Brazil

The arrival of 2019 has brought with it many changes to Brazil’s IP market, as well as its political landscape. On 1 January, Jair Bolsonaro stepped into his role as president; since then, there have been some sweeping reorganisations at the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). INPI has been made a part of the newly formed Ministry of the Economy, which now comprises four different ministries, including the Ministries of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (of which INPI was a part under the former government). The agency also has a new president, Cláudio Vilar Furtado, whose principle tasks will include dealing with its ongoing application backlog – currently standing at more than 200,000 pending applications. INPI has launched a new strategic plan to streamline procedures by 2021. Having recently announced a technical partnership with the American Chemical Society, it will also be using AI tools to expedite examinations. In addition, a pre-examination office action pilot project has been initiated to simplify the application process. Although this will not replace substantive examination or act as a fast-track programme, it will provide an opportunity to check whether applicants are still interested in pursuing their applications by the time that they are ready to be technically examined. The project is already reported to have increased INPI’s productivity rate and is steadily reducing the backlog of applications. The INPI Green Patent programme – a scheme under which patent applications relating to environmentally friendly technologies are to be expedited in a grant time of approximately two years – has also taken the market by storm. Moreover, numerous prosecution highway agreements remain in force with Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and the EPO.

Firms

Barbosa Müssnich Aragão

Full-service outfit Barbosa Müssnich Aragão houses an exceptionally strong IP division, which is bolstered by its wide-ranging expertise across a range of corporate law fields. The outfit covers every industry and technology with equal expertise, forming multi-disciplinary teams with ease and leveraging its myriad international connections to standardise the quality of its patent work across the globe. Technically versatile Antonella Carminatti heads the IP team. Her drafting and review of complex licensing agreements in a range of fields is always first rate. Equally adept on the transactional side is chemical engineering sage Ana Cristina Müller, whose experience covers every IP-rich transactional area imaginable. Initial public offerings, corporate restructurings, M&As and joint ventures are her fortes. The “very responsive and knowledgeable” Lilian Ghitnick “handles everything”, in the words of one peer. Patrons can rest easy knowing that their strategic IP needs are being expertly met when she is on the case.

Bhering Advogados

Bhering Advogados is a steadfast partner for patent matters of all hues, covering prosecution, litigation and transactional issues alike with the consummate quality and considerate touches that have come to characterise its offering. The firm enjoys an unusually wide geographical spread, both within and outside Brazil, which is reinforced by the international education and outlook shared by its practitioners. The outfit’s illustrious following of French and German-based patrons greatly appreciate its superb in-house translation services and overall quality. “Bhering has a very strategic and pragmatic approach, resolving issues quickly and efficiently. The difference between it and other firms? Its practitioners listen to us and understand our in-house strategy. Their willingness to be part of the team, instead of being an ‘academic advisor’, is super helpful and much-appreciated.” Another top international associate points out that “it is highly advantageous for us to have such a reliable partner in Brazil, with whom we can communicate in a competent and cost-effective fashion in English, German and Spanish”. Founding partner Pedro Bhering has been dispensing sharp transactional and strategic patent advice since 1974. His counsel is gold plated and born of deep knowledge and experience. Also active on the non-contentious side are patent attorneys par excellence Rafael Tögel and Flávia Merola. Their refined drafting skills are put to good use by a stable of high-profile clients that know what excellent prosecution looks like, including LG Electronics, Man Truck & Bus AG and L’Oréal Group. On the contentious side, Philippe Bhering balances his sparkling advocacy with management of the firm’s Sao Paulo office and German desk. Trilingual in Portuguese, English and German, he is an inter-continental client magnet.

Daniel Law

“Large and well-reputed”, Daniel Law has been one of Brazil’s leading offerings for 60 years. With offices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the partnership enjoys outstanding foreign links, which enable it to operate across Latin America with ease. Personnel growth is the normal state of affairs at Daniel – electrical engineering and IT sage Marcelo Corrêa being the firm’s most recent outstanding pickup. Clients praise the outfit’s technical versatility, with one describing it as “really good, across a range of different fields”. Ricardo Dutra Nunes and Rana Gosain lead the practice. Nunes is an all-sector litigator with an instinctive feel for the most persuasive technical arguments. “He is not only knowledgeable in litigation and prosecution matters, but also highly professional and diligent. His work is on a par with that of top US firms, and he’s a pleasure to work with.” Senior partner Gosain marshals Daniel’s non-contentious troops as a civil engineer with a deep well of drafting experience to draw from in times of need. Life sciences sage Kene Gallois “stands out for her professionalism – she provides timely and complete responses to every query”, while head of industrial design Diogo dos Santos Netto is a bio-informatics and genetics maven whose “professional and supportive” demeanour is much appreciated by those who rely on him for outstanding patent attorney work. Last but not least, Gustavo Sartori “knows the trends in Brazilian intellectual property very well – he advises concretely, always mindful of the latest developments”.

Dannemann Siemsen

One competitor remarks that “the most challenging opposition we face is provided by the lawyers at Dannemann Siemsen – they inspire us to get better every day”. This feedback was not atypical, with many similar impressions of the outfit’s outstanding contentious and non-contentious capabilities gathered over the course of our research. “It’s the absolute first name on the list for litigation, always on the other side of the courtroom. The most important competitor for sure.” “It leads the patent landscape, partly by virtue of its sheer size, but also due to the fact that it doesn’t seem to make mistakes.” “Tradition, a high number of clients and its volume of practitioners makes Dannemann Siemsen the main IP firm in Brazil.” The practice truly does it all, carrying out patent work of every type on behalf of an enviable client base that includes pre-eminent global names across various industries and sectors. Senior partner Luiz Henrique do Amaral is effective on both sides of the contentious divide; a strong, measured presence in both the courtroom and the boardroom, he continues to drive the practice forwards. Joaquim Eugenio Goulart also belongs to the firm’s litigation practice. His 25 years of experience in selecting and presenting only the most salient arguments mean that he is a lawyer in high demand. Cláudio França Loureiro garners rave reviews for his IP litigation and transactional support; “he is always available whenever we need to talk to him, either over the phone or in person – his responses are quick and complete, and he always provides us with well-thought out solutions”. All-sector contentious ace Gustavo de Freitas Morais is known as “a leading practitioner: he has been on the scene for a long time, has a great client roster and works on the most important projects”. The dual-qualified Cândida Ribeiro Caffé can be trusted to shepherd IP-rich deals of all hues across the line; her understanding of technology transfer and R&D agreements is truly first-rate. Dannemann Siemsen’s prosecution practice also showcases a slew of talented practitioners. Ivan Ahlert is “very experienced, with excellent technical knowledge in mechanical matters”; a former guest researcher at the Max Planck Institute, he has seen it all over the course of his career. Chemical engineering aficionado Ana Claudia Mamede Carneiro covers the full spectrum of patent attorney services with distinction. Electronic engineer Frank Fischer rounds off the team. Widely published in the field, his expertise is highly respected throughout Brazil.

David do Nascimento Advogados Associados

Established in 1970, David do Nascimento Advogados has earned a strong reputation for sagacious advice across all areas of patent work. The firm has a sensible, pragmatic approach that makes it a client’s dream. “Responsive, reliable and professional, the outfit provides short, sweet and solid legal advice at a reasonable price.” Marcello do Nascimento is a renowned practitioner whose membership of myriad industry bodies marks him out as especially well connected in the Brazilian scene. An accredited mediator and arbitrator, he is adept at defusing complex disputes by breaking them down to their bare essentials.

Demarest Advogados

An unbroken thread of excellence runs through Demarest Advogados’ venerable history in Brazilian intellectual property. The full-service firm is technically adroit and, with capabilities across a wide spectrum of hot patent areas, receives rave reviews from those who have been fortunate enough to experience its services. “The outfit is growing fast. Its services are priced appropriately and its attorneys at law are strategic, energetic and responsive. It has taken a real leadership role in the country, as a well-respected firm whose star is on the rise.” Transactional specialist Tatiana Campello is “very strategic – a terrific instructor and educator with a great grasp of complex issues, who plans extremely well”. “She’s an outstanding leader – a fact which is evident from the way in which other attorneys in the firm treat her.” Meanwhile, her colleague Julia Davet Pazos “is a very smart tactician, who understands how to approach patent issues in a way that puts her clients the best position to succeed”.

Di Blasi, Parente & Associados 

Di Blasi, Parente & Associados boasts an unrivalled mix of passion and sector-specific knowledge, which it leverages magnificently to provide its stable of patrons with the very finest in contentious and non-contentious IP counsel. The full-service firm recently broadened its offering in order to better support clients’ myriad commercial needs and, in doing so, has strengthened its reputation even further. With Samsung Electronics, biologics research centre Instituto Butantan and Tenneco Automotives on board, the partnership is certainly prospering. Managing partner Gabriel Di Blasi is dual-qualified as an IP agent and an attorney at law. His measured counsel is highly prized by those whose commercial fortunes rest on his granular knowledge of the Brazilian legal system.

Gaiarsa, Ferreira & Meyer Propriedade Intelectual

Although Gaiarsa, Ferreira & Meyer suffered a huge blow this year with the passing of its founder and Brazilian IP legend Lucas Gaiarsa, its passion for watertight patent prosecution remains undiminished. Katia Jane Ferreira Evangelista and Maria Beatriz Correa da Silva Meyer Gaiarsa lead the line. Ferreira is a chemical engineer par excellence and, in the words of one peer, is “utterly outstanding in cosmetic and biotech patent matters – the top name for pharmaceutical portfolios in Brazil”. Meyer is a civil engineer with 30 years’ experience, whose “high quality of work” and “excellent professional feedback” set her apart.

Guerra IP

Guerra IP provides excellent work at a reasonable price, making it a favourite among many Brazilian and multinational companies looking to secure, monetise and defend their IP rights. The firm’s offices in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro house a surfeit of talented practitioners. Senior partner Alberto Guerra heads the patent practice. A gifted courtroom advocate, he occupies a key position in the Brazilian IP scene as the former Brazilian delegate of the Asociación Interamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual. He is also involved at a high level in the administration of Series A club Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense. His partner Ricardo Pinho is extremely well regarded for his sparkling patent litigation and transactional counsel, providing a gateway to Brazil for many multinationals seeking to gain an IP foothold in the country.

Gusmão & Labrunie

A “modern firm that does good work”, Gusmão & Labrunie puts a special emphasis on remaining close to its clients. Its practitioners communicate fluidly at all times and take their patrons’ business concerns seriously – often acting as a strategic partner as well as a service provider. “Large, responsive and knowledgeable,” the partnership’s “skilled and very active team” makes it “a great player in the Brazilian market”. Clients of all sizes enlist Gusmão & Labrunie for contentious matters. Head of patent litigation João Vieira da Cunha and fellow courtroom warrior José Roberto Gusmão have become synonymous with high-quality service. London-educated da Cunha brings an international touch to the practice, while the well-connected Gusmão is a former president of INPI. Their contentious and transactional IP partner Jacques Labrunie is “the top name for patent litigation”; he continues to develop his formidable powers of argument from the firm’s Sao Paulo office. Gusmão & Labrunie’s non-contentious arm is also highly regarded by clients. Partner Priscila de Barros Thereza Yamashita is “one of the very best names in the market for biotech patent prosecution” and a practitioner with a deep well of experience to draw from if unforeseen obstacles arise in the drafting process.

Kasznar Leonardos 

“Kasznar Leonardos has great legal and technical teams, which together possess a level of quality that differentiates the firm from others.” The IP boutique maintains three Brazilian offices in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, allowing it to engage IP-rich businesses across the vast territory on their respective home turfs. Established in 1919, the outfit now has a century’s worth of experience working on the most important portfolios and briefs. Today, Kasznar Leonardos is home to some of Brazil’s premier legal minds. All-sector attorney at law Gabriel Francisco Leonardos is described as an “outstanding” practitioner. “Technically knowledgeable with advanced IP capabilities, he is especially efficient in transactional proceedings.” Claudio Roberto Barbosa further boosts the team’s courtroom strength. A technical expert in myriad matters relating to the Internet, he is “extremely committed to clients’ needs and accustomed to meeting difficult deadlines”. He weathers the trickiest litigation and negotiation proceedings without breaking sweat. Another dab hand in the transactional space is senior partner Elisabeth Kasznar Fekete. A trade secrets maven of over 35 years’ vintage with a command of no fewer than seven languages, she has a deeply strategic mind for patent licensing and litigation conundrums of all shapes and sizes. On the other side of the practice, Kasznar Leonardos’ prosecution arm frequently comes up with the goods for its stable of IP-rich clients. João Luis D’Orey Facco Vianna is both a medical doctor and a lawyer. He leads the pharmaceuticals and biotech group, constantly translating his carefully curated mental library of sector knowledge into crystalline patent drafts. Dual-qualified Gustavo José Ferreira Barbosa is a trained civil engineer responsible for the firm’s electronics, computer science, aeronautics and industrial design divisions. His management ensures that not one iota of the outfit’s combined technical talent is wasted. Chemical engineer Tatiana Almeida Silveira rounds off the group; her “clever vision of the whole technical field” and “easy approach to assessing and strengthening patents” are invaluable to many clients.

Licks Attorneys

The “excellent” practitioners at Licks Attorneys are single minded in their pursuit of favourable courtroom results. The firm is home to quality practitioners on both sides of the contentious divide but is arguably best known for its litigation work on behalf of leading concerns in the telecoms, biotech and pharmaceutical industries. The team has been inundated with cutting-edge mandates in recent years, which has led to its swift expansion and a move to a larger location in Rio de Janeiro. The firm has also opened a bureau in Brasilia to complement its existing outposts in Rio, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Firm founder Otto Licks is the litigation team’s talisman. “He is capable of doing amazing work and is widely known for his perseverance.” Often found acting in high-profile telecoms, medical devices and IT disputes, Licks counts pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme among his recent clients. Seasoned life sciences and IT courtroom operator Carlos Aboim is described as “responsive and professional” with an address book containing the names of some illustrious clients, including top global concern Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. Sao Paulo-based Eduardo Hallak gives “practical, solid advice” and is always “willing to think about cases from a strategic angle”, enabling him to lead the litigation and life sciences groups with distinction.

Luiz Leonardos & Advogados

Luiz Leonardos & Advogados is an IP boutique that offers clients the personal treatment. Patrons praise the “responsiveness, promptness and attention to detail” of the firm’s patent engineers and attorneys at law, as well as their cutting-edge knowledge of the latest Brazilian IP developments. Founder and luminary Luiz Leonardos has been involved with the Brazilian Intellectual Property Association (ABPI) since its foundation in 1963. As such, he has made a truly towering contribution to the country’s patent scene over the course of his extensive career. Co-founder and managing partner Gustavo Starling Leonardos particularly excels in transactional patent matters. He is an inspired choice for litigation, licensing and technology transfer agreements in a wide variety of technical fields. Head of prosecution Ana Paula Jardim is qualified as both an attorney at law and an electrical engineer. In the words of one client, she has “many outstanding attributes, including but not limited to her work ethic and diligence, attention to detail, responsiveness, knowledge of the technical subject matter and familiarity with the practicalities of the Brazilian patent system”. Fellow patent prosecutor Renata Campello Afonso is also dual-qualified. As a chemical engineer and lawyer, she is a life sciences strategist in high demand.

Magellan IP

“I have nothing but praise for the partnership – it is one of the elite firms in South America. It will soon surpass its competition in Brazil, as the service you get there is unparalleled.” Market sources are effusive in their praise for new kid on the block Magellan IP, whose extensive list of patrons already compares favourably to those of some well-established offerings. The Broad Institute, Instituto Butantan and Recepta Biopharma are three of the outfit’s top life sciences clients, and innovators in other fields including Uber Technologies Inc have been equally quick to get in on the action. Life sciences all-rounder Leonor Magalhães Galvão is “a really interesting, impressive practitioner who knows everything” according to one peer. “She is the best biotech patent prosecution attorney in Brazil.  Not only does she understand complicated technical matter, but also the complex legal landscape in Brazil. She has the advantage of having been trained in England, so she also brings a wealth of cultural knowledge and an appreciation of European practice.” “Her work is excellent, she is a pleasure to collaborate with, and she’s both knowledgeable and highly respected in the field.” Co-founding partner Caio Rodrigues da Silva heads up the outfit’s design practice, providing chemical, pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics drafting that is always crystalline and informed.

Montaury Pimenta, Machado & Vieira de Mello 

The “solid, motivated” professionals at Montaury Pimenta, Machado & Vieira de Melloare renowned for their “seriousness and practicality”, “fast, thorough responses” and “commercial approach”. The firm is “really good at handling clients” and produces a “fantastic” service as a result. Senior partners and attorneys at law Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta and Eduardo Magalhães Machado are central to the group’s contentious and transactional offerings, respectively. Montaury Pimenta is a “good name” in the country’s patent scene and this year served as the president of the ABPI. His complex patent litigation expertise is born of years of experience working on briefs of the highest importance. Meanwhile, Machado is a “clever” licensing guru who has been practising since 1980; an accomplished arbitrator, litigator and transactional specialist, he is a versatile practitioner whose attention is highly prized. The firm’s prosecution arm continues to go from strength to strength – largely as a result of the sterling efforts of Iko Medina and Magnus Aspeby. Mechanical engineering maven Medina has been active in the field since 1966. Educated in Brazil and Switzerland, his track record leaves little room for doubt as to his quality. Polyglot patent agent Aspeby’s experience gained as a substantive examiner in the Swedish and European patent offices makes him a magnet for European filers.

Müller Mazzonetto

IP boutique Müller Mazzonetto carries out patent work of all hues with distinction. Its practitioners are not only skilled across the contentious divide, but also technically versatile. The firm’s greatest strength is arguably its phenomenal pharmaceutical patent litigation practice – an area in which it has built up a stable of elite patrons, including top domestic company Eurofarma Laboratorios. Named partners Karina Haidar Müller and Nathalia Mazzonetto lead the courtroom charge. Every brief entrusted to them is guaranteed their close personal attention, with neither practitioner minded to palm crucial matters off to those less qualified to deal with them. Müller has a superb mind for patent transactions; her negotiation and scrutiny of licensing and R&D agreements is truly first rate. Mazzonetto’s granular knowledge of the litigation process complements her partner’s big-picture thinking perfectly. “A good mediator and advisor”, she forms sophisticated and realistic courtroom strategies time and time again. Spearheading the partnership’s prosecution efforts is the job of patent and industrial design wizard Alexandre Fukuda Yamashita. A mechanical engineering and law graduate, his 17 years’ experience stand testament to his dedication and technical nous.

Murta Goyanes

Murta Goyanes is – in the words of one competitor – “a firm to watch out for”. The “quality of its services”, excellent client relationships and “consistent growth” that market sources have observed inspire deep trust from the likes of Klabin, Brazil’s largest paper manufacturer; Alpargatas, Latin America’s largest footwear company; and European associate HGF Ltd – all of whom make use of the outfit’s local knowledge to better serve their own clients. One patron is eager to describe Murta Goyanes’ “serious and attentive approach”. “Its practitioners always give clear and impartial advice on difficult decisions, and always have our best interests at heart.” Antonio Murta Filho leads the contentious pack; the London-educated IP litigation expert is notably “responsive and personable”. On the non-contentious side of the practice, pharmaceuticals sage Vinícius Casciano drafts, deals with office actions and provides analyses of the highest quality. He is described as a “very competent professional” and an “excellent choice for pharmacology and chemistry portfolios”.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Brazilian full-service giant Pinheiro Neto supplements its solid IP practice with outstanding capabilities in other areas of commercial law, making it an attractive partner for global players across myriad industries and technical fields. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, LG Electronics, MIT and Duke are among those who entrust the firm with filing and strategy work – and the outfit has significant contentious strength to boot. Pinheiro Neto recently expanded outside Brazil, having opened a Palo Alto office to better service the Silicon Valley area and boost its international footprint. Stanford-educated José Mauro Decoussau Machado is a crucial link in the firm’s chain and an excellent first point of contact for interested parties.

Soerensen Garcia Advogados Associados

The meticulous, “highly trained” team at Sörensen Garcia Advogados Associados is “the most complete all-round IP outfit” in the country, according to one satisfied client. The firm’s patent practice houses an effective mixture of attorneys at law and technical experts, and is culturally distinguished by the collaborative, collegiate approach of its members. Litigator and strategist Mario Augusto Soerensen Garcia is an “outstanding leader” whose arbitration and mediation skills are second to none. Biomedical aficionado Barbara Cattete Dias bolsters the firm’s prosecution offering. Her genetics, molecular biology and bio-informatics drafting is technically clear and unfailingly persuasive.    

SP Law

Despite being a relatively new outfit, SP Law has already built up strong recognition as an excellent name in the Brazilian IP sphere. Specialising in patent strategy, transactional structuring and cross-border licensing, the firm’s growth is underpinned by instructions in the healthcare, life sciences and emerging technology areas. Founder and consummate strategist Benny Spiewak is the main draw. “Clever and confident, he often thinks outside the box to find solutions to difficult scenarios. He is very fast, practical and objective.” “An IP enthusiast with exceptional analytical skills and a deep knowledge of overseas legislation, he is always ready to put all his time and energy into getting the job done.”

Other recommended experts

Pinheiro, Nunes, Arnaud e Scatamburlo Advogado’s Antonio Arnaud is an “experienced, patient practitioner” with the ability to work wonders on behalf of his stable of patrons. Sao Paulo-based Ana Paula Santos Celidonio of Lobo de Rizzo Advogados is a patent strategist whose mind is always one step ahead; the Harvard-educated IP consultant is never outmanoeuvred on a tactical level. Gruenbaum, Possinhas & Teixeira’s Leonardo Cordeiro gathers plaudits from all over South America and Europe for his work. “His electronics and biology background makes him reliable across most technical areas. We feel confident sending him work, because we know he can handle it. He’s a fantastic agent, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English too.” Moreover, he is described as “young but skilled, dedicated and on top of all of the discussions he takes part in. He makes a great impression.” Marcela Waksman Ejnisman is co-head of full-service commercial firm TozziniFreire’s corporate/M&A practice. Her technology and telecoms nous is truly cutting edge. Veirano Advogados’ Valdir Rocha is a versatile, business-focused IP litigator whose powers of courtroom advocacy are well known and highly developed. Trench Rossi Watanabe’s Marcela Trigo de Souza is “excellent at formulating regional strategy”, “a sharp litigator with an amazing understanding of patent law in Brazil”. “She really gets to know her clients’ businesses. She’s very good at understanding foreign clients, is tireless and has a great presence; her expertise always becomes clear, but in a low-profile way – which seems to go down very well indeed in court.” André Venturini, of eponymous Venturini IP, is a former Daniel Law professional with enough electrical engineering knowledge to draw a handsome stable of clients into his fold.

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions

Luminaries

  • Luiz Leonardos - Luiz Leonardos & Advogados