President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) sanctioned last Thursday night (2) the bill that allows the temporary breaking of patents on vaccines against Covid-19, medicines and diagnostic tests.
In the same statement in which it announced the sanction, the Palácio do Planalto said that the breach of patents will not be applied at this time.
According to the text, the measure will only be necessary if the company that owns the patent “refuses or is unable to meet the local need”.
“Thus, it is noteworthy that this compulsory licensing [quebra de patentes] it will not be applied, at the moment, to fight the coronavirus pandemic, since the vaccines are being duly provided by international partners,” says the government statement.
“However, in the future, if there is a shortage in the local market, there is a legal provision for the possibility of applying the measure, in an extreme case”, continues the text.
Also in the note, Planalto says that the suspension of a license can be done “on a case-by-case basis and upon payment of compensation to the patent owner”.
According to the rules of the new standard, which amends the Industrial Property Law, in cases of national or international health emergency, the government will publish a list of patents or patent applications for products potentially necessary to deal with the situation.
Bolsonaro made vetoes in the text, which will need to be analyzed by the National Congress — parliamentarians have the power to maintain or overturn the presidential veto.
Among the vetoed devices are the ones that “obliged the patent owner to transfer know-how and provide the inputs for medicines and vaccines”, according to a government statement. The argument used is that these items were difficult to implement and could create legal uncertainty.