Brazil launches IP mediation centre
The centre will begin handling disputes in April 2013. It will deal with patent and trademark conflicts and cases involving counterfeiting and unfair competition.
Speaking at a workshop held at the School of Regional Federal Judiciary (EMARF) on Tuesday, March 12, representatives from the PTO and Brazil’s Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) said the centre will provide a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to litigation.
Jorge Avila, PTO president, said it will offer a “fast-track service” to brand owners. Elton Ferreira Barbosa, head of INPI’s anti-counterfeiting division, said it will form a key part of the PTO’s work in partnership with federal and border control agencies to tackle the counterfeit goods trade.
While the PTO has been working hard to reduce its backlog, Guilherme Abrantes, partner at Bhering Advogados in Brazil, said some disputes still take a long time to resolve.
“This affects a company’s ability to protect and enforce its IP rights in Brazil, which may cause concern and even prevent companies from doing business here. The mediation centre will be useful to expedite resolution of these matters,” he said.
Abrantes also said the mediation centre will provide a welcome alternative to expensive court proceedings.
“General arbitration is starting to be used more frequently [in Brazil] … however, most arbitration proceedings take place abroad.”
“The enforcement of foreign decisions (rendered by courts or arbitration) is very complex and depends on the ratification by the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice, which can be a long and costly process. The existence of a mediation centre specialised in IP in Brazil could be of great value,” he said.
Gabriel di Blasi, partner at Di Blasi Parente & Associados, agreed, adding that the mediation centre will make it easier for IP owners to settle disputes in Brazil because they will now be able to select a trained mediator who can speak their language.
As the centre is the first in Brazil to specialise in handling IP disputes, DiBlasi also said it will be more sensitive to IP owners’ needs.
For more information, please see: http://www.worldipreview.com/news/brazil-launches-ip-mediation-centre