18 October 2016
The European Patent Office and the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Service of Brazil have agreed to increase their co-operation in the field of patents.
A joint statement was signed by EPO Vice President Raimund Lutz and Brazilian Industry Minister Marcos Pereira.
The declaration paves the way for the EPO to renew its bilateral co-operation programme with Brazil and also start discussions on a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme.
Under the PPH pilot, patent applicants from Europe and from Brazil will be able to request accelerated patent prosecution at the EPO or at Brazil's National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), which is expected to speed up the process and reduce costs for companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
The EPO and Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property have a long tradition of co-operation aimed at increasing the use of patents and improving conditions for innovation in both regions. INPI was the first intellectual property office in a non-EPO member state to use EPOQUE Net, the EPO's professional online patent search tool, in 2005.
Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and its trade with Europe accounts for over a third of the EU’s total trade with the region. In 2015, over 600 filings of Brazilian origin designated the EPO. A third of the more than 33 000 patent applications at INPI in Brazil last year came from EPO member states.