Patent Searches In Portuguese And The WIPO Development Agenda 08/07/2008 by Claudia Jurberg for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Claudia Jurberg for Intellectual Property Watch RIO DE JANEIRO – Last year, Brazil and India presented their candidacies and were accepted to operate as international authorities for patent searches at the World Intellectual Property Organization. In addition, Brazil suggested that the Portuguese language be considered for publications. The country will begin operating a patent system in Portuguese in the coming weeks. The interest was in creating a way to make it easier to access the world-wide system for Brazilians and other countries with the same language. The president of the Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property, Jorge Avila, explained at a meeting here last week that the number of Brazilian patents deposited at the WIPO Patent Cooperation Treaty (which allows a patent filing in one country to be applied across all) is very small compared with national productivity and entrepreneurial activities. One of the reasons for this situation is not having a search authority in Portuguese, which makes the process complex and expensive due to translation costs, he said. As of now, the preliminary exam will be much easier. And if the patent needs more study, the search consequently will go to other countries. In such cases, the translation costs would be significant, he said. “We believe we will start to operate in August and we will be able to receive international requests [from other countries with Portuguese language] or to be designated as an authority for search and preliminary audit,” Avila said. He spoke at the First International Symposium on Intellectual Property of Countries with Portuguese Language, held in Rio de Janeiro, from 30 June to 02 July. Applications for patents will no longer need to be written in English or in French, making the process accessible to small inventors. This will make it a much cheaper administrative procedure, said Professor João Paulo Marques Remédio of the law school of the universities of Coimbra and Lusíada, Portugal. At the event, Remédio addressed aspects of global trends in the field of the intellectual property. He proposed the creation of an association or regional organisation of countries of Portuguese language along the lines of those that already exist for countries of French and English language. The idea is to build on the model of other countries and congregate in the organisation the work of various institutions and the governments so as to consider multiple tasks. Among these multiple tasks, he suggested the diffusion of information to local communities and also to the main actors of these countries: jurists, lawyers, judges and specialists. Universities could be intermediaries in this process. To centre research procedures on innovation could be another way for these countries to be represented in the international fora. The meeting united dozen of specialists from diverse countries such as Portugal, China, Mozambique, France, and the United States, who searched for a common agenda beyond collecting a group of professors and researchers for reflections in order to contribute to the positions of these countries in international negotiations on IP. WIPO Development Agenda The new agenda for development at WIPO was another theme of the event. Brazilian Beatriz Amorim Borher, responsible for the Intellectual Property and New Technologies Division at WIPO, highlighted that this agenda was first proposed by Brazil and Argentina. Later, 13 other nations joined the group of countries called the Friends of Development. One of the challenges of the agenda is to bring developing countries into the use of the system, she said. Proposed in 2004 and adopted in 2007, it was built to address the needs of developing countries. It resulted in 45 adopted recommendations and the creation of the permanent Committee for the Development and IP (CDIP). Beatriz Amorim said that work currently is focussed on the implementation of these 45 proposals through their translation into action. The details will be taken up as the CDIP meets this week in Geneva. [Editor’s Note: the following four paragraphs have been retranslated from the original Portuguese for better readability. Their meaning is not considered to be changed.] Of the 45 proposals, 19 relate to activities and programmes already being developed by WIPO. The organisation has launched initiatives to promote the understanding of intellectual property in the context of innovation and industrial policies, according to Beatriz Amorim. It also has developed programmes that aim at the creation, protection and commercialisation of IP by developing countries and economies in transition. Beatriz Amorim indicated that activities have been undertaken at the macro and micro levels, in the context of national IP strategies, in order to promote the development of capabilities in relation to technology and IP management for newly structured technology transfer offices. In addition, she referred to WIPO’ s role in implementing projects designed to facilitate the establishment of IP policies in universities and research institutions. Such initiatives focus on promoting a better understanding of the legal framework, as well as, issues of ownership, benefit sharing, conflict of interest, and disclosure, among others. Amorim drew attention to the importance of developing and strengthening capabilities and skills to enable developing countries to more effectively use the IP system. In this regard, she referred to training programs which are being offered in all regions on licensing, patent drafting and IP valuation. “The publication of international patent applications in Portuguese and the capacity to search patents in that language will have an enormous impact in Latin America and in other Lusaphone countries,” she said. Although Jorge Ferrão, rector of Lúrio University, Mozambique, agreed with the impact of these initiatives, he stressed that in his country, it is first necessary to have an internal movement that gives the government backing for the policy. He said this movement is not consolidated yet. Brazilian Leonardo Burlamaqui, an economist at the Ford Foundation (US), during his presentation showed the gap created by the patent system between rich and poor nations and asked the audience how a system that was private can be restructured to reduce the gap that is expanding in the world of knowledge? For him, the rules of intellectual property are pivotal. “The system is restricted and has a high regulation,” as it is privatized among developed countries, he said. In order to overcome this situation, he suggested actions such as patents pools, the stimulation of research consortia, and punishing opportunistic patents because they produce lengthy lawsuits. Claudia Jurberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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