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National Patent Granting in Portugal reaches historic low

  • 17 June 2015
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The inventors, universities and Portuguese companies, with rare exceptions, do not resort conveniently to patent rights to gain competitive advantage and economic value.

During the last years the main reason given for this poor performance was the low number of patent applications. However, the last decade has shown strong progress in this regard; in 2005 were requested 189 national inventions and in 2014 amounted to 929 requests. Therefore could this low number of requests remain the justification? Definitely not, as we see:

For the first time in 2008 were requested more than 500 national inventions, namely 514 and since then the number has grown steadily. Between 2008 and 2014 the total number of Requests of National Inventions reaches a total of 5262 national inventions, although this is a low number compared to the average of EU, must have some meaning.

The data show that between 2008 and 2014 the annual number of requests rose from 500 to over 900, while the grants remain stagnant at about 200 per year, reaching a historic low in 2014 of 197 grants. It appears that the number of grants did not follow the evolution of the number of requests – figure below (source of data INPI).

More significant is the % of grants reached in 2014 the value of 21% ie. an all-time low and that is half the average reference value of grants in the European Patent Office, which in 2014 was 43% result of 151.981 applications and 64.613 grants.

Following the given data we can ask whether the national examiners are far more demanding than European examiners and/or, if on the other hand, the data show that presently the national problem is not only in the number of requests, but mainly the quality of the processes.

Experience shows us that the main problem is the low quality of the texts, mainly written by own motion, for filing provisional applications, wherein the technical characteristics were not well defined so as to provide effective protection. This problem can be overcome using the specialized support, which is strongly recommended by the best practices at European and International level considering the complexity of these matters. Thus, it is possible to increase the probability of grant, contributing to an increase in the number of grants while effectively protecting their invention, so that they have the maximum value, obtaining competitive advantage and economic value that all desire.

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National Patent Granting in Portugal reaches historic lowNational Patent Granting in Portugal reaches historic low