Public universities register more patents than companies in Brazil

Public higher education institutions are the ones that most register patents in Brazil, surpassing the number of private companies that have filed a service or product. The data are from Inpi (National Institute of Industrial Property), the government agency responsible for recording industrial titles.


UFMG was one of the public institutions that registered patents (Image: Junia Mortimer/ Flcikr)

76% of patents come from public universities

Inpi’s survey finds that between 2014 and 2019, 76% of the institutions that most registered patents are public universities.

Among the public universities that stand out in the industrial titles protocol are the Federal Universities of Campina Grande (UFCG), Minas Gerais (UFMG), Paraíba (UFP), together with the University of São Paulo (USP).

Among state companies that most requested patents from Inpi, Petrobras stands out, with 51 registrations in 2019. In June, the oil company sold its 41% stake in BR Distribuidora, which became 100% private. The Ministry of Economy created a privatization secretariat to sell government companies such as Serpro.

The private company that registered the most industrial titles in the period was Bosch, of home appliances.

A patent guarantees the exclusive right to ownership of a material good or service by an educational institution, private company or individual.

Inpi accepts two types of registration: the Patent of Invention (PI) for new technologies, such as car engines or medicines; and the Utility Model Patent (MU), for improvements in the manufacture or use of practical utility objects, such as tools.

For both types of order, Inpi takes into account the criteria of innovation and that the product or service can be industrialized.

In addition to protecting the research and products of public universities in Brazil, it is also important to see researchers as entrepreneurs, as highlighted by Felipe Oliveira, general coordinator of dissemination for innovation at Inpi.

“Universities over time, especially after the enactment of the Innovation Law in 2004, have been acquiring knowledge and seeing the strategic importance of not only publishing their articles, but also protecting these inventions through intellectual property rights,” said the INPI coordinator to EBC.

The law to which Oliveira refers was approved in 2004 by then President Lula. The text encourages the creation of technology parks and benefits companies that fund scientific research and the work of researchers.

Patent registration of PC programs grew in 2021

In March, the Inpi registered an increase in the number of patent applications compared to the previous month, with a total of 2,475 applications — representing an increase of 23.3%. The number is more dismal compared to the previous year: 4.1%.

The type of industrial property that grew the most in the period was that of brands, with a 76% increase in requests compared to 2020. The registration had increased 25.7% compared to February 2021

Close behind is that of computer programs: 292 patent applications of the type were filed in March 2021, a positive variation of 43% compared to February — and 21% compared to 2020.

Inpi’s coordinator, Oliveira states that there is added value in research and patents from public universities. Brazilian companies need to see “the use of intellectual property to leverage the business”.

In countries like China, South Korea, Denmark and the USA, private companies lead the ranking of patent applications.

With information: EBC

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