Change to patent law could be a blow to Brazilian innovation

A Supreme Court ruling limits medical patents to a maximum of 20 years. Investors in innovation are likely to steer clear of Brazil

Patent Patents requests can pend for decades. Photo: Alex rodrigo brondani
Patent requests can pend for decades. Photo: Alex Rodrigo Brondani/Shutterstock

A vote to change a single paragraph of Brazil’s industrial property law could pose a significant threat to innovation in the country. Earlier in April, Supreme Court Justice Dias Toffoli suspended a rule allowing increases to the terms of medical patents, a decision that takes Brazil one step closer to imposing limits on legal protections for drugs and health processes. While potentially beneficial to manufacturers of generic medicines, the move represents a blow for those seeking to invest in new technology in Brazil.

Brazil’s industrial patent law states that all patents should have a duration of ten years....

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