Last week, the presidents of the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) signed a cooperation treaty during the General Meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The treaty foresees the creation of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program between those offices. The PPH will be focused on medical and chemical technologies, not including pharmaceutical applications. The BPTO believes that the PPH will accept 300 patent applications running through this fast-track procedure per year.
Under a PPH, an applicant may request fast-track examination in a specific country after the patent application has been granted in another country that maintains a PPH agreement with the first one. This procedure enables a reduction of the time-frame to examine patent applications.
The BPTO has been implementing PPH agreements over recent years, in a clear policy to reduce the patent backlog and foster the filing of international applications in Brazil, as well as Brazilian patent applications worldwide. Currently, there are 3 PPH agreements in effect in Brazil: with the USA, Japan, and the Latin-American countries that are members of the PROSUR group.
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