The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) has published the four-year strategic plan for 2023-2026, presenting its mission, vision, and values, as well as its new strategic objectives.
As a mission, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) intends to "boost innovation through industrial property". As a vision, it seeks "to consolidate itself as a world-class industrial property office". As its values, the institute elects excellence, user-focus, public vocation, appreciation of people, innovative spirit and cooperation.
Together with these guiding elements, the BPTO presented the strategic objectives that will guide the actions to be taken and results to be sought in the next four years:
- Optimize quality and agility in the granting and registering industrial property rights, achieving performance standards of international reference;
- Promote culture and the strategic use of industrial property to improve competitiveness, innovation, and development of Brazil;
- Consolidate the insertion of Brazil as a protagonist in the international system of industrial property;
- Raise knowledge and recognition of the value BPTO brings to society;
- Deepen the digital transformation with a focus on improving performance and the services offered to users;
- Ensure sustainable financing for modernization and expansion of service provision capacity;
- Ensure the recomposition and retention of the workforce scaled to meet a growing demand and sustain high performance in service provision;
- Provide logistics support and efficient and sustainable economic infrastructure; and
- Improve governance and management practices, and institutional relationships.
There is some similarity of the current objectives with those of the 2018-2022 strategic plan, which demonstrates the continuous effort of the BPTO to achieve its goals. In the previous plan, INPI had listed five main strategic objectives:
- Optimize time, quality and legal certainty in its work of granting or promoting the registration of intellectual property rights by the INPI;
- Foster the creation of economic assets that derive from knowledge and inventiveness in monetizable intellectual property;
- Integrate Brazil as a winning country in the international intellectual property system;
- Achieve excellence in business management; and
- Promote the development, professional growth, well-being and pursuit of excellence by INPI professionals.
It is noticed that the objectives of number 1 to 4 of the current strategic plan are quite similar to their counterparts of the 2018-2022 plan. The 5th objective of the old plan is aligned with the 7th objective of the current plan.
While the old plan had as main objectives the elimination of the backlog, optimization of the BPTO’s work, promotion of intellectual property, increase in the degree of quality of services and promotion of the well-being of its employees, the current plan not only continues these efforts but also tackles new challenges. They are: focus on the digital transformation of the platform (5), sustainable financing for modernization and expansion of services (6), creation of a better logistical structure (8) and improvement of governance practices (9).
Positive actions have already been taking place in the Brazilian IPO. The latest changes in the INPI procedures on know-how contract registration precisely meet these objectives of improving the quality of services, intensifying the digitalization of services and having more agile procedures.
The current strategic plan also exposes an important portfolio of projects linked to the objectives mentioned. Among them, the following stand out:
|1. Optimize quality and agility in the granting and registration of industrial property rights, achieving performance standards of international reference.|| |
a) Revision of the Industrial Property Law – LPI
Objective: to draft a bill to update the Industrial Property Law (LPI), to optimize and rationalize application processing for intellectual property (IP) rights.
b) Search with artificial intelligence for trademarks, industrial design (ID) and patents
Objective: to implement and consolidate the use of artificial intelligence solutions applied to search engines in the examination of IP requests.
c) Examination of trademarks without seeking an official letter
Objective: to conduct legal analysis, public consultation, regulatory impact analysis (AIR) and technical study on the elimination of the ex officio search during the technical examination of trademarks, so that only absolute prohibitions are examined ex officio and relative prohibitions (previous trademarks) are considered only upon opposition from third parties.
d) Opposition 2.0 for trademarks
Objective: to develop a form for the presentation of simplified opposition, of more agile examination and of lower cost for the user.
|2. Promote the culture and strategic use of industrial property for the competitiveness, innovation, and development of Brazil.|| |
a) IP Program in Schools
- demystify intellectual property, making it accessible to every individual;
- insert intellectual property in Brazilian basic education;
- collaborate to raise the level of quality of education in Brazil, especially of technical-professional training;
- to awaken transversal skills and competencies of intellectual property, through its application in the different disciplines of the National Common Curricular Base; and
- encourage innovation and the development and use of technologies in the school environment.
|3. Consolidate the insertion of Brazil as a protagonist in the international system of industrial property.|| |
a) Operationalization of the Hague Agreement
Objective: to operationalize the Hague Agreement and implement automation of the receival and processing of its designations.
(b) Promotion of innovation cooperation agreements
Objective: to expand the international market for Brazilian technology developers, based on the cooperation model with the Danish government, adopted in 2019. The project involves the realization of negotiation rounds between national and international partners and opens space for collaboration in different strategic areas.
|4. To raise knowledge and recognition of BPTO’s value to society.|| |
a) Preparation of the communication plan
Objective: to map the opportunities for promotion of the BPTO to its external and internal target audiences according to the priorities defined for a quadrennial cycle and to establish strategies to reach this audience, valuing different forms and vehicles of disclosure.
b) Elaboration of digital marketing plan
Objective: to reformulate the strategy and tactical actions for the institute's digital channels, considering the strategic objectives of the BPTO for 2023-2026 and contemplating internal and external audiences.
c) Survey of perception of the quality of the exam
Objective: to establish and implement a research process to assess the perception of users in relation to the quality of the examinations of concession and registration of industrial property rights.
|5. Deepen the digital transformation with a focus on improving performance and service to users.|| |
a) Digital IP Plan
- improve access to services and information within the scope of the BPTO's activities;
- transform into digital the still analog stages of the services provided by the BPTO;
- review, simplify and automate the relationship; and
- modernize the publication of results, access to files and the evaluation of services.
b) New search solution
Objective: to allow access to the information of IP assets published by the INPI, as well as to mitigate the occurrence of intermittencies and unavailability of the search services.
|6. Ensure sustainable financing for modernization and expansion of service delivery capacity.|| |
a) Approval and implementation of the INPI's pricing policy.
- develop technical skills for the implementation of the pricing policy (with possible disbursement for contracting services / consultancy);
- enable the approval of the pricing policy; and
- prepare and approve a new price list for the BPTO.
|7. Ensure workforce recomposition and retention scaled to meet growing demand and sustain high performance in service delivery.|| |
a) PGD - Management and Performance Program
Objective: to expand the BPTO's Management and Performance Program to enable the entry of new participants and new institutional units and promote their continuous improvement. This will be done through the improvement of the mechanisms of ambience and monitoring of results, to ensure that the participant connects with the purpose and institutional strategic planning of the BPTO and provides services to society and users with quality and efficiency.
|8. Provide logistics support and efficient and sustainable economic infrastructure.|| |
a) Digitization of the procedural archive
Objective: to digitize the physical documents of the BPTO, including the identification and correction of scanning failures, registration of information and indexing, with the structuring of a database that allows the search and access to the documents.
|9. Improve governance and management practices and institutional relationships|| |
a) Process Optimization Program
Objective: plan and execute projects for improvement or transformation of processes.
(b) Ongoing dialogue with stakeholders
Objective: to map the INPI's stakeholders to continuously identify their needs and expectations and define the engagement and relationship plan.
The strategic plan demonstrates the interest of the INPI in improving the operation and speed of processes involving industrial property, as well as establishing a dialogue with stakeholders on these issues. In addition, the BPTO has established quantitative targets, considering data from previous years.
As can be seen when seeing the established goals, there is a great concern with the improvement of the system of processing, evaluation and granting of industrial property registrations. The use of artificial intelligence is even considered. In this sense, the BPTO announced, on April 3, 2023, that it began a series of meetings to seek quality artificial intelligence solutions, which assist in the examination of trademark, patent and industrial design applications, to deliver accurate results and help examiners.
Artificial intelligence as a tool for the analysis of trademarks and patents
The plan reveals a concern of the Brazilian IPO with the digitalization and modernization of the systems and brings as an innovative measure the use of artificial intelligence to carry out searches.
The search system is essential – especially in the case of trademark registrations – to make initial searches before the application for registration, in order to ensure the presence of the requirements of relative novelty and non-collision with notorious marks.
Likewise, it is a fundamental tool for carrying out constant follow-ups, which aim to protect trademarks already registered against any colliding applications. The searches evaluate both the phonetic (sounds) and the figurative (symbols) aspects.
In addition to the optimization of search engines, artificial intelligence can serve as a powerful tool to assist the BPTO in its internal administrative activity.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) develops and makes use of artificial intelligence to manage the international intellectual property system. The body is part of the United Nations (UN) and is responsible for carrying out the registration and monitoring of IP in the jurisdictions of the different member countries (193 in total) through a single platform, the PCT System.
This use emerged as a reflection of one of the main and most current challenges faced by IP offices (Intellectual Property Offices – IPOs) in a multifaceted world scenario characterized by:
- increase in the number of IP registration requests;
- increasingly complex IP registration requests; and
- IP registration applications subject to the unprecedented volatility of the intangible goods market, because of the interstate flow of IP assets.
Therefore, a simultaneous increase in the technical complexity of the work of those responsible for IP registrations and in the number of registrations is envisaged. Added to the constant battle against the backlog of registration requests, the issue constitutes the great challenge to be faced by IP offices.
The topic was widely discussed at the fifth WIPO colloquium on intellectual property and technologies of the future and indicates the need to face the challenge through various approaches (training for IPO employees; centralization of services around the user; adoption of new technologies; use of artificial intelligence).
At the meeting, various ways of using artificial intelligence to verify cases of counterfeiting or imitation, initial processing of patent applications, translation, search systems, classification systems, among others, were exposed.
It is worth mentioning especially the registration systems used by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), which use artificial intelligence.
KIPO implemented an automatic classification recommendation system in 2021 and tested an automatic industrial design search system. The UK IPO, in turn, has increased the efficiency of processes with a trademark pre-registration tool that uses artificial intelligence to improve trademark applications, often promoted by users with limited knowledge of the registration system.
It is expected that the BPTO will modernize and that the strategic plan will be implemented, in order to make the autarchy more efficient and, in this way, improve the protection of intellectual property in Brazil.