The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) published on December 27, 2022, Ordinance #78/2022 implementing Phase IV of the PPH Program, which started on January 01, 2023.

This is good news as it reveals the consistent success of Brazil´s involvement in PPH programs. Indeed, Phase I of the PPH Program reached its limit of 400 applications in December 2020. Phase II of the PPH program, on its turn, began on 1 January 2021 and by the end of the same year reached its limit of 600 applications. On September 29, 2022, the BPTO reported the end of Phase III of the PPH program as the limit of 800 PPH requests in 2022 was reached considering patent applications from all areas of technology.

As per Ordinance #78/2022, the main requirements of Phase IV can be summarized as follows:

  • PPH applications must be requested between January 01, 2023, and December 31, 2025;
  • A favorable IPRP continues to be accepted as the basis for PPH requests;
  • The limit of requests is maintained at 800 requests per year, wherein:
    • Each IPC section has a new increased limit of 250 requests per year;
    • Applicants are limited to one PPH request per week; and
    • PCT-PPH is limited to 100 requests based on a favorable IPRP.

The PPH program is one of the BPTO'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 Countries/Regions: Austria (APO); China (CNIPA); South Korea (KIPO); Denmark (DKPTO); United States (EUA); Europe (EPO); France (FR); Portugal (PT); Japan (JPO); United Kingdom (UKIPO); Singapore (IPOS) and Sweden (PRV), as well as countries part of PROSUL agreement.

In relation to other BPTO´s priority exam modalities, it is noteworthy that since December 27, 2022, the Office´s Fast Track Programs have been unified as per Ordinance #79/2022. Hence, applicants may request fast track examination before the BPTO in the following cases:

  • Applicants (natural person) that are more than 60 years old;
  • Applicants (natural person) with a physical or mental disability, or carrying a serious illness;
  • Applications filed by small entities;
  • Applications filed by science and technology institutions;
  • Applications filed by startups;
  • Applications covering Green Technologies;
  • Applications relating to treatment of AIDS, cancer, rare or neglected diseases;
  • Applicants who need a granted patent to obtain funding for exploration of their inventions;
  • Applications infringed by third parties;
  • Applications whose subject matter results from financial support by means of Public Funding;
  • Applications whose subject matter was made available in the Brazilian market;
  • Applications filed in Brazil that serve as priority for applications filed abroad;
  • and
  • Applications under a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Program.

Additionally, the following parties may request fast track examination:

  • Third parties being accused of unduly copying the object of a patent application;
  • Third parties that hold a technology that was subsequently filed as a patent;
  • The Ministry of Health, in cases of patent applications for medicaments acquired by the National Public Health System (SUS); and
  • The State when a national emergency is declared or when there is a public interest in the examination of a given application.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.