Patent: the importance of registration in stimulating innovation
Innovation has been the strategy of many companies to circumvent the economic crisis that has plagued the country for some years. Creating new products for new markets has become the main challenge for companies that want to continue growing even in the face of so many challenges and disruptions.
With more investments in this area, the creation of new products and/or processes becomes a mere consequence. In this context guided by Industry 4.0, the number of patent applications has been increasing. According to the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), there were 28,667 new applications in 2017 alone.
Registration serves to protect innovative companies, which make heavy investments to create new solutions. It is a strong instrument of the entrepreneur against the competition, which gains time to exploit their creations exclusively for a certain period of time.
However, the procedure is not simple. While in the United States it can take up to two years to register a patent, in Brazil the minimum time is four years – and this can take up to six. CNI has warned about this delay. According to the institution, if this speed does not increase, by 2029 the queue of requests may reach 350 thousand. An increase of 55% in relation to the current processes, around 225,000.
To make the request, the company needs to search the INPI – National Institute of Intellectual Property – database to detect possible impediments. Although it is an optional action, it is very prudent. The protocol number is issued in approximately 60 days. At this point, the company or even the individual needs to decide whether the registration will be only in Brazil or also in other countries where they intend to explore their invention.
After that, the application is published and, within 18 months, it is open to challenge. If the request is for something really new, the procedure continues. Within 36 months, a technical examination takes place. The approval takes approximately 50 months. In case of rejection, it is possible to appeal. If approved, the patent is issued at the INPI and delivered to the holder. The invention privilege is valid for 20 years and cannot be renewed after that period.
Although laborious, the patent is extremely interesting for companies. The right to legal property guarantees inventors the opportunity to enjoy their own creations without competition. It is a kind of reward and stimulus to innovation. In addition to legal security, the patent owner gains the guarantee of exclusivity in the commercial exploitation of his invention, conquering new markets and revenues. Without a doubt, it is a very worthwhile investment.
Miriam Bastos: Engineer and Plant Manager at Mazzaferro Monofilamentos, industry with 65 years of experience in the nylon industry.
Published in Administradores website on November 28th, 2018: