In the Brazillian judicial system one of the most relevant pending matters, due to its economic and social relevance, is that of the articles 230 and 231 of the Law 9.2792/1996, regarding the so-called “patent pipelines”.
In short, this articles allows that patents acquired in other countries could be directly applied to Brazil without an extensive verification of their material content, in others words, this direct application (automatic validation or pipeline) allows companies, especially those of the pharmaceutical area, to bypass the examination of the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI).
In 2009 the Attorney-General of the Union (PGR) presented a lawsuit, before the Brazillian Supreme Court questioning the validity of such articles that sparked a controversy around the subject. However, the Justice responsible for this lawsuit, Carmen Lúcia, did not presented the case to be discussed by whole tribunal, a required procedure in cases where the validity of the law is questioned.
In Brazil the Justices do not have a specific deadline to present their cases, being a matter of their own discretion, nevertheless, the Court announced that this case will be present to the whole tribunal in plenary sessions scheduled to be held on September, 06 of 2018.
There is the possibility that any other Justice will ask to examine the case in further detail, that may postpone the judgment, although since the Justice responsible for the case will present its vote it is likely that this matter will be decided, solving, one way or another, one of the most important controversies regarding patents in the Brazilian law system.
Lawyer Author of the Comment: Luciano Del Monaco
Headline: O custo social da inércia do STF: Réquiem da ADI 4.234
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