The year 2013 was involved in great agitation and challenges at the National Institute of Industrial Property – INPI - which is the Official Agency responsible for the granting of patent registrations, industrial designs and computer programs in Brazil.
In the course of the year, several projects and actions were implemented towards increasing the quality and expedition of the services rendered by that Office, and, just as well, best efforts were developed to clear the huge backlogs of patents, trademarks and industrial designs.
Among some projects, it is well to highlight the Bill ordering new vacancies to be filled in for the patent and trademark Examiners through public competitions.
The expectation is that the INPI, with the new engagements, will be able to expedite its services and reach the end of 2014 properly meeting the 18-month term for the patent applications, as of the date of the request of the examination and 12 months for the registration of trademark application.
At the present time, the INPI has taken 36 months for examining a request for the registration of a mark without objections and up to 8 years for examining a patent application, depending upon the object.
Other actions of a greater importance implemented were the possibility of filing patent applications through the internet; the launching of new systems for the internal management and trademark filings; the advertising of guidelines of patent examinations, technology contracts and industrial design.
As long as the Trademark area is concerned, a new management internal system for cases and a new version of the Official Gazette has been established.
The Official Gazette is the Official Agency for the weekly publication containing the decisions of the administrative cases covering patents, marks, industrial designs and computer programs.
In the Official Gazette of Marks, until June 2012, the cases were published in an increasing numerical order and the decisions for each case was identified by numerical codes, such as, for instance, code 100 stood for the rejection of the registration application, whereas code 400 advertised the granting of the mark.
Actually, the cases are published by sections of decisions, and, thus, extinguishing the code systems, which had been used for decades.
We cannot yet assess whether the actions and projects in course will definitively solve the INPI´s situation, in parallel with that effort, in 2013 the number of patent applications filed changed from 150,107 in 2012 to 163,587, whereas the patent applications filed in 2012 increased from 33,395 in the previous year to 33,989.