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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Brazilian Software Market and Patents

The Brazilian software industry is fairly small, several speakers at our Digital Americas Summit here in Sao Paulo acknowledged. Imports far outweigh exports, although the Brazilian government is working to encourage the industry and hope to see exports in software rise from (US) $300 million in 2005 to (US) $2 billion in 2007.

There are several government steps proposed to achieve that goal, much of which appear to involve government wealth transfers. Not proposed currently is the idea of patenting software.

Continue reading The Brazilian Software Market and Patents . . .

posted by Patrick Ross @ 11:43 AM | Digital Americas

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Wang Chung

As we currently don't have comment fields, intrepid reporter Greg Piper of Warren's Washington Internet Daily asked me to post on the fact that I was a bit careless in referring to Ray as having experienced a "Wang Chung exposure" in a previous blog. I'll admit my mind was not in writing that where Greg's was when reading it, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide if that was in fact something for which I should be faulted. And I'm sure Adam would agree that we don't need the government censoring the PFF blog either.

posted by Patrick Ross @ 11:30 AM | Digital Americas

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Meat and Fruit

It's been noted in this blog that Argentina seems to produce the best beef on the planet. Well, in Sao Paulo I fell in love with the fruit, some of which I recognized and others I didn't.

Continue reading Meat and Fruit . . .

posted by Patrick Ross @ 10:45 AM | Digital Americas

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Having an impact

We held our conference in Sao Paulo today on "Intellectual Property in the Digital World - The Importance for Brazilian Development". Thanks in large part to our partner, ABPI (the Brazilian Association for Intellectual Property), the conference was, I think, a resounding success. There was a lot of interesting and sometimes spirited discussion, particularly during the session on the patentability of software. Of most significance was the request by Congressman Julio Semeghini that Gustavo Leonardos (the president of ABPI) help in organizing a congressional hearing on the issues discussed at our conference. This is the type of extended policy discussion that could be really beneficial for Brazil. The conference also heard a suggestion by Congressman Julio Lopes that the patent office should be moved to the Ministry of Justice. The purpose of this proposal - which appears to be clearly a long shot - is to move the patent approval process to a less political environment where the law could be more neutrally applied.

posted by Tom Lenard @ 6:23 PM | Digital Americas

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Keep on Loving You

In Buenos Aires, bad 70's and 80's pop music was everywhere. When I stepped into the hotel lobby the day of our conference, for example, REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Loving You" was playing (Ray can share his latest Wang Chung exposure in another blog if he chooses). In Sao Paulo the music I heard was far more indigenous, with samba beats everywhere I went. Our conference here, however, was held in a very somber building with no piped-in music. So what soundtrack did my mind play throughout the conference? "Keep on Loving You." I've managed to survive the experience with only minor psychological scarring.

posted by Patrick Ross @ 5:45 PM | Digital Americas

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Price Discrimination in Buenos Aires

Wanting to be able to check in, however briefly, with loved ones while in South America, I went online before the trip and found a Buenos Aires company that rents cell phones by the week. They e-mailed me an online special that was really quite inexpensive. They told me to call them from my hotel when I arrived in Buenos Aires and they'd send someone over with the phone.

When I called from the hotel, the salesman quoted me a rate three times higher than my e-mail quote. When I noted that, he said 'Oh, I didn't know you had the e-mail quote. Yes, that will be your rate. We have a higher rate for people who call us directly from the hotel rather than finding us online."

Continue reading Price Discrimination in Buenos Aires . . .

posted by Patrick Ross @ 5:25 PM | Digital Americas, Net Neutrality

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Saturday, April 8, 2006

Progress, Freedom and Institutions

Just a block from our hotel here in Buenos Aires is a monument to a 19th Century Argentine president, Carlos Pellegrini. It looks like any monument you'd see in any European city (or Washington, for that matter) and I walked by it several times without taking much note of it. Then, this evening, I saw some tourists snapping pictures of it and I decided to go over and look at it more closely. Upon reading the sign in front of it (English was fortunately one of the four languages displayed) I realized it was the perfect artistic summation of our efforts here with our Digital Americas conference and outreach.

Continue reading Progress, Freedom and Institutions . . .

posted by Patrick Ross @ 6:52 PM | Digital Americas

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Friday, April 7, 2006

Una Revolucion Nueva

I'm listening to Argentine economist Martin Krause at our Buenos Aires Digital Americas conference. He presented some eye-opening numbers from the World Bank. I won't reproduce all of the numbers in this blog, they can be found here. But his point was that Argentina struggles to compete because the country lacks institutional structures needed (and he structured his presentation around an analogy of the Argentine soccer team).

Continue reading Una Revolucion Nueva . . .

posted by Patrick Ross @ 9:17 AM | Digital Americas

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