Wednesday 18 June 2008

US patent licensors face $4 billion loss in Brazil

Bloomberg's Carlos Caminada reports on a situation that may be hugely adverse to the financial interests and cash-flow expectations of patent licensors and concerning which they may be quite powerless. In anticipation of the condemnation by the World Trade Organization of the subsidies paid to US cotton farmers, the Latin American cotton-growing giant proposes to retaliate by pursuing a $4 billion grab against US patents and business services. The piece reports that Brazilian officials from several ministries are already considering which patent payments to suspend and which services may face restrictions.

Viewed from Brazil's point of view, the patents are just "US patents". But each is an integral part of a business strategy that was conceived at the R&D stage in the distant past and from which the patent licensors expect a predictable royalty flow. Does any reader of this weblog know (i) what steps a licensor of technology into Brazil might take in order to minimise damage and (ii) whether patent licensors have resort to the law in the US in order to recoup any losses suffered?

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