9 May 2016Jurisdiction reportsOtavio Beaklini and João Marcelo Lima

Poor productivity at the INPI

This is relevant because the patent backlog grows bigger every day. The administration praises the fact that the backlog is increasing at a slower pace compared to previous years, but the main reason is that applicants are abandoning applications which have been pending for as much as 14 years.

The exact number of patent examiners at the INPI is hard to obtain, as the organisation does not make available accurate and updated figures. Additionally, several patent examiners do not actually work on examining patents.

What are the patent examiners doing?

Based on official information previously made available by the Brazilian government, it was stated that (i) the INPI had 304 examiners; and (ii) 87 of these examiners were not examining patents, instead performing other tasks unrelated to patent examination.

In response to our FOI request, the INPI informed us that the actual number of examiners is 328. Six of them are working outside the INPI in other government agencies, leaving 322 examiners. But how many of them actually examine patents? According to the INPI, only 191—approximately 60%.

The INPI disclosed that 237 examiners are working in the INPI’s DIRPA, the equivalent of the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, while 85 have been assigned to other departments in the INPI. But the fact that an examiner is working in the DIRPA does not mean that he or she is actually examining patents: 46 of the DIRPA’s examiners are carrying out other activities (237 DIRPA examiners minus 191 actual patent examiners).

At the DIRPA, 25 examiners hold management positions and therefore do not examine patents. So, why are there 21 examiners not examining patents or holding management positions? Licks Attorneys has filed a follow-up FOI request with the INPI to clarify this point, but the administration has yet to answer it.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at atapping@newtonmedia.co.uk