The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BRPTO) published on its Official Gazette of December 29, 2020 Ordinance #404/2020 that implements Phase II of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Program as from January 1, 2021.
The PPH program is one of the BRPTO’s priority exam modality with focus on expediting the examination of Brazilian patent applications, which subject matter is considered patentable by a partner Patent Office. So far, the BRPTO has PPH agreements in force with the following Offices: Austria (APO); China (CNIPA); South Korea (KIPO); Denmark (DKPTO); United States (EUA); Europe (EPO); Japan (JPO); United Kingdom (UKIPO); Singapore (IPOS) and Sweden (PRV).
Due to the success of the BRPTO’s Plan to Fight the Patent Backlog and to the fact that Phase I of the PPH Program reached its limit of 400 applications in December 2020, the BRPTO decided to anticipate the implementation of Phase II of the PPH program, which was originally expected to start in December 2022.
Ordinance #404/2020 brought some important changes to the requirements of Phase I of the PPH program, such as:
- Application period: from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2024.
- Number of applications:
- The number of applications has been increased from 400 to 600 requests per year;
- The number of applications per applicant has been increased from one per month to one per week; and
- The number of applications per IPC section has been increased from 100 to 150 applications per section per year.
- Patent Family: to be eligible to PPH, a Brazilian application must still claim priority to an application filed in any of the partner Offices or have any of the partner Offices as the Receiving Office for PCT applications where no priority is claimed. An important difference, however, is that decisions from any of the partner Offices can now be used for requesting PPH. In former Phase I of the PPH program, only decisions from the Office where the priority was filed could be considered.