Brazilian Patent Office (INPI) announces plan to grant patents in just 2 years

In an online meeting convened by the INPI on May 25, 2023, representatives of the main national associations for studies and intellectual property professionals (*) were informed by the President of the Brazilian Patent Office (INPI) and by the Commissioner of Patents of the current government’s plans to reduce the delay for granting patents to only 2 (two) years from the filing of the patent application in Brazil.

The associations applauded this objective of the INPI and discussed the relevant technical issues, including those related to sections 32 and 33 of the Industrial Property Act (IP Act – Law No. 9,279, of 14.05.1996).

Section 33 guarantees the applicant a maximum period of 36 months to request the examination. In other words, a solution to preserve this prerogative of the applicants would be to establish as a goal that the INPI’s decision on the merits be issued within 2 (two) years from the request for examination, and not from the filing of the application, given that applicants may now already request the examination in advance, along with the patent filing, and this would be preserved.

In particular, the early examination is very important for those companies that wish and need their patent application to be granted as soon as possible. The average delay for a decision on the merits to be issued by the INPI, measured by patents granted throughout 2022, was 49 months counted as of the request for examination, that is, a period slightly longer than 4 years; thus, the reduction of this term to 2 years would already be a considerable improvement.

Another concern stems from Section 32, which sets forth that voluntary amendments to patent applications are only possible as long as the applicant files them until the moment in which the examination is requested. This means that the sooner the examination is requested, the shorter the period for the applicant to adjust his application through voluntary amendments.

In conclusion, despite the associations applauding and supporting the INPI plan, there are practical issues still to be resolved, and it is possible that changes to the IP Act will be proposed to speed up the processing of patent applications in Brazil.

We will continue to monitor and keep our clients informed on this matter. If you would like more information, please write or call your usual contact at our firm.

(*) Our partners Gabriel Leonardos (President of ABPI – Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property) and Rosane Tavares (Vice-President of ABAPI – Brazilian Association of Industrial Property Agents) participated in this meeting.


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