The Brazilian National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) has initiated a public consultation to revise its Patent Examination Guidelines for Software-Implemented Inventions. According to the Brazilian Patent Statute, computer programs by themselves are not considered patentable inventions. Because of the uncertainties caused by this provision, INPI issued the guidelines in 2016 to clarify what is eligible for patent protection within the software universe. The guidelines made clear that processes or products that solve technical problems and achieve technical effects that are not related to changes in the source code of computer programs involved in the process/product are patentable.
The revised draft guidelines appear to have improved structural organization and provide further clarifications. For instance, while the current text states that process claims must not comprise the expression “means to” when this could be interpreted as “device to,” the new draft clarifies that process claims must not be “initiated with” the expression “means to.” Opinions on the revised draft can be submitted until October 17. IPO Committees will be studying the draft. Thanks to RAFAEL SALOMAO (Daniel Law), Secretary of IPO’s Latin America Practice Committee, for submitting this update on behalf of the Committee.
Published on IPO. Read it here.