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August 2, 2012

Newsletter 2012.07 – Coexistence agreements in Brazil

After a long period of darkness on this subject, the BPTO has just released an official communication on how the Coexistence Agreements shall be treated. The former BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks (issued in May/1997) formally admitted that Coexistence Agreements excluded the application of the norm contained in Section 124, item XIX, of the Brazilian IP Law, which prohibits the registration of marks that are identical or similar to another previously registered for the same or related goods or services, being susceptible of causing confusion or association with the senior mark.

Notwithstanding the fact that this guideline has lasted for over 13 years, it has always been refuted by the BPTO Attorneys’ Office, under the allegation that the Agreement by itself could never override that statutory prohibition. During the discussions for the revision of the BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks, which final version was released in December 2010, the BPTO Attorneys’ Office

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August 1, 2012

Newsletter 2012.06 – ANVISA’s role limited by Courts again

After a long period of darkness on this subject, the BPTO has just released an official communication on how the Coexistence Agreements shall be treated. The former BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks (issued in May/1997) formally admitted that Coexistence Agreements excluded the application of the norm contained in Section 124, item XIX, of the Brazilian IP Law, which prohibits the registration of marks that are identical or similar to another previously registered for the same or related goods or services, being susceptible of causing confusion or association with the senior mark.

Notwithstanding the fact that this guideline has lasted for over 13 years, it has always been refuted by the BPTO Attorneys’ Office, under the allegation that the Agreement by itself could never override that statutory prohibition. During the discussions for the revision of the BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks, which final version was released in December 2010, the BPTO Attorneys’ Office

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    July 9, 2012

    Newsletter 2012.05 – Brazilian government enacts law creating generic veterinary medicinal products

    On 20 July 2012, Law No. 12,689, of 19 July 2012, was published in the Federal Official Gazette. This law seeks to create generic veterinary medicinal products in the country and to establish rules concerning the marketing authorisation of such products to be applied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Supply (MAPA).

    In brief, two new categories of veterinary medicinal products have been created in addition to the existing reference veterinary drugs: similar (“branded generic”) and generic medicinal products for veterinary use.

    According to Law No. 12,689/12, a similar veterinary medicinal product shall mean a medicinal product which has the same active substance, the same concentration and pharmaceutical form as the reference medicinal product for veterinary use, but which excipients may or not be identical, always being identified by its trade mark. Law No. 12,689/12 has apparently not considered a similar veterinary medicinal product to be interchangeable with the re

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    July 1, 2012

    Newsletter 2012.04 – Further information on ANVISA’s role

    Following our recent newsletter on ANVISA’s role in the examination of pharmaceutical patent applications, this is to briefly inform that the Brazilian PTO has started forwarding cases to ANVISA’s consent before substantive examination has begun, in accordance with the guidelines suggested by the Interministerial Working Group (GTI), through Ordinance No. 1,065, of 24 May 2012.

     

    Please note, however, that neither ANVISA nor the Brazilian PTO has yet issued normative acts indicating whether the GTI’s guidelines suggested would actually be adopted and, in the affirmative, to what extent. Yet, the Brazilian PTO has claimed, in the accompanying letters sent to ANVISA with patent applic

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    June 1, 2012

    Newsletter 2012.03 – The debate over ANVISA’s role in the examination of pharmaceutical patent applications continues

    As you may be aware, due to article 229-C of the Brazilian IP Law, as amended by Law No. 10,196/01, whenever a patent application claims a pharmaceutical product or process, consent from the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) is also required prior to granting the desired patent. This provision, however, has been the source of never-ending controversy and subject to growing attacks since it entered into effect in 2001.

    The lack of statutory power of ANVISA to analyse patentability requirements of pharma applications was supported by the Attorney-General’s Office in legal opinions published in 2009 and 2011. Indeed, in their opinion, ANVISA should only make health-based assessments of applications sent for prior consent; prior consent should only be denied to applications in instances that granting the patents would pose health risks. How ANVISA would assess “health risks” on the basis of the information included in patent applications was left unanswered though.

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    May 1, 2012

    Newsletter 2012.02 – Law-suits to accelerate the examination of trademark or patent applications

    In view of the slow pace of the Brazilian Trademark and Patent Office (BPTO) and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) on the analysis of trademark and patent applications, over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the number of judicial cases seeking the acceleration of the examination of such applications.

    In fact, several court decisions have ruled that if the application is pending for a long time before the BPTO or ANVISA, it is possible to file a writ of mandamus to redress an unreasonable delay.

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    April 1, 2012

    Newsletter 2012.01 – Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office launches pilot program involving “green patents”

    Following the consensus among the international community about the importance of the development of green technologies in mitigating global climate change, national governments also came to acknowledge the relevance of patent granting procedures as a mechanism to promote green innovation.

     

    Within this context, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office – INPI – will launch, as of this date of April 17, 2012, a pilot program involving “green patents”, for the purpose of prioritizing examination of patent applications related to environmentally friendly technologies, by reducing the time it will take for their examination to less than two years. The pilot program is quite limited as yet and only the first 5

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