Our friends at David Do Nascimento Advogados Associados informed us that the National Industrial Property Institute of Brazil (INPI) will be making changes in order to speed up the examination of patent applications.
This should come as welcome news to applicants looking to file into Brazil, as the current length of examination averages over eight years.
The Brazilian government has announced that it will be taking on more examiners and purchasing new computers. Their goal is to cut the examination time in half by 2015 and fall in line with other countries’ averages (USA 3.5 years, Europe 4.5 years, South Korea 3 years).
According to the INPI, under current conditions examiners would have to examine 109 applications each year to keep up with the new filings and prevent the backlog from building up further. In the US, this number falls to 87 applications per examiner and 40 in Europe. The INPI plans to hire 380 additional examiners over the next three years.
This is the second phase of the INPI’s modernization project. The INPI claims that the delay in speeding up the examination process is due to the fact that training new examiners is a long process (about 3 years) and the volume of applications filed into Brazil has steadily increased (from 24,000 in 2005 to 28,000 last year).
To speed up internal administrative processing, the INPI plans to roll out an electronic filing system for applications, known as e-Patentes, by March 2012. The INPI also plans to broaden the exchange of information among patent examiners from several countries to assist with examinations.
Learn more about PCT national stage entry into Brazil here.