Brazil is the largest consumer of agrichemicals in the world, with agrichemical sales there hitting $11 billion last year, according to crop protection news website Agrow, but its patent system still has to be developed if innovative firms aiming for an adequate return on their investment are to receive the appropriate patent protection.
Agrichemical-related inventions in general were always considered patentable in Brazil but some aspects were not under the former IP statute (Law # 5,772/71). In particular, Article 9 (b) of that statute established that substances, matters or products obtained by chemical means or processes were not patentable.
However, Brazil is one of the signatories of the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights Agreement (TRIPS), which came into force on January 1, 1995. Therefore, when the current IP statute was enacted in 1996 and came into force on May 14, 1997, it encompassed all the minimum standards of protection set out in the TRIPS agreement, including the rule that patents should be granted for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology without discrimination (Article 27.1).
As a result, when the current IP statute (Law # 9,279/96, Patent Statute) came into force in May 1997, (except for Articles 230, 231, 232 and 239, which came into force on the date of the publication of the Patent Statute on May 14, 1996), agrichemical-related inventions covering substances, matters or products obtained by chemical means or processes were considered liable for protection as the Patent Statute allowed patent protection in all fields of technology in accordance with the TRIPS agreement.
agrichemical, patents protection, TRIPS, INPI