The BRPTO published on December 12, 2023 a very short statement saying that, from January 1, 2024 on, the examination order of pending patent applications will no longer be based on the filing date of each application but rather on the date substantive examination is requested. Applicants have a term of 3 years from the filing date to request substantive examination in Brazil.

This is an important, yet logical, change in the BRPTO's practice. Since the long backlog of patent applications waiting to be examined is no longer a problem in Brazil, the possibility of expediting patent examination by anticipating the examination request is an interesting option for Applicants who need patents granted faster.

Nonetheless, Applicants must pay attention to the restrictive interpretation given by the BRPTO to the examination request. According to the BRPTO, amendments to the claims, after examination is requested, will only be accepted if they result in a restriction of the claimed protection. Therefore, Applicants must balance the benefits of having a faster examination versus keeping the possibility of amending the claims after filing.

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