By Marta Garcia
Since October 2014, the Chilean National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) has been working as a competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Additionally, since January 1, 2018, INAPI can also issue international search reports and international preliminary patentability reports both in Spanish and English.
The following 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries have designated the INAPI as PCT ISA/IPEA: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.
During 2018, 380 applicants — half of which were non-Chilean applicants — designated the INAPI as ISA. This shows an increase of 45% over 2017. Almost half of the patent applications designating INAPI as ISA since 2014 have been in the mechanical field.
In its role as ISA/IPEA, INAPI performed 304 international search reports and written opinions in 2018.
In its role as PCT Receiving Office (RO), during 2018 INAPI received 202 applications, 43% more than in 2017.
Currently, there are 22 Patent Offices worldwide working as PCT ISA/IPEA. In Latin America, the Chilean INAPI and the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), are the two only Patent Offices to have been designated as PCT ISA/IPEA.