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In August Luiz Otávio Pimentel was appointed president of the Brazilian Patent and Trademark office. WIPR found out how he is settling into the role and what his priorities are for the year ahead.
What does your role entail?
As the president I have two main focuses: completing the examination of IP applications within a quality and reasonable timeframe [some patent applications can take up to 14 years to be granted], as well as fusing the importance of IP with the development of the country.
What are your priorities for the next 12 months and beyond?
I have been in the position since August but I have positive aims for the office. We have qualified personnel and support from the federal government to implement new projects, focusing on improving INPI’s services.
“THE BACKLOG INVOLVING THE TIME TAKEN TO COMPLETE AN EXAMINATION NEEDS TO CHANGE. CURRENTLY, WE ARE ABOVE A MINIMUM DESIRABLE LEVEL AND WE NEED TO REDUCE THIS.”
My priorities are to develop projects in order to start decreasing the backlog of applications and to expand partnerships with national and international institutions. The backlog involving the time taken to complete an examination needs to change. Currently, we are above a minimum desirable level and we need to reduce this.
What other IP issues in Brazil need to be tackled with the most urgency?
Aside from the delay in examining patent applications, of equal importance is the issue of awareness in Brazilian society about the strategic use of IP for development.
Do you have any statistics for the past year on the number of patents and trademarks filed at the office?
The number of trademark and patent filings in Brazil has grown when compared with the middle of the last decade and 2014. Patent applications increased from 24,840 in 2007 to 33,182 in 2014, while trademark filings grew from 104,191 to 157,016.
How closely do you work with other agencies in Brazil and abroad?
We have a close cooperation with entities related to industry, economic development and innovation, in addition to teaching and research institutions.
Abroad, we work with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the national IP offices of many countries.
What do you think the office is doing well?
We have highly qualified employees and, therefore, our technical decisions are considered of high quality worldwide. The challenge is really the time taken to conclude an examination.
How many people work at the office?
According to July 2015 data, the office has 949 full-time employees. We intend to hire more examiners, because it is necessary to have a greater number of professionals to meet the growing demand.
We have a board of directors in place, as well as other areas of coordination and advice, in order to meet the diverse functions.
INPI, Luiz Otávio Pimentel , IP, patent, backlog, trademark, president,