Impacts of pandemic control measures and BPTO teleworking
With the anticipation of holidays in some Brazilian States, the BPTO (Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office) extended the deadlines that expire from March 26th to April 4th until April 5th. Júlio Cesar Castello Branco, the director of Administration of the Institute, discussed the matter with ABPI’s council member Ricardo Vieira de Mello. Below, a summary of the talk, which is available in a podcast on ABPI’s website.
Ricardo Vieira de Mello: How is the BPTO at this moment when due to the pandemic, cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have decreed ten days of holiday?
Júlio Cesar Castello Branco: What we are really looking for is to help reduce the circulation of people on the streets and protect ourselves against Covid-19. Since March 2019, the BPTO has already had part of its group of servers in a remote working program, and today everyone is in this regime. Therefore, we did not see any sense of decreeing holidays within the BPTO, since people were already at home in their regular work routines.
RVM: Will there be no impact on the publication of RPIs (Industrial Property Journals), which have an advance schedule?
JCCB: The RPIs will continue to be published weekly. There will be no negative effect on the Institute’s production, be it in the production area, in the issue of letters and patents, in trademark and other IP rights, or the structure, information technology, and other actions. The BPTO is operating normally.
RVM: Since the deadlines are not suspended, but extended to April 5th, can’t there be a rush to file and then lock the system?
JCCB: We analyzed all these situations and concluded that the best solution would be to extend the deadlines. With each passing day, we increase the responsiveness in the Information Technology area. The area coordinator assured me that we are going to manage to get the BPTO running. And if we have a communication problem, the BPTO will be able to establish a new deadline and correct it. But we do not believe that this impact will occur. Besides, as most of the offices that use the BPTO system are computerized, we believe that the impact on the accumulation of cases on the 5th will be small. The fact is that we are all giving our share of sacrifice so that this ten-day period has the best possible result in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic until the vaccine arrives.
RVM: Couldn’t the BPTO have a standard resolution for this type of situation?
JCCB: I agree, even because of the experience with the number of cases we are undergoing, there could be standardization or positioning to be taken.