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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

Brazil patents: speeding up the process

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The second stage of the modernization project of the Instituto Nacional da Propiedade Industrial (INPI) is in place. From August, INPI will get new servers and computers. The goal is to halve the period for granting patents in the country, reducing the current eight years to four years before 2015.

The initiative is part of the new industrial policy of the President Rousseff, whose focus is innovation. According to the news, the government should authorize the hiring of additional servers despite the fiscal adjustment. The institute has already rented, with option to purchase, a building in downtown Rio de Janeiro and is expected to move before the end of the year.

The modernization of the INPI will cost in total around $ 55 million per year in salaries and $ 29 million in computer purchases. According to Jorge Avila, INPI’s president, the investment will occur in the first two years, when the examiners are in training [uh? Are they going to fire the examiners or reduce the salaries after two years?]

The government's intention is to improve INPI’s performance which is still far below international standards. The information recalls that in the United States, the European Union, and South Korea, where patent takes 3.5 years, 4.5 years and 3 years respectively for approval. On this regards, Prof Carlos Pacheco says that the review process in Brazil consumes nearly half of the 20 years of patent protection, pointing out that because of the delay, companies no longer have access to some tax benefits and cannot add the value of the patent on its legacy.

INPI received 30,000 applications for registration of patent in 2010 to be analysed by 273 examiners - an average of 109 per person. In the U.S. there are 480,000 requests a year, to be analysed by 5,477 examiners – an average of 87 patents per person. In Europe, the average is lower - 40 patents per year for each examiner.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia