Examination requests: a chaotic scene


André Bastos Venturini

Scientific theories and mathematical rules must be correct throughout if they are to be accepted as true because a single mistake will result in the collapse of the entire rule or theory. Similarly, the rules on patent applications must be flawless.

Since 2008, based on report no. 0152/2008 issued by the attorney general of the Brazilian patent office (INPI), Article 32 of the Brazilian patent law has been interpreted as a limitation on the amendments applicants can introduce.

The general agreement among local patent associations is that this results in several flaws when patent applications are made in Brazil. Instead of amending the previous application, as a scientist would do, the INPI, in a way that’s very common in Brazil, decided to find a magical solution. The result was guideline no. 93/2013, published last year, which actually introduces more uncertainties to an already uncertain scenario.

The mantra adopted by the INPI since 2008 is that, after examination of a patent application is requested, only amendments that result in a restriction of the scope of protection, or those that aim to correct clear mistakes, will be accepted. Any attempt to modify the scope of protection or make it broader will be rejected.

patent applications; INPI; Brazilian patent law.