segunda-feira, 19 de novembro de 2012

The Company and the Patent: Yes Google, you can have it all in Brazil too

The recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google inspired me to talk about the acquisition of patents and companies in Brazil.  (One of the biggest Motorola's plants is located in Brazil)

A patent, as a title granted by the sovereign State to a person regarding the rights over industrial property, is, in general, as negotiable as any other property right.

In this sense, an investor interested in buying a company in Brazil can acquire the company’s patents too.
If the buyer is interested merely on the patent, the law imposes but one restriction to the acquisition of patent rights by a foreigners: national defense interest. Otherwise, the sale of regular (non military) patents is not prohibited or restricted.

Apart from that,  the usual procedures and restrictions for foreign investment will apply if the investor plans on establishing a company here in order to put the patent to use.

For those whose interest reside at the economic exploitation of the patent without the need for sole rights in its usage: Brazilian law also accepts “licensing”.

This is the usual land-me-your-magic-and-I’ll-pay-you-royalties scheme. It is on most cases a private negotiation. But public offers can be made through INPI – the Brazilian authority concerning patents.

Some tricky little things you must know about patents in Brazil:

If you don’t explore or if you abuse your rights you may lose them;
Patents concerning new inventions have a maximum expiration date of 20 years, the ones considered mere innovations, 15;
The patent term initiates from the deposit of the patent by the inventor, not from the actual granting of the “lettres patentes”. Thus, hiring an expert to oversee the approval of the patent and to make sure it is expedited quickly is a smart move.


BARBOSA, Denis Borges. Tipos de Contratos de propriedade industrial e transferência de tecnologia. 2002. Available at: Access: August 17, 2011, at 20h01min.

___________. Venda de marcas de titular estrangeiro. Parecer jurídico. Available at: Access: August 17, 2011, at 21h52min.

BRASIL. Lei 9.279 de 14 de maio de 1996. Regula direitos e obrigações relativos à propriedade industrial. Available at: Access: August 17, 2011, at 2ih59min.

O que são patentes? Available at: Access: August 17, 2011, at 20h08min.

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