According to the numbers recently consolidated by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), approximately 1.3 billion Brazilian reais (more than $382 million US) were generated in research, development and innovation (R,D&I) funds only in 2017, which means an increase of almost 50% in relation to the levy fund amount generated in the previous year in the production and exploration of oil and gas in Brazil.

This number, coupled with the recent regulation of the legal framework for science, technology and innovation (Decree 9.283 of Feb. 18), should bring new dynamism to the Brazilian R&D industry in oil and gas. However, when it comes to R&D projects in Brazil or in any other country, the protection of intellectual property rights remains an essential requirement for investment in new products, services and innovation.

In this sense, ANP’s R&D regulation (RT 3/2015) continues to impose a inadequate treatment regarding the results of local R&D projects, using the R,D&I levy fund. The issue is particularly sensitive with respect to the industrial secrets resulting from such research, which must be disclosed to the ANP, in violation of intellectual property rights.