Friday, 11 November 2011

Skip the queue, be green!

The Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) is looking to reduce from eight to two years the approval period for green patents in the country – green patents relate to solar and wind power, ethanol and biodiesel and so on and so forth. The pilot program will last one year and will begin in June next year at the Rio+20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) meeting which will bring together nearly 200 countries. The aim is to address sustainable development and INPI informs that depending on the demand, the project may be extended for another year.

According to Patricia Carvalho dos Reis, manager of Green Design Patents and INPI examiner, countries like the United States, Britain, Korea and Japan give priority to sustainable inventions. These inventions help reduce environmental problems and therefore it is important to "put more of these technologies to market faster, making them available to society."

Inventors and companies lose by the delay because the intellectual property lasts 20 years from the filing of the patent. Thus, if the approval occurs in 8 years, it leaves only 12 years to commercially exploit the invention. According to advocate Marcello do Nascimento, "the delay affects profitability and in many cases, when the patent is approved, the technology has already been surpassed". He adds that one reason for the delay is the low number of examiners. The country has 273 people for the job: there are 154,000 applications awaiting examination in all areas and it looks as if each examiner had to account for 564 cases.

Eduardo Winter, coordinator of the graduate program at INPI, opines "we produce more than we protect”. Moreover, green patent applications made by foreign inventors in Brazil are falling.

Source: Nitpar (Núcleos de Inovação Tecnológica Paraná)

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