Patent backlog: Cracking the toughest nut


Sarah Morgan

Patent backlog: Cracking the toughest nut

Robert Lessmann /

Efforts to reduce Brazil’s patent backlog are bearing fruit and the country’s long-suffering lawyers are cautiously optimistic, as WIPR’s Sarah Morgan finds.

As WIPR goes to press, Latin America’s largest economy has narrowly escaped falling into recession. While the meagre rise in gross domestic product (0.4%) rebuts speculation of a recession, it has also dampened optimism for future growth prospects. As an anaemic economy and political protests loom over the country, Brazil’s IP office is battling its own demons, in the form of an infamous patent backlog.

With nearly 157,500 patent applications waiting for a final decision, according to June statistics from the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI), some patents take more than 13 years from filing to grant.

There may be light at the end of the tunnel, however, in the form of a new plan aimed at reducing the patent backlog by 80% by 2021 and decreasing the average time to reach a final decision to two years from the request for examination.

Patent backlog, gross domestic product, recession, INPI, Copyright Act, TRIPS, generics, telecoms, priority examination, WIPO, Madrid System, technology