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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Patricia Covarrubia

Brazil announces the beginning of electronic filing for industrial designs

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The weeks have been busy at the Brazilian Intellectual Property Office (INPI). After some news about patent guidelines, INPI published on the April 7th Official Gazette (RPI 2309) the Resolution # 146/2015 (Resolução nº 146/2015), instituting the electronic system for industrial designs. According to the resolution, the electronic filing for industrial design applications will become available on April 22, 2015.

INPI has  progressively been improving their electronic systems. In 2006, INPI started with the “e-Trademarks” (e-Marcas) for trademark applications, with an update to its 2.0 version in 2011. As reported here, from July 2011 INPI started testing its “e-Patent “(e-Patentes) system by allowing users to access “Cartas Patentes” (patent letters). Although scheduled for 2012, it was in 2013 that INPI put up in the air the e-Patent system officially. In October 2014, INPI started facilitating access to online search system of trade marks, patents, industrial designs, and computer programs. The industrial design system is the latest step taken by the INPI towards a total digital environment.

INPI electronic systems are part of INPI’s efforts to expedite patent and trademark prosecution in order to reduce its backlog. These systems allow users to file applications electronically and have some online access to prior art documents and technical opinions issued by examiners, among other services provided by the Office.

INPI’s website provides quite some interesting data about the current use of the “e-Trademarks” and “e-Patent”. As per the tables, you can see that there is a growing interest in the use of the systems, culminating in 74% of the trademark and patent applications being currently filed electronically.

It is important to remember, however, that in Brazilian Law industrial design applications are not subjected to substantive examination. Therefore, it is really possible to expect an immediate impact of the new system. Currently, INPI takes an average one and a half year for granting industrial designs, but with the new system we can hope the INPI will be able to significantly decrease the existing industrial design backlog.

Post written by Roberto Carapeto

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia