Brazil Takes Steps Aimed At More Balanced IP RightsPublished on 13 December 2013 @ 6:19 pm
By William New, Intellectual Property Watch
As of today, the Brazilian Patent Office has a new president: Otávio Brandelli, according to an official announcement. Also today, the nation’s new amendment on collective management went into effect.
The announcement is available here.
According to Allan Rocha de Souza, a copyright and cultural policy professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brandelli is a career diplomat with a history for promoting a “balanced” perspective between different stakeholders.
This makes him unlike the prior president, Jorge Ávila, who was known in the broader intellectual property community as “promoting and enacting a maximalist view of patent rights, in spite of the relevant public interest involved,” Rocha de Souza said.
The decision by government regarding the head of the Brazilian Institute for Intellectual Property (INPI) also signals that Brazilian internal and foreign policies on patents will finally be bridged, as Brandelli comes from the foreign affairs side, he said.
Meanwhile, on the copyright front, today is also a special day, both for creators (musicians and artists) and users alike, he said.
Since its approval in the Congress and signing into law by the presidency, the associations grouped under the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) have brought a case to the Supreme Court arguing for its unconstitutionality. The primary argument is that the law allows for state intervention on private matters, and that is not constitutionally possible.
The Court decided not to impose an injunction suspending its effect, so the amendment is in force as of now.
The Folha de São Paulo newspaper has had a piece on the issue today, showing some of the conflicts and debates over the theme.
The main change introduced by the amendment is the creation of a supervising body – after more than 20 years of unregulated activity – with mediation and arbitration powers to be regulated by a Federal Decree.
Other changes include the submission of the CMO and its associations to the antitrust regulations, the limitation of terms for the directors’ boards, as well as a limitation on who is eligible for such positions (only original right-holders from now on).
An unofficial and preliminary English version of the amendment is available here [doc].
William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.