IPI calls Brazilian lawyers to action in protecting South America’s “most digitized economy”

São Paulo, Brazil. More than 120 Brazilian lawyers participated in a law, policy and business forum today aimed at improving this nation’s legal infrastructure to protect and stimulate local businesses in a digital economy. Co-sponsored by the International Intellectual Property Institute and the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, lawyers representing a broad range of industries met with intellectual property experts from the U.S. to discuss strategies to overhaul Brazil’s outdated intellectual property rights infrastructure. The policy forum was hosted by the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

The featured panelists included Georgetown Professor Michael P. Ryan. Ryan spoke about the importance of Brazil bringing its intellectual property laws up to acceptable international standards. He believes a solid intellectual property strategy is as essential for Brazilian business as building broadband capacity and implementing e-commerce strategies.

“The future electronic marketplace for this nation depends on legal infrastructure regarding intellectual property laws being put in place,” says Ryan. “With a terrific music and film industry, and a growing Internet presence, the most digitized economy in South America must modernize its copyright laws to compete effectively in today’s digital economy.”

“This event comes at a critical time for Brazil,” notes IIPI’s Eric Garduño. “As the most networked country in South America, the piracy of digital copyrighted works is keeping Brazil from developing the full potential of its economy. Better legal protection for copyrighted works is a must. Brazil is the only major player in South America which has not yet signed on to the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty.”

In addition to Ryan, the forum included a panel of both Brazilian and American intellectual property experts: Dr. José Gusmão, formerly the President of INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property) and presently the Chairman of the Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property; Ricardo Sichel, Legal Counselor at INPI; Richard Neff, Copyright Attorney for the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Interactive Digital Software Association and Antonella Carminatti, a trademark lawyer for BSA. More information can be obtained by contacting the Institute.