PRA, Brazilian Think Tanks Advocate for IP Rights in Brazil

WASHINGTON, DC –– 3/14/2022 –– On Monday the Property Rights Alliance (PRA) joined five Brazilian think tanks in a letter to the Brazilian legislature advocating for the protection of innovation and intellectual property rights in the Brazil.

The Property Rights Alliance (PRA) is an international research and advocacy organization committed to promoting and protecting innovation, intellectual and physical property rights, as well as publishing the International Property Rights Index. Strong legal and political environments that recognize and enforce property rights preserve the tangible and intangible assets of inventors while incentivizing innovation. In the letter to members of Brazil’s National Congress, PRA joined the think tanks Instituto Livre Mercado, Centro de Liberdade Economica Mackenzie, Instituto Liberal, Instituto Atlantos, and Frente Parlamentar pelo Livre Mercado.

The letter, which is written in both Portuguese and English, reads, “Repealing the vetoes of bill PL nº 12/2021 would be another serious blow to this system which is a vibrant source of competition and innovation in Brazil.” The bill in question was originally introduced as a purported pandemic measure which would “broaden the definition of compulsory licensing to require test data, trade secrets, biological specimens, all technical information, and know-how related to a patent subject to a compulsory license to be handed over.”

The available data rejects the premise that such a bill is necessary for fighting the pandemic. As mentioned in the letter, “New estimates forecast that in 2022 global production capacity of COVID vaccines will reach 20 billion doses, three times the amount necessary to achieve the WHO call to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s people and provide boosters––an achievement only possible without encroaching on [intellectual property] rights.” The signatories of the letter argue that including forced technology transfers in Brazil’s compulsory licensing policies related to COVID-19 would “significantly freeze” important relationships with global supply chains and undermine the emerging country’s already vulnerable pharmaceutical industry.

The letter goes on to note that since 2018 Brazil has plummeted from 55th place to 74th place on the International Property Rights Index, marking a sharp decrease in property rights protections relative to other nations. Brazil’s increasing restrictions on trade have also led the country to drop from 77th place to 83rd place on the International Trade Barrier Index.

“Adopting further legislation to weaken intellectual property rights will cause the fundamental indicators to plummet further, jeopardizing future innovation and production capacity in the country,” the letter concludes.

The full text of the letter in Portuguese can be found here.

The full text of the letter in English can be found here.


Photo Credit: Messala Ciulla and Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels