INPI and National Council of Justice come together to further improve Brazilian judiciary specialisation in IP matters
In April 2021 the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) signed a technical cooperation agreement, which aims to improve judges’ specialised knowledge of IP matters in state and federal courts across the country.
The agreement provides for:
- the registration of trademarks and computer programs connected to the CNJ;
- the exchange of information between institutions to monitor IP administrative cases before judiciary courts; and
- the training of judiciary personnel in IP matters – the INPI will work with magistrates in diverse practice areas to deliver seminars and academic training. In addition, a postgraduate programme to qualify magistrates in IP matters will be introduced. The courses will follow a United Nations programme, with 75 hours of initial training.
These measures are in line with Brazil’s national IP strategy, which was launched in December 2020 by the Special Secretariat for Productivity, Employment and Competitiveness of the Ministry of Economy. Further, this agreement is part of INPI’s mission to disseminate IP knowledge and to promote the use of an efficient and widely known national IP system, which encourages creativity and investments in innovation and aims to increase competition and socio-economic development in Brazil. Further, judiciary specialisation is essential for improving IP decisions.
Brazilian court system
The Brazilian legal system follows a bifurcated process. Enforcement is a state jurisdiction matter, whereas invalidity lawsuits are filed before federal courts. Patent infringement lawsuits are filed before either civil or criminal state courts. As the violation of patent rights is also considered a crime, the patent owner can rely on both civil and criminal measures to enforce its rights.
The state courts of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo hear the majority of IP infringement cases in the country. Both have district courts, which specialise in commercial disputes, including trademark, industrial design and patent infringement cases before the State Court of Rio de Janeiro. The Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro also has courts that specialise in hearing patent invalidity cases.
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