On November 19, 2015, an agreement was entered into for a pilot program with international cooperation between the patent offices of Brazil (BPTO) and the United States (USPTO) for examination of patents in a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). The bilateral agreement arose out of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 30, 2015, between the Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), Armando Monteiro, and the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, in order to strengthen trade relations between Brazil and the USA.
The PPH allows that a user, who files an application for a patent of invention, both at BPTO and at the USPTO, prioritizes the application at the Brazilian office, and by making the request via the PPH, the application can also be prioritized at the US office. Likewise, If the application is requested at the USPTO, the user can also request that it be processed through the PPH in order to have it prioritized at BPTO. It will also be possible for examiners from both offices to share the results of searches and examinations of the same patent application, thus optimizing technical examination of the application.
Although, the PPH provides for the exchange of data used and generated during the examination of a patent application of invention, it is paramount that the offices remain autonomous with regard to the result of the examination of applications.
The pilot program will run for two years from January 11, 2016 to January 10, 2018 or until each of the Offices has accepted 150 US or BR priority patent applications under the program. In this initial phase, BPTO will receive from the US only patent applications related to the oil, gas and petrochemical inventions filed in the last three years or after the initial date of the PPH. Once the efficiency and quality of the pilot program are proven, it will be possible to extend the agreement and for it to include patent applications from other industries. The guidelines to implement the mentioned agreement will be published soon.
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