5 October 2017
The EPO and Brazil have agreed to launch a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme to enable work-sharing and accelerate patent prosecution at both offices, with the aim of improving the global IP system, supporting applicants and encouraging innovation.
The PPH arrangement was signed this week in the margins of the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly in Geneva by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Luiz Otávio Pimentel, the President of Brazil's National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), in the presence of the Brazilian Ambassador to the World Trade Organization and other Economic Organizations in Geneva, Evandro Didonet.
"I am delighted to welcome INPI to the family of EPO PPH partner offices, marking the beginning of a new chapter in bilateral relations and further expanding our cooperation activities," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "I am confident the pilot programme will significantly promote cross-filing activity and support innovators in both regions by simplifying and accelerating access to patent protection."
"By expanding the relationship with Europe in the area of patents, the agreement with EPO contributes to greater agility and confidence in the examination of patents" said INPI President Luiz Otávio Pimentel.
Under the PPH pilot, which will initially run for two years, applicants whose claims have been found to be patentable by either the EPO or INPI may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding applications that are pending before the other office. Further details regarding the programme will be made available via the Offices' website closer to the implementation date foreseen for the beginning of 2018.
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 2016, over 600 filings of Brazilian origin designated the EPO. In 2016, around a third of the 31 000 patent applications at INPI in Brazil came from EPO member states.
The EPO already has operational PPH pilot programmes with the IP5 offices (a grouping of the world's five largest IP offices, made up of the EPO and the patent offices of China, Japan, Korea, and the US), the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) - since 1 October 2017 - as well as with the national patent offices of Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and Singapore.