Patent Prosecution Highway between Brazil and USA
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Brazilian National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program, which will run for two years from January 2016.
This pilot program will implement fast-track patent examination procedures and sharing of information on the examination conducted by both offices, in order to enable patent applicants from Brazil and USA to obtain patents faster and more efficiently. The pilot program will be limited to 150 patent applications per office.
According to the PPH Program, patent applicants with claims that have been determined to be allowable/patentable by either INPI or USPTO, may request accelerated examination of the equivalent applications pending before the other office.
In this pilot phase of the program, the INPI will only accept PPH requests from US patent applications in the oil and gas industry that have been filed during the last three years. Brazilian applicants may request fast-track examination in the USPTO for applications in any technical field.
The PPH pilot program is one of the consequences of the MoU signed on July 30, 2015 between the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), Armando Monteiro, and the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, to strengthen the trade relations between Brazil and USA. In addition to the PPH, Brazil and USA have also recently signed agreements on product certification and regulatory convergence.