5. Protection of Property Rights
Brazil has a system in place for mortgage registration, but implementation is uneven and there is no standardized contract. Foreign individuals or foreign-owned companies can purchase real property in Brazil. Foreign buyers frequently arrange alternative financing in their own countries, where rates may be more attractive. Law 9514 from 1997 helped spur the mortgage industry by establishing a legal framework for a secondary market in mortgages and streamlining the foreclosure process, but the mortgage market in Brazil is still underdeveloped, and foreigners may have difficulty obtaining mortgage financing. Large U.S. real estate firms, nonetheless, are expanding their portfolios in Brazil.
Intellectual Property Rights
The last year brought increased attention to IP in Brazil, but rights holders still face significant challenges. Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) streamlined procedures for review processes to increase examiner productivity for patent and trademark decisions. Nevertheless, the wait period for a patent remains nine years and the market is flooded with counterfeits. Brazil’s IP enforcement regime is constrained by limited resources. Brazil has remained on the “Watch List” of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 report since 2007. For more information, please see: https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/intellectual-property/Special-301 .
Brazil has no physical markets listed on USTR’s 2017 Review of Notorious Markets, though the report does acknowledge a file sharing site popular among Brazilians that is known for pirated digital media. For more information, please see: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/Reports/2017 percent20Notorious percent20Markets percent20List percent201.11.18.pdf .
For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s country profiles: http://www.wipo.int/directory/en