Biotechnology & Intellectual Property In Latin America

Author:Moeller IP Advisors
Profession:Moeller IP Advisors
 
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The future is coming to Latin America. Does your business have the expertise to everything that comes with it? Beyond the technical know-how and capital to innovate in the biotech sector, you need to be able to own your ideas and own your concepts.

How important is it to have strong IP protections for the industry's growth? In biotech, no matter what country or hemisphere we are talking about, ideas are being generated all the time. And they need to be safeguarded, both for personal economic gain and for social good. A protected idea that is controlled by a functional, benign government entity can be a societal asset. Especially when it comes to biotech.

As the biotechnology sector grows in Latin America, it becomes more and more important for companies to have a firm grasp of their intellectual property needs.

Latin America's biodiversity lends itself to opportunities for study and research that don't exist in other continents. With all that opportunity for research, fresh ideas and new fields of study are bound to flourish. Which means that intellectual property that may arise from the continent may be more plentiful in the years to come. All the more reason to pay attention to the biotech sector in Latin America.

Patent Problems

Of course, all this economic activity can present a problem. A problem many would like to have, but a problem nonetheless. More biotech research means more patent applications. In a country that has a less-developed patent filing system, which can create a healthy backlog of patents. Not enough workers to process and outdated systems can exacerbate the backlog.

This blog post from IAM Media details some ways that Brazil is attempting to deal with this thorny issue. According to the post, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office estimated that 67% of patents in 2014 were filed 10 years prior. As of 2016, the PTO is streamlining groups of public employees and implementing a new e-patent electronic filing system. Those measures should help, but Brazilian companies in the biotech game should take measures to protect any valuable IP they generate.

Protecting the Coffee Crop

The coffee trade is extremely important to the economic fortunes of Costa Rica. So protecting its main crop from fungi and pests is vital for coffee farmers in the country. That creates opportunities for biotech start ups in other countries to expand operations into the region.

But instead of opening up a regional office, Arizona company BioNovelus, Inc. created...

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