BPTO postpones the goal of reducing the patent backlog by 80% to the end of the year
In August 2019, the BPTO planned to reduce the patent backlog by 80% in two years. But the results that began to emerge from November of that year showed that it was necessary to extend the deadline to the end of 2021, explained Liane Lage, the Director of Patents at the institute. She spoke on the first day of ABPI’s Congress in a Panel that also brought together Maria Isabel Giacchetti, from Sanofi, Nadja Oliveira, from the State University of Paraíba (UEPB), and the coordinators of ABPI’s Patents and Biotechnology Study Committees, Ana Müller and Gabriela Salerno, respectively.
In September, the BPTO’s “backlogmeter” registered stock of 147,743 patent applications pending examination, a number that was reduced to 49,718 in August, according to the latest assessment. During this period, 54,243 were archived, which accelerated the backlog reduction process. Currently, the Fight against the Backlog Program focuses on the 42,929 applications pending technical examination. “Now we don’t have to archive anymore, and we’re going to have to work hard to get to 80%”, said the Director of Patents. “But as a whole, we are going to get very close to 80% in almost all areas”.
The advantage is that, with the backlog reduction, the BPTO will manage to reduce the time of exams – the post backlog. “Our goal is to examine applications up to two years after the application for the exam. This is our main objective”, says Liane Lage. To achieve this, the BPTO is also taking advantage of the search carried out by other international patent offices in applications made from 2017 onwards. This procedure will be adopted in areas that are in the final phase of the plan to fight against the backlog, such as cosmetics, metallurgy, agrochemicals, agricultural machinery, and utility models.
The BPTO’s effort is recognized by the industries, but the issue of the financial autonomy of the body is always on the agenda. “The BPTO evolves a lot, but the only permanent solution for the backlog is when the body is strengthened and with sufficient resources to deal with all its issues, its financial autonomy”, said the representative of Sanofi, Maria Isabel Giacchetti. “The backlog is not a problem for the BPTO, but for all of us Brazilians”, added Nadja Oliveira from UEPB. “The backlog issue goes deeper than numbers and chasing the examiners. A culture change is needed”.