Brazil: Duration of patent protection under discussion before the Supreme Court

The patent system in Brazil which has guaranteed a term of protection of 10 years from the grant of a Brazilian patent in the event that the Brazilian patent office takes more than 10 years to grant the patent is now being challenged before the Brazilian Supreme Court on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The issue is scheduled to be decided by the Brazilian Supreme Court on April 7, 2021

Paris, April 08, 2021 – If the European Patent Office (EPO) notes a very slight decrease in the total number of European patent applications filed in 2020 (-0.7%), it nevertheless notes for this pandemic year a strong increase in these filings in the biomedical field.

After the passing uncertainty, at the end of the first quarter of 2020, about the future of innovation, as the pandemic became a global reality, the tremendous creative impetus of inventors and the mobilization of innovative companies, in the health sector, quickly reassured us, which the EPO confirms.

Compared to the number of filings made in 2019, the three areas where the most remarkable increases are observed are Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnologies and Medical Technologies (even if these increases are respectively lower than those of the previous year).

The best change in the number of filings concerns the Pharmaceuticals sector (including in particular preparations for medical, hygiene or dental purposes): + 10.2%. Among European applicants, applicants from the Netherlands show a significant increase in their European filings (+ 14.9%), but French applicants show the best increase in the number of filings (+ 21.8%), including INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) first applicant and SANOFI, sixth applicant (in number of filings, all nationalities of applicants combined). The most significant increase for non-European applicants is that of US applicants (+13.6%).

The field of Biotechnologies (including in particular peptides, microbiology and genetic engineering) shows an increase in the filing of European patent applications of + 6.3%. Among the European applicants, the French applicants, INSERM and SANOFI, respectively occupy the second and third places (in number of filings, all nationalities of applicants combined) and it is the British and Swiss applicants who show the best increases in their filings (+ 19.4% and + 14.3%, respectively). Among non-European applicants, it should be noted the spectacular increase in filings from China (+ 75.4%), the significant increase in filings from Korea (+ 31.5%), and that in filings from Japan (+ 18%).

Finally, the field of Medical Technologies (including in particular medical devices for diagnosis, treatment of diseases and surgery), with the largest number of European patent applications filed in 2020, shows an increase of + 2.6%. In Europe, French applicants saw their European filings grow by + 17.5%, SANOFI being the sixth applicant (in number of filings, all applicants’ nationalities combined). Among non-European applicants, Chinese applicants saw the number of their European filings grow by + 34.4% and Korean applicants by + 13%.

The publication of these European patent applications, from the fall of 2021, will contribute to the enrichment of the prior art and the analyzes which will result from it, in the continuity of the creative emulation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published by

Frédérique Faivre Petit

Managing Partner