by Saulo Murari Calazans
December 01, 2008
This year, the World Intellectual Property Organization published its third annual report with statistics for invention patent activity during the year 2006. These data for many different countries serve as indicators of national policies on invention protection.
Brazil rose one position (from 13th to 12th) in the ranking of countries with the greatest number of patent applications filed, with over 23,000 applications in 2006.
The leaders, Japan and the United States, received over 400,000 patent applications each. The other BRIC countries, China, Russia and India, reported approximately 200,000, 40,000 and 25,000, respectively.
Another interesting statistic is that Brazil was favored for protecting foreign technology when applicants required corresponding applications in over fifteen countries. For China this figure drops to corresponding applications in over seven countries.
The report also said that the number of applications by non-residents is disproportional to the number by residents. Less than 20% of the applications filed in Brazil were originated in the country; most filings correspond to existing foreign cases.
Regarding the number of corresponding patent applications in other countries for filings initially made within the country, Brazil trails only Russia and China for fewest "patent families," positioned at number three.
Lastly, the report indicated that the huge majority (almost 100%) of utility model patent applications in Brazil is filed by residents of the country. This alternative form of protection is for novel shapes or arrangements of products, with protection effective for fifteen years rather than the twenty years that inventions receive.
As compared to figures from previous years, the above data indicates that patent issues have been gradually earning more attention in Brazil.
Since they seek exclusive commercial exploitation of new products and procedures, patent applications act as a barometer of the interest that a country inspires on the international stage.
Future reports will undoubtedly bring positive indicators that industrial property protection is a major influence in Brazil’s industrial policy. Even in times of crisis, Brazil sustains solid economic bases, so that adequate, transparent patent policy may attract further investments and promote the different sectors of the country’s industry and technological development.