The report, “The Grown-Up BRIC: Innovation & Brand Expansion in Brazil,” found that the nation’s rapid pace of trademark and patent filings indicate that Brazil is a “hotbed” of innovation, a hyper-growth market and a leader in intellectual property (IP) protection.
Laura Gaze, senior marketing manager of Thomson Reuters IP Solutions business, outlines the report’s key findings:
- Recession-proof patent growth: The total number of unique inventions issued in published patent applications and granted patents in Brazil grew 64 percent from 2001 to 2010.
- Record growth in trademarks: Between 1990 and 2010, trademark applications increased nearly 200 percent, with most significant growth occurring in class 35 (advertising/business management); class 25: (clothing/footwear); class 43(hotels/restaurants), and class 44 (medical/beauty).
- Top technology areas: The top technology areas in terms of volume of published patent applications and granted patents with a Brazilian priority between 2001 and 2010 were computers, automotive technology, domestic appliances and pharmaceuticals.
- Steady growth in scientific literature output: Brazil has become the 13th-largest producer of scientific research in the world and, since 2000, leads in the output of new research in Latin America.
- Culture of university/industry collaboration: Twenty-seven percent of all patents in Brazil are owned by universities, a direct result of steps taken by the Brazilian government to improve cooperation between universities and industry.
Few emerging market economies boast Brazil’s unique combination of steady growth and a well-established IP system, commented IP Solutions President David Brown, about the findings. The analysis depicts Brazil as a country “ripe with market opportunity for the international community” due to the stable IP system and respect of brand protection, he pointed out upon the report’s release. “[Brazil is a] viable choice for companies looking to expand globally,” he said.
Expanding Middle Class
As the report indicates, during the past 30 years, Brazil transformed into a major global player, making major strides in efforts to raise millions of citizens out of poverty, which has resulted in an expanding middle-class population that proved a key driver in the country’s growth. “Today, Brazil’s $1.9 trillion USD economy accounts for 41 percent of Latin America’s total GDP and surpassed France as the world’s fifth largest economy, as measured by the GDP in 2010,” the report reveals. Further, the nation’s economy is expected to grow an average of 4.2 percent from 2011 to 2015. That compares with 2.8 percent in the United States and 1.7 percent in Europe.
Also intriguing is Brazil’s IP protection. The report concedes that there isn’t a “one size fits all” regimen for all nations, but that Brazil’s success demonstrates proven approaches. The report delineates Brazil’s five key steps to successful IP strategy, and indicates an effective template for companies seeking to do business in Brazil:
- File as early as possible: Brazil’s first-to-file system for patent and trademark registration, combined with the patent office’s eight-plus year backlog, makes it essential for businesses looking to secure IP in Brazil to file well in advance of a Brazilian brand introduction.
- Conduct thorough searches: Given the time it takes to get approval for Brazilian patents and trademarks, it is crucial for companies to conduct detailed searches for prior art, existing marks, even Internet domain names that could impede a speedy approval process.
- Know the culture: Brazil is physically enormous and there is widespread cultural variation within the country. Companies need to understand and respect local culture. The way things are done in the south are different than in São Paulo.
- Invest in monitoring: Infringement can be common in Brazil, but the infrastructure exists to enforce IP rights. The key for IP owners is to be vigilant about monitoring to catch a problem before it escalates.
- Leverage local experts: Brazil’s IP laws, tax code and political environment are among the most complicated in the world. It is important for foreign firms moving into the market to leverage local expertise on how best to navigate the nuances of the country’s legal and regulatory infrastructure.
Brazil represents a spirit of new growth, the report demonstrates. While the nation defies “easy categorization”—simultaneously a hyper-growth emerging market, a leader in IP enforcement, and fertile territory for innovation—it is a vibrant market for local and multinational corporations. And the markets can be easily understood. The report concludes with a quote from Alejandro Pinedo, managing director of Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy. He heads the Brazil office: “Brazil is completely comprehensible. You can understand the market immediately. We’re in the West and that makes a big difference from Russia, India and China. Economically, we are very much like the US was 40 years ago and that creates enormous opportunity for companies who are looking to grow.”
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The full report is available at http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/brazilreport.