24 January 2018
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Brazil implements patent backlog reduction pilot

The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) has implemented a pilot programme that could tackle the backlog of patent applications at the office.

Currently, waiting times in Brazil can average more than 10 years in all technical fields. In mobile technology, patent wait times can average more than 14 years.

According to Brazilian intellectual property law firm Di Blasi Parente & Associados, the programme will be a pre-examination, “taking into account irregularities related to prior art, indicated by other IP offices, and allowing applicants in Brazil to address those ahead of full examination”.

Each technical division at the BPTO will issue 40 pre-examination opinions, after which the applicant will have 60 days to reply.

According to Di Blasi, the measure “should address the patent backlog in Brazil, as it might reduce the number of full technical examinations performed by the BPTO and can also anticipate the office’s technical considerations beforehand”.

“Despite that, it is still a pilot programme, which means that the BPTO will evaluate its development and results before considering implementing it in the patent prosecution process.”

The BPTO conducted public hearings on proposals for the programme in August 2017.

The scheme would eliminate patentability analysis and allow applications to proceed to grant in most cases.

Under the proposed programme, pharmaceutical patent applications, applications for certificates of addition, divisional applications that originated from a parent application that has already been analysed, and patent applications subject to third-party observations, will still be subject to normal examination.

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