Is it the end of the Brazilian Backlog?
The PTO announced on July 3, 2019 measures to drastically reduce the backlog of patent applications in Brazil. The goal is to reduce the current more than 10-year backlog to a 2-year term until 2021.
The backlog today corresponds to more than 200,000 applications. Considering the 310 examiners, productivity should increase immediately, since the objective implies the decision of 80,000 applications/year.
The best news is that the proposal of Regulation to grant automatically patent applications in the backlog (without substantial examination), discussed last year, has been forgotten.
Ever since 2018, 2 pilot programs (“pre-examination” and “preliminary opinions”) have been tested to take advantage of results of foreign prior art searches in the examination of Brazilian national phases. Examiners will now issue a “standard” office action, mentioning those searches and asking the Applicant to adapt the case to a counterpart and/or presenting arguments. If no response is filed, the case is considered abandoned, reducing automatically the backlog by 25% (since about 25% of all pending applications are abandoned).
It is important to notice that cases with third party observations or a priority examination request filed will have a more substantial examination. Therefore, it is very important to establish a good strategy for your portfolio in Brazil. We will be happy to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.