The European Patent Office (EPO) and the Brazilian Patent Office (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial – INPI) have recently agreed to launch a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme. The programme is likely to be implemented in early 2018 and will initially run for two years.
The EPO and the INPI hope that the PPH pilot programme will promote cross-filing activity between Europe and Brazil, as well as support innovators in both regions by simplifying and accelerating access to patent protection.
The aim of a PPH programme is to provide a way for applicants to use positive examination results from one patent office to streamline prosecution in a second patent office.
The PPH pilot programme agreement between the EPO and the INPI will allow accelerated processing of an application at one office provided that a corresponding application has claims which have been found to be patentable by the other office.
It is important to appreciate that requesting accelerated processing under a PPH programme does not guarantee allowance. A patent office which accelerates processing under a PPH programme still conducts its own search and examination, and independently considers whether the application meets the office’s own requirements of patentability.
Once implemented, the INPI will join a growing list of patent offices with which the EPO has operational PPH programmes. This list includes the patent offices of Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Eurasia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore and the US.
The EPO and the INPI plan to publish more information relating to the programme on their websites soon.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.