It’s Time Brazil Learn There Is Something Called Intellectual Property

The government of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva seems to be working diligently to appear as a political moderate and a dependable market-friendly force within a highly volatile populist region of the world.

However, international business, trade and regulatory expert Lawrence A. Kogan of the ITSSD (Institute For Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development) says that Brazil, under Lula’s leadership, is actually working to undermine exclusive private property rights and free enterprise globally.

In a new article appearing in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Economic Development (IJED), Kogan show how the Brazilian government, assisted by ideological activists, academics and politicians, has led a bloc of emerging and less developed economies to craft an anti-intellectual property right (IPR) legal framework.

According to the article, Brazil is believed to be promoting this new international paradigm in order to divert attention away from its weak national education and innovation systems, to gain negotiating leverage at the now-stalled WTO Doha round trade talks.

The proposal would also be a way for the country to project itself politically as the international champion of a development agenda that calls for a massive redistribution of global wealth and knowledge (technology transfer) at or below concession rate prices.

Rather than embrace what clearly amounts to a national and global policy of intellectual property opportunism, which aims to ensure open source, universal access to life sciences and information technology knowledge for all at the expense of exclusive, privately-owned IP rights, the article explains why Brazil should instead adopt a proven ‘bottom-up’ policy of domestic market-based discovery and innovation premised on strong individual private property right recognition and protection.

This requires, says Kogan, that "Brazil not only invest in university and government-led basic research and development programs, but also in a WTO-consistent, market-friendly national enabling environment that fosters Brazilian and foreign industry commercialization of government-financed inventions into market-relevant innovations bearing temporary but exclusive private property ownership rights."

The article cites numerous studies and actual examples of how such a well designed and implemented national enabling environment can lead to a virtuous cycle of increased research and development (R&D)-related foreign direct investment, greater Brazilian and foreign company R&D collaborations and technology transfers, and expanded intergovernmental science & technology, financial, and trade cooperation. 

The article also features introductory remarks by three well-known experts: Dr. Pat Choate, Director of the Manufacturing Policy Project, and author of Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization; Legal Studies and Meigs Professor, O. Lee Reed, of the University of Georgia; and Dr. John Kilama, President of Global Bioscience Development Institute, Inc.

The ITSSD is a non-partisan non-profit educational organization devoted to the promotion of a positive paradigm of sustainable development consistent with private property, free market and WTO rules-based principles.  The ITSSD examines international law as it relates to trade, industry and sustainable development around the world. 

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • AK

    You are not qualified to talk pal, intelect is harly one of your properties!

  • ch.c.


    Brazil wants the technology free and not invest a dime.
    Tell them to invest for the long term and they in vest only for the short term.
    They want the developing nations to invest for education and technology, so that they dont have to bear these costs. They then want our corporations to invest hundreds of billions of US$ in R%D, and then they want to get the tgechnology for free. Worse they even want us to create manufacturing plants in their country, with our money of course, and teach them everything, so that they can produce the goods cheaply and export them to us.
    That is why at the WTO they are talking only about agriculture and NOTHING ELSE.
    They know that they could not produce at the price they do in their own country if they had to produce in our country !
    And what else did they invent ? NOTHING ! They dont even have a Brazilian car manufacturer but export cars with our investments, our R%D and our expertise….not theirs !
    On the other hand they are not happy when China export them texiles products worth
    ONE % (Yes 1 %) of your textile. industry. This become unfair practice for them.
    But of course unfair practice because not enough when the EU is already buying 33 % of ALL their agriculture exports.

    They want everything and give nothing. In Brazilian….FAIR TRADE….means…. ONE WAY TRADE.

    Brazil is far worse than China : China has a trade surplus of around 10 % of their overall trade (exports + imports) while Brazil has over 20 % of trade surplus of theior overall trade business.
    Stated otherwise : in 2005 China imported $ 650 billion and their trade surplus was around $ 100 billion or……. 15 % surplus of their imports. Brazil imported $ 70 billions and their trade surplus stood at $ 42 billion or…..60 % surplus of their imports.

    Worse………they are still unhappy !

    Developed nations should not even negotiate with them. Either Brazil accepts the reciprocity rule…..or we should reduce our imports from them until trade is balanced. Nothing less…..

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