On July 6, in the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies, the bill to modify the law that regulates the rights and obligations related to industrial property in order to grant a compulsory license for the exploitation of patents of inventions or utility models necessary to face public health emergencies was approved. The bill was approved with modifications. Now, in order to continue with its legislative process, the initiative will have to be studied again by the Senate.
The text proposes to enable the federal government to violate the protection of intellectual property to produce drugs and vaccines in cases of national or international health emergencies. For this purpose, the Executive Branch would have to publish a list of patents, or patent applications, of products potentially useful to face health crisis scenarios. The list could not include patents and patent applications that are the subject of production technology transfer agreements or voluntary licenses if they are capable of meeting domestic demand.
The objectives for which each compulsory license is authorized must also be specified and the patent owner must provide the necessary information, other technical aspects and evidence for the production of the product, under penalty of nullity of the patent. In addition, public institutions must also share the data they have.
It should be noted that the proposal also seeks to enable the Brazilian government to export the products made from the patent to countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector in order to supply their own population.