Brazil and EPO sign agreement to enhance co-operation on patents

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Rio de Janeiro/Munich, 11 April 2012 -- With a view to supporting innovation through improved use of the patent system, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) of Brazil and the European Patent Office (EPO) have today signed a bilateral agreement aimed at enhancing co-operation between the two offices. Amongst other activities, the INPI and EPO will, under the agreement, exchange patent documents in Portuguese and English to create bilingual text corpora for use in the free Patent Translate service on the EPO's website. This will facilitate the filing of patent applications by Brazilian companies in Europe and by European companies in Brazil.

This enhanced relationship between the two regions is reflected in the trends in recent filing figures. For example, applications filed by French companies with the Brazilian Office saw a 7.7% increase between 2010 and 2011, while those from German companies rose by 14% in the same period. In turn, the number of applications filed by Brazilian inventors and companies in Europe in 2011 was 8.9% up on the previous year.

"This agreement sets a new milestone in relations between the EPO and Brazil, paving the way for a strategic relationship aimed at fostering the protection of intellectual property in the two regions", EPO President Benoît Battistelli said. "European companies are among the most active users of the patent system in Brazil, filing 38% of all patent applications there. Against this background, improved co-operation between our two offices and, above all, the machine translation of documents from Portuguese into English and vice versa will be instrumental in breaking down language barriers and disclosing a wealth of technical information that inventors, scientists and engineers in both regions can freely use. Complex challenges such as climate change and access to clean water and food cannot be mastered without innovation. Patent protection plays a key role in this."

The partnership will focus on sharing best practices in the patent grant procedure, capacity-building, patent information and IT solutions, including e-Patentes, which is built on EPO technology.

"Enhanced co-operation with the EPO will encourage the strategic use of the patent system in Brazil, leading to an increase in Brazilian patents in Europe and the emergence of new partnerships between European and Brazilian companies, which in turn will lead to further innovation", INPI President Jorge Avila said.

About INPI

The National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil was set up in 1970. Its mission is to create an intellectual property system that stimulates innovation, promotes competition and supports technological, economic and social development. Based on values of transparency, cooperation, commitment with results, pro-activity and liberty of expression, INPI intends to be one of the institutes of reference worldwide, referring to the efficiency and quality of its services.

About the EPO

The European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest intergovernmental institutions in Europe, with almost 7 000 employees. Its headquarters are in Munich and it has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation between the European states in the field of invention protection. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation.

For more information, please contact:

Marcelo Chimento
Press Division
National Institute of Industrial Property
Tel. +55 (0)21 3037-3232

Beatriz Blas
Project Leader Latin America
European Patent Office
Tel. +49 (0) 163 8399650

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