Brazilian PTO to start two new PPH pilot programs
by Marta Garcia
As previously reported on October 4, 2017, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office(BPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) signed an agreement to cooperate in order to speed up patent examination procedures.
The agreement included a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, which will start on December 1, 2017, and will initially run for two years.
During the pilot phase, the BPTO will only accept requests for patent applications in the field of chemistry and medicine technologies, except drugs. Additionally, the number of requests has been limited to 300 per year.
According to Resolution No. 202/2017, published by the BPTO on November 7, 2017, a Brazilian patent application has to comply with the following requirements to be eligible to enter the PPH pilot program with the EPO:
- It has been first filed with the BPTO or the EPO.
- It has already been published or a request for early publication has already been filed (in the case of PCT applications, the entry into national phase has already been published).
- The substantive examination has already been requested.
- The examination proceedings have not been suspended in order to comply with a requirement by the BPTO.
- All annuity fee payments are up to date.
- Another request for fast-track examination has not been granted and published.
- It is not a divisional application, with the exception of those divisional applications resulting from the direct division of the original filing and derived from a lack of unity objection raised by the Office of First Examination.
- It is not subjected to a lawsuit.
Additionally, on November 13, 2017, the BPTO and the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO) signed an agreement to start a PPH in February 2018.
In the PPH Brazil-China, which will be limited to 200 requests in its pilot phase, the BPTO will only accept requests for patent applications in the field of information technology, packaging, measurement and chemistry.
Further details regarding the program will be made available via the BPTO website closer to the implementation date.
These are the most recent two PPH pilot programs that the BPTO has entered, after those with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the patent offices of PROSUR members (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay), which are already up and running.