Why should we file patents in Brazil?
With a population that exceeds 210 million and with the ninth largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world, Brazil has always been and continues to be one of the most interesting markets to invest. It is therefore relevant to ask: why is the number of patent applications in this country by foreigners so low when compared to the national Brazilian potential?
Among several reasons that could explain the lack of interest of several companies or individuals in registering their process or product in the country, one of them would be the long waiting period from the time the Application is placed until it is granted.
However, this reality seems to be changing. The introduction of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program has coincided with a period in which the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) has sped up the granting of patents submitted.
PPH allows the applicant of a patent already granted in a certain country or territory to speed up the granting process in other offices where the same process is taking place and with whom the Patent Prosecution Highway has been signed. The new PPH, signed at the end of 2019, between the INPI and the European Patent Office (EPO) expressly allows that when examining patent applications already analyzed by the European organization, the Brazilian office can use the search reports produced by the European office as decision elements with a view to granting the patent.
It is also important to mention the existence of a pilot PPH signed between the INPI and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The agreement is in force since December 1st, 2019 and is expected to end on November 30, 2024. Thus, at this moment, a favorable decision by the USPTO regarding one or more claims of a patent application will allow the applicant to request the application of the PPH by the INPI and, therefore, have a faster decision process at the Brazilian office.
At present, in addition to the territories already mentioned, Brazil has a PPH system with China, Denmark, Japan, Prosur (South American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, among others) and the United Kingdom.
If until December 1st, 2019 each PPH had its specific characteristics, as of that date the processes became similar and there is an attempt to unify the procedure by the INPI. The fact that PPHs now cover all technical areas of patents is paradigmatic of this change when, even recently, as in the case of the Patent Prosecution Highway signed with countries like Japan, only a few specific areas were covered.
The number of patents granted in Brazil has increased in recent years and this is due, in large part, to the work of the INPI regarding the recently signed PPHs. In the medium term, due to this reality and with a clear improvement in decision-making processes by the Brazilian office, the number of patent applications in the country should also grow.
The Brazilian and foreign patent applicants can increasingly view the Brazilian Intellectual Property panorama with confidence. The country seems to be moving, in the right direction, to become the powerhouse it could be in the global economy.
For more information about the PPH agreements celebrated by Brazil please contact our colleague André Sarmento at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.linkedin.com/in/andré-sarmento-54333768.