26 February 2021
EPO President António Campinos met the President of the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI), Cláudio Vilar Furtado, on 25 February to discuss co-operation on enhancing the patent system and better supporting innovators in Europe and Brazil.
President Campinos commended INPI on its action plan to eliminate the patent application backlog by the end of 2021.
The two heads of office welcomed progress made so far under the Technical and Strategic Reinforced Partnership signed by their offices in 2019, and expressed their commitment to the implementation of a detailed work plan agreed in January 2021. The offices are working together to strengthen local capacity in searching and examining patent applications through training and exchange of best practice, sharing tools, and exchanging patent data.
Under a pilot project, the EPO and INPI will work together towards facilitating the reutilisation of EPO search and examination work by INPI examiners to further improve the quality and efficiency of the patent grant process, thereby supporting local innovation. To this end, some 10 000 Brazilian national patent applications have already been mapped with their corresponding European applications.
The heads also discussed possible joint actions to further improve the mutual understanding of each office's practice in the examination of computer-implemented inventions and Artificial Intelligence related applications, and to raise awareness among users on both sides of the Atlantic. The two offices have recently released updated guidelines for examination in this field.
INPI Brazil is a valued partner for the EPO in Latin America, as the biggest IP office serving the region's largest economy.