From December 1, 2019, Brazilian PTO begins the expansion of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) system to all technology fields, unifying its rules.
The change aims to simplify procedures for both the user and the PTO and expand the potential of these agreements, which prioritize patent processing and reduce examination steps, helping to speed up the process. On average, considering the patents analyzed via PPH in Brazil in 2019, the concession period is eight months and may reach only one month.
Under PPH agreements, the examination of a patent application can be prioritized in Brazil when it has already been evaluated at a participating national/regional office of the agreement. Similarly, if an application has already been reviewed in Brazil, it may be expedited in the other country with which the INPI has a PPH agreement.
In the models implemented by Brazil with the seven current partners (China, Denmark, United States, Europe, Japan, Prosur and the United Kingdom), each PPH had specific characteristics, such as the maximum number of orders and the technology fields included. Now, with the change, these rules will be standardized for the agreements, highlighting the limit of 400 requests per year for the set of PPHs (one per month for each applicant) and the inclusion of all technical areas.