Phase III of the PPH programme comes into effect

On 21 December 2021, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) published Ordinance 055/2021, which implemented Phase III of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Programme from 1 January 2022 onwards.

This is good news, as it reveals the consistent success of Brazil’s involvement in PPH programmes. Indeed, Phase I of the programme was considered a triumph as it reached its limit of 400 applications in December 2020. Phase II of the PPH programme began on 1 January 2021 and by the end of the year achieved its limit of 600 applications. On 5 November 2021, the INPI reported the end of Phase II of the PPH programme.

The PPH programme is a priority exam option, with a focus on expediting the examination of Brazilian patent applications whose subject matter is considered patentable by a partner patent office. So far, the INPI has PPH agreements in force with offices in the following countries: Austria; China; Denmark; Europe; Japan; Singapore; South Korea; Sweden; the United Kingdom; and the United States.

The main changes to the requirements of Phase II of the PPH programme brought by Ordinance 055/2021 are the following:

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)-PPH – a favourable international preliminary report on patentability will be accepted as the basis for a PPH request.
  • Number of requests – the limit of requests has increased from 600 to 800 requests per year, wherein:
    • each International Patent Classification section has a limit of 150 requests per year;
    • applicants are limited to one PPH request per week; and
    • PCT-PPH is limited to 100 requests per year.

In addition to the implementation of the Phase III of the PPH programme, the INPI and the Japan Patent Office signed a memorandum of cooperation for the renewal of the PPH agreement between the two countries on 9 November 2021. The current agreement expired on 30 November 2021. The new agreement will last for five years, starting on 1 December 2021. Further, on 16 December 2021, the INPI and the Portuguese Patent and Trademark Office signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a PPH Pilot Project for patent applications filed in both offices with a duration of five years.   

This is an insight article whose content has not been commissioned or written by the IAM editorial team, but which has been proofed and edited to run in accordance with the IAM style guide.

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