The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) has recently taken crucial steps to improve the country’s IP system. Some of the BPTO’s new initiatives, including the Intelectual Property National Strategy program, have already sparked optimism among industry practitioners and cautious hope for BPTO to become an even more demanding and rather convenient Latin American market for international and domestic inventors.
While making any projections, it is always crucial to analyze and understand the current state of the patent industry in the country. The present report is based on IP Pilot’s data and considers applications first published between 2016 and 2021 (as of January 2022).
Overall, between 2016 and 2021, 342 Brazilian IP law firms prosecuted 191,480 filings. According to the aggregated yearly totals, the substantial rise was between 2016 and 2017. It accounted for an almost 35% increase in volumes handled by Brazilian associates (38,666 to 52,136 filing applications). However, 39% and 20% decrease followed in the subsequent two years. Some positive trends occurred in 2020, making the yearly total reach 27,177 patent applications with a long-awaited 5% raise.
Drawing on the patent representations data provided by IP Pilot, DANNEMANN, SIEMSEN, BIGLER & IPANEMA MOREIRA (56,920 patent filings), KASZNAR LEONARDOS PROPRIEDADE INTELECTUAL (21.212 patent filings), CLARKE, MODET & CO. (14,790 patent filings), DANIEL LEGAL & IP STRATEGY (11,158 patent filings), and DAVID DO NASCIMENTO ADVOGADOS ASSOCIADOS (10,160 patent filings) were the five largest IP law firms in Brazil. In general, the top five list remained relatively stable throughout the last couple of years.
Considering the distribution of prosecution work, Brazil’s most prominent 50 patent law firms represented almost 95% of the total number of patent applications first published between 2016 and 2021. The top 3 took over 49% of this volume in the considered timeframe. The high ratios indicate an intense concentration in the Brazilian patent market.
Local associates received approximately 91% of patent filings from abroad. For Brazil’s top 15 most significant IP law firms, the share of handled foreign versus domestic patent filings exceeded 95%. The majority of those applications (more than 90% for the most significant 15) were PCT-based, highlighting applicants’ preferred route to attain protection in the country.
Pharmaceuticals (26,839 patent filings), fine organic chemistry (18,063 patent filings), medical technology (15,815 patent filings), basic material chemistry (14,405 patent filings), and biotechnology (14,058 patent filings) were the technical fields in which Brazilian patent firms handled most of the filings. To give you a few examples, German BASF, Swiss Hoffmann la Roche, American Procter & Gamble, and Dutch Unilever were among the essential applicants attempting to get protection in those areas in Brazil. Unsurprisingly, the leading Brazilian IP law firms handled most of these cases. KASZNAR LEONARDOS PROPRIEDADE INTELECTUAL and GUSMAO & LABRUNIE represented applications from a top German chemistry applicant. DANNEMANN, SIEMSEN, BIGLER & IPANEMA MOREIRA, GUSMAO & LABRUNIE took over Hoffmann la Roche work. VIEIRA DE MELLO ADVOGADOS was the preferred partner for Procter & Gamble’s applications.
Looking at the international exchange of cases, between 2016 and 2021, the US, Germany, and Japan were among Brazil’s top partners. American applicants and law firms sent 38% of 69,580 filings received by local representatives. The US was also among the first countries to get prosecution work from Brazilian inventors (25% or 913 filings out of 3,558).
To sum up, there was an average decrease in the volumes prosecuted by Brazilian representatives in 2016-2020. At the same time, the recent IP-related governmental initiatives and a slight up-trend in the number of handled filings have revealed some positive dynamics and cautious hope for more work to come from international and local inventors. To look at the current developments, more than 90% of cases dealt with by local associates were from international applicants, while the volume of domestic work remained low. The incoming patent filings ended at key and well-established representatives’ hands, signaling a high concentration of IP-related business.