The BRPTO published, in its Official gazette #2570 of today, April 7, 2020, Ordinance #149/2020 (in force from today), which amends Rule #239/2019 to allow for fast-track examination of patent applications related to pharmaceutical products and processes, as well as medical devices and/or materials used for the diagnosis, prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19.
Rule #239/2019 regulates the procedures for all fast-track examination programs of patent applications in Brazil, except for Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs. Said rule already provided for fast-track examination of “health treatment technologies”, specifically to patent applications related to the diagnosis, prophylaxis and treatment of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), cancer, rare diseases or (pre-defined) neglected diseases. In view of the current pandemic, and in an attempt to stimulate the development of solutions to fight Covid-19, BRPTO’s Ordinance #149/2020 altered Rule#239/2019 by including patent applications related to Covid-19 within those applications eligible for fast-track examination by the BRPTO.
The same provisions of Rule #239/2019 shall apply. However, we notice two important differences between the text of newly included Article 12-A and the text of Rule #239/2019 (please see items f and g below):
As to items a and b, considering that many of the technologies related to Covid-19 are currently under development, we can foresee the need to request for early publication, as well as the request for examination prior to the deadline (36 months from the filing date, or international filing date in case of PCT applications).
The original Portuguese version of Ordinance #149/2020 is available here. Please contact us for the English version.
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