Brazil is expected to close an agreement with the United States to join the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) by the end of March of the current year. The goal is to avoid unnecessary efforts and to diminish the patent examination time. However, since the Brazilian legislation differs significantly from the US legislation, Brazil intends to maintain its authority over the granting patents.
Besides the PPH, other actions of the BPTO are expected the speed up the analysis of patent applications, such hiring more examiners, increasing productivity and reviewing internal procedures. Currently, on average, a patent takes about 8.3 years to be granted and the ultimate goal by 2015 is to reduce this time by half.
The advantage of PPH is that the examiner of a country, let’s say Brazil for example, may have access to an international search performed by an examiner from another country, such as the US for instance, using it to support its own work. All the examiners must go through the same search, since a patent can only be granted if there is nothing like it worldwide. The application shall be examined by the BPTO only if requested by the examiner .
For instance, a company has filed for a patent related to Information of Technology in both the United States and Brazil. In the United States, this patent has been examined and granted. If the applicant asks for the PPH to be used in Brazil, the BPTO examiner will have access to data provided by American colleagues, who already performed the search and found no relevant prior art. The Brazilian counterpart could simply complete the search and adapt the application to the Brazilian legislation, thus concluding the examination much faster.
Therefore, there is no previous acceptance of the examination performed by any offices in Brazil or the United States. The data available at BPTO shall be used as preliminary information to aid the examinations carried out by the institute.
By speeding up the analysis of the PPH applications, there will be a tendency to open space for other applications to also gain agility and the overall backlog for patent examination will improve. Along with other measures taken by the BPTO, this system will contribute to reduce the average time to review all patent applications.