATE 9 April 2021: the recording of Encounter 11 is available here. 
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Tuesday, 30 March 2021


Fecha límite para la próxima edición de la Revista Iberoamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual (RIPI)

El equipo editorial de la Revista Iberoamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual (RIPI) nos ha compartido que el 30 de abril de 2021 es la fecha límite para la recepción de artículos que se publicarán en el próximo número.

La convocatoria para la edición No. 14 está abierta a todos los autores de Iberoamérica.

Los artículos pueden referirse a temas de propiedad intelectual, en los aspectos jurídicos, técnicos, económicos o de política pública.

Los artículos pueden estar escritos en español, portugués o inglés. Consulta aquí más información sobre contenidos, extensión y formato.

RIPI es una publicación conjunta de la Universidad Austral (Argentina), la Universidad Panamericana (México) y la Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia). Los números anteriores de la RIPI pueden consultarse aquí.

La imagen es cortesía de la RIPI.
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Monday, 29 March 2021

Gilberto Macias (@gmaciasb)

Paraguay – Expide el primer certificado de registro de una Denominación de Origen

Recientemente la Dirección Nacional de Propiedad Intelectual (DINAPI) , expidió el primer certificado de registro para una denominación de origen al Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne.

El Champagne es la primera solicitud que concluye todo el proceso de reconocimiento preliminar y registro establecido en la Ley 4923/2013 reglamentada en el año 2019 a través del Decreto del P.E. N° 1286

Paraguay cuenta con una legislación específica en la materia desde el año 2013, para presentación de solicitudes de reconocimiento preliminar y posterior registro de indicaciones geográficas y denominaciones de origen y, desde su reglamentación en el mes de febrero del año 2019, la DINAPI ha impulsado campañas de promoción y difusión de esta herramienta de PI.

Actualmente, el Comité de Champagne reúne a alrededor de 16000 vignerons (viticultores) y 320 maisons (casas) de la región de Champagne – Francia.

Paraguay se suma así a la lista de 122 países, incluyendo la mayoría de los países de América Latina, China, India, etc., que ya protegen el nombre Champagne, una de las denominaciones más notorias y antiguas del mundo.

Mas información aquí y aquí.

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Saturday, 20 March 2021


A-CAPP Center: A Brand’s New World, Latin America

The Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP Center), housed at Michigan State University, will hold the conference A Brand’s New World: Latin America from 15 to 17 June 2021.

The online event will cover brand protection issues in Latin America. Interactive panel discussions and breakout groups will be part of the program. The sessions will be held in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The registration for the conference is not yet open. However, you can take here and here (in Spanish) a short survey to suggest topics for discussion at the event.

A Brand’s New World is a free virtual conference series “on brand protection issues post-pandemic, looking into the future”. The first series was held in 2020 (as announced here). The event addressed brand protection and anti-counterfeiting matters by speakers from industry, academia, law enforcement, and government.

More information is available here.

The image is courtesy of the A-CAPP Center.

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