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Newsletter 2015.07 – Brazilian Patent Office is losing in its strategy to reduce the backlog by forbidding the restoration of patents with two or more annuities in arrears

 
As we informed in our previous newsletters # 2, of January, 2014, and # 6, of August, 2014, the Brazilian Patent Office (“INPI”) enacted Resolution No. 113 in October 2013 ordering that all patents with 2 (two) or more annuities in arrears should automatically be definitely shelved and extinct, without the possibility of restoration. Such resolution aimed primarily at reducing the backlog of pending patent applications and also served to the general goal of increasing the realm of the public domain in Brazil, but many understood that INPI's resolution was in direct violation of Section 87 of Brazil’s Patent Act, according to which the shelving or extinction of a patent can only be decreed by INPI after the patentee has failed to apply for the restoration of the patent (paying the annuities in arrears with a penalty) within the deadline of 3 months after being summoned to do so through a publication in the Official Gazette.
 
INPI’s Resolution 113 had the potential to swiftly shelve or make extinct over 10,000 patent applications and issued patents, and on July 2014 the Brazilian Association of Patent & Trademark Agents (ABAPI) filed a class action against INPI seeking its revocation. On January, 2015 the 25th Federal Trial Court of Rio de Janeiro ruled in favor of ABAPI and ordered INPI to immediately halt the mass shelving or extinction of patents and to overturn all shelving and extinction decisions that by then had already been published by INPI.
 
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