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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Patricia Covarrubia

You reap what you sow: Brazil participation in the Patent Prosecution Highway

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The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program is a fast-track examination of a patent application; an applicant request this accelerated process in the national phase which originated on a foreign office and national patent examiners can use the opinion and preliminary examination from the foreign office. The program aims to promote sharing the work among patent offices but the decision of granting patents still remains under the national office. The program run among offices where they agree to share this practice (for more information see WIPO). Brazil does not form part of the Global PPH as its counterparts Chile, Colombia, and Peru; but since 2016, the office has had several bilateral PCT-PPH agreements: European Patent Office (EPO), PROSUR (pilot), Danish Patent and Trademark Office; United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, United States Patent and Trademark Office and Japan Patent Office.

Speedy 'Patent' Gonzales 
Four years on and the office is noticing an increase in a patent application using the fast-track. This November the Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial INPI published the figures noting that ‘from 268 applications in 2019 to 340 by October 2020. Giving an explanation on this fact it recalled that the PPH just started to accept patent processes in any technological field. Back in 2016, the PPH was applicable to the ‘oil, gas, and petrochemical industry’ only. Moreover, just 200 applications were to be accepted while nowadays the number has increased to 400 applications.

INPI also praised that the average time for assessing priority processing requirements has decreased from an average time of 220 days (2018) to 104 days (2020). This is due to ‘simplifying the process flow and using new information technology tools ‘.

According to the Global Innovation Index published by WIPO, in 2020, Brazil ranked 62nd among 131 economies (innovation inputs 59; innovation outputs 64); ranking 4th among Latin America and the Caribbean economies.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia