Seed company encounters intellectual property disputes in Brazil

December 10, 2012
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Intellectual Property Dispute

The legal system in Brazil differs somewhat from the United States and other countries, which incorporates intellectual property law, patent infringement and copyright legislation. In 1955, the country became part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which means intellectual property laws are enforced in Brazil according to the organization's requirements.

Copyright can be registered in Brazil with their patent office as well as the Brazilian National Library but will be instituted for only 70 years past the creator's death and 50 years if it is a software product.

For businesses attempting to build a company or product within this country, executives must establish contact with the Brazilian Trademark and Patent Office, as it holds all industrial property rights including invention patents, trade designs, utility models, and trademarks.

The seed company Monsanto Co. is currently appealing to a state court in Brazil regarding its intellectual property rights, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The Court of Justice in Mato Grosso has stated that collection in the country can resume for the company.

"This action reinforces our confidence in our ongoing legal position and highlights that the company’s first-generation Roundup Ready soybean products are protected by various intellectual property rights under Brazilian law," Todd Rands, Monsanto legal director for Latin America, said in a statement.

The issue at hand was based on grower's concern that the patent on the Roundup Ready soybeans had allegedly expired in 2010, which stopped their requirement to pay Monsanto a fee for these particular seeds. However, the company claimed that the Brazil legal system had extended the patent until 2014.

Businesses that need assistance with intellectual property rights when completing transactions within Brazil should consider consulting experienced attorneys from a Brazilian law firm. These professionals know the ins and outs of laws in Brazil and will represent any company effectively in court.

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