The European Patent Office (EPO) has signed a bilateral agreement with its Brazilian counterpart, Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI), to support innovation through improved use of the patent system. Aimed at enhancing cooperation, the agreement will provide for a system in which the two offices will create patent documents in Portuguese and English – building a bilingual text resource for use in the EPO’s Patent Translate service.
Announced on 11 April, the agreement will raise efficiencies for European and Brazilian organisations that file for patents in each other’s territories. Its arrival is timely: from 2010 to 2011, applications to the INPI from French and German companies rose by 7.7% and 14% respectively. Meanwhile, the number of EPO applications filed by Brazilian inventors and companies surged by 8.9% during the same period.
EPO President Benoît Battistelli said: ‘European companies are among the most active users of the patent system in Brazil, filing 38% of all patent applications there. Against this background, improved cooperation between our two offices – and, above all, the machine translation of documents from Portuguese into English and vice versa – will be instrumental in breaking down language barriers and disclosing a wealth of technical information that inventors, scientists and engineers in both regions can freely use.’
He added: ‘Complex challenges, such as climate change and access to clean water and food, cannot be mastered without innovation. Patent protection plays a key role in this.’
The partnership will focus on sharing best practices in areas such as the patent grant procedure; capacity building; patent information and IT solutions – the latter set to improve the INPI’s e-Patentes resource, which is built on EPO technology.
INPI president Jorge Avila indicated that the agreement would open up a bright future for Brazil’s intellectual property (IP) system. ‘Enhanced cooperation with the EPO will encourage the strategic use of the patent system in Brazil,’ he said, ‘leading to an increase in Brazilian patents in Europe and the emergence of new partnerships between European and Brazilian companies, which in turn will lead to further innovation.’