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Client Alert – BPTO implements PPH pilot project with UKIPO

On July 24, 2018, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) published Resolution No. 222, which implements the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot project with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

Following the traditional PPH format for international cooperation, a patent application may be fast-tracked at the Office of Later Examination (OLE) where a member of the same patent family has been allowed by the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE).

The BPTO will begin receiving fast-track requests from eligible applicants as of August 1, 2018. While this cooperation should last for the following 2 (two) years, fast-tracked examination will be limited to 200 participation requests at this time, and each applicant can request the fast-track examination once per monthly cicle – excluding the last month of the project, when there will not be restrictions concerning the quantity of requests per applicant.

During this pilot phase, the BPTO will only receive patent applications related to “Biotechnology”, “Electric apparatus, machines and power”, “Audiovisual technology”, “Telecommunications”, “Digital communications”, “Basic communication processes”, “Computing technology”, “IT methods for management” and “Semiconductors” fields, with the exception of drug-related applications, which are not encompassed by this program. Applications classified with any of IPC group code A61K (even if A61K is a secondary classification) are also excluded from the program.

Applying for the PPH can prove beneficial. The timeline for examination of patent applications processed under other fast-track programs (like the “Green Patents” program or the PPH programs with the USPTO, EPO, SIPO or the JPO) is less than 1 (one) year.

In order to be eligible for such a program, the patent application should meet the following conditions:

i. It must have been filed more than 18 (eighteen) months ago or have requested anticipated publication (or, in case of a national phase of a PCT application, it must have already been published by WIPO) with examination already requested;
ii. It must have a patent family member allowed by the UKIPO;
iii. It must have at least the first member of the patent family filed with the UKIPO or the BPTO (or, in the PCT scope, with the UK or BR as receiving office); and
iv. It must not have been accepted in any other fast-track examination program.

Divisional applications will only be accepted if the fast-track examination is requested for all the applications.