28 January 2020
The government is preparing a Provisional Measure to extinguish the Brazilian Patent & Trademark Office (INPI) and incorporate its functions into the Brazilian Agency of Industrial Development (ABDI), transforming it into the Brazilian Agency of Development and Industrial Property (ABDPI). The proposal, still under discussion at the Ministry of Economy, has as its justification the reduction of the federal public machine.
The main consequence is that the activities previously carried out by the INPI would leave the Union’s budget, giving place to other expenses in the calculation of the expenditure ceiling. If the INPI is extinguished none of its faculties or obligations, previously financed by its discretionary budget, would remain within the Union’s budget.
The text foresees the termination of commissioned jobs, positions of public trust and bonuses of INPI, firing and exonerating its occupants automatically. However, the decrease in expenses will be limited. With such, the effective economy expected by the government amount to R$ 52 million (US$ 14 million).
The Association of Brazilian Federal Judges (AJUFE) and the Association of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo Federal Judges (AJUFERJES) have publicly expressed their concern. According to them, INPI has a staff of highly specialized public officials who are acknowledged for their impartiality in evaluating various applications. There is a well-founded fear of the precariousness of these services if their attributions are eventually assumed by the aforementioned ABDPI, a private entity without the necessary guarantees for the adequate provision of this public service, which is essential for the country.
In this sense, the decommissioning of INPI tends to make it difficult to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, an international commitment assumed by the country and which contributes to Brazil being considered an important player in international trade.
ABAPI, ABPI and ASPI, associations that represent the industrial property segment in Brazil, defend, as they have always done, the strengthening of INPI through effective administrative and financial autonomy of the entity, the modernization of its structures, personnel training and expediting of the analysis and grant of industrial property rights. The technological and economic development of the country relies on an efficient and independent industrial property system and, in this sense, it is fundamental to invest in the development of the entity that grants the industrial property rights.
The text foresees the termination of commissioned jobs, positions of public trust and bonuses of INPI, firing and exonerating its occupants automatically. However, the decrease in expenses will be limited to an amount of R$ 52 million (US$ 14 million).
Therefore, the associations argue that 100% of the resources received from the system’s users, such as trademark and patent applicants, should be applied in the INPI Itself. It is worth remembering that the accumulated surplus over the latest years has been misused to settle federal public debt. The associations reaffirm their support to reorganization proposals for the INPI, seeking to ensure the effectiveness of the industrial property system, while maintaining the exemption and impartiality of the entity – not its extinction.