Assessing the INPI’s workload
November 10, 2017

Otto Licks The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) probably has the most delays in processing patent applications worldwide. Among the possible causes is the lack of patent examiners. Practitioners have always bought into this idea, but is this actually true? A closer look at the numbers indicates that the scenario is slightly different from the common belief. We can start by using the five largest patent offices (the IP5) as a reference. An interesting metric is the comparison of the total number of examiners with the patent filings in a given year. By doing so, it is broadly possible to determine the number of applications each examiner must process per month (the ratio) in order to keep the backlog steady. The results are set out in Table 1.


View full size While the EPO and USPTO have the lowest ratios, KIPO is leading with the highest examiner workload. The low ratio at the USPTO is consistent with the country’s policy of regularly reducing the pendency time. However, critics are starting to question what the USPTO will do with the excess number of examiners once the backlog problem is solved. It is possible to observe a similar trend in Europe, where the pendency time has been steadily decreasing through the years. It is important to remember that the EPO is a leading international searching authority (ISA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. "The low ratio at the USPTO is consistent with the country’s policy of regularly reducing the pendency time." The World Intellectual Property Organization’s data show the annual number of ISA applications from 2010 to 2013 (Table 2).


It is impossible to determine how this additional workload affects the files-to-examiner ratio. However, we should keep these numbers in mind when analyzing the Brazilian position.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at info@localhost/licks/site

This article was originally published in “WIPR”, World Intellectual Property Review. For further information, please access the following website:

Go Back


See all events


This is some text inside of a div block.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Go Back