1 December 2017
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Two major agreements signed by the EPO with Brazil and Tunisia will enter into force today. The agreements will mean new services for companies and inventors from Europe and the two countries and support innovation through legally robust patents.
With the launch of a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme between the EPO and Brazil's National Institute of Industrial Property, inventors and businesses applying for patent protection at the EPO and in Brazil will be able to obtain patents more quickly and efficiently through fast-track patent examination. The PPH will also enable the patent offices to share and re-use existing work results. The arrangement is the first of its kind between Brazil and a patent office in Europe, with patent applications in certain technical fields eligible. The EPO now has nearly a dozen PPH pilot programmes running with patent offices around the world.
An agreement allowing European patent applications and patents to be validated for Tunisia also enters into force today. As a result, inventors and businesses filing a European patent application will now be able to request validation for Tunisia. European applications and patents validated by the EPO for Tunisia will have the same legal effects as a Tunisian patent and will be subject to Tunisian patent law. The agreement, signed in 2014 and the third of its kind to enter into force following similar ones with Morocco and the Republic of Moldova, brings to 43 the number of countries for which patent protection can be obtained on the basis of a single European patent application.
On the Patent Prosecution Highway programme with Brazil:
On the validation agreement with Tunisia: