With the beginning of the year 2016, the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) family will welcome aboard an important new addition, namely the Brazilian Patent Office, INPI. With this addition the clear majority of the patent offices of the World’s biggest economies will have at least one PPH agreement. Thus the PPH becomes an even more useful tool for applicants wishing to speed up prosecution of their patent applications and lowering the associated costs.
According to the INPI website, they have announced together with The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the agreement to launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program intended to take effect on 11 January 2016.
For starters this PPH program will, however, be somewhat limited on the Brazilian side. Most importantly, the program will at the INPI apply to patent applications in the oil, gas and petrochemical sector only, and to applications filed with the INPI within the last three years only.
The USPTO, on the other hand, will under the agreement process patent applications in any field and filed at any date.
Furthermore, the duration of the program will be two years or until each office has processed up to 150 patent applications.
Finally, it is well worth noting that if the application one wishes to prosecute under the PPH program between the INPI and the USPTO claims a priority, it must be a Brazilian or US priority.
Troels Peter Rørdam, European Patent Attorney & Certified Danish Patent Agent