The Brazilian Patent Office (BRPTO) is probably the Office with the most delay in terms of patent applications worldwide. While this comes as no surprise, this series of articles will discuss the causes for these delays. Among the alleged causes for the delay is the lack of patent examiners. Practitioners have always bought into this idea, but is this actually true? A closer look at the numbers indicates that the scenario is slightly different from common belief.

We can start by using the largest patent offices (IP5) as a reference. An interesting metric is the comparison of the total number of examiners with the patent filings in a given year. By doing so, it is broadly possible to determine the number of applications each examiner must process per month (hereinafter-called ratio) in order to keep the backlog steady. The results are set out in the following table:

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