The Supreme Federal Court (STF) decided, this Thursday (May 6th), for the unconstitutionality of the sole paragraph of article 40 of the Industrial Property Law (LPI), which provides for the proportional increase of the patent term if the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) takes more than ten years to analyze applications for a patent for invention and more than 7 years to analyze applications for utility models.
By a majority, ministers understood that the extension of the term violates several constitutional principles, such as legal certainty and free competition. With the decision, the patents must remain in force for 20 years from the filing date.
It should be noted that, since 2019, the BPTO has been fighting the delay in its decisions. The objective of the Backlog Combat Program is to reduce the stock of the patent applications with pending examination by 80% by the end of 2021 and, currently, the reduction has already reached 55%.
Next Wednesday (12/5), the STF is expected to decide on the modulation of the effects of this decision and finish the trial.
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