Published in: The IPkat

Kat Friend Carlos Castrillo of Castrillo & Castrillo has brought to our attention a promising development with respect to IP practice in Argentina, which should be of interest to all patent practitioners.
Until now, a typical patent application in Argentina can be expected to take up to three years from the filing date until the commencement of the case processing. After that, it can often take up to 10 years before a patent is issued. That is, if you are lucky enough to have your patent application accepted. In fact, however, the rejection rate for applied patents is substantial. All of this meant that Argentina is often off the radar of patent filing programs.

But then came the election of Mauricio Macri as President in 2015 and more recently, the appointment of a new President of the Trademark and Patent Office, Mr. Damaso Pardo. In a word, as Mr. Pardo has stated, from the vantage of IP, “Argentina now opens again to the world». This means reforming an admittedly cumbersome, slow and protectionist system. Exhibit «A» is the movement afoot to significantly improve the patent examination and registration process.

Most notably, Resolution 056/2016 provides that the National Patent Administration be authorized to benefit from the substantive examination previously carried out by certain other patent offices, with the goal of reducing examination workload and improving patent quality. When implemented, this should shorten the time period as well as reduce the resources required by an examiner when reviewing a patent application. In addition to collaborating with other foreign patent offices, INPI and the USPTO commenced in March 3, 2017 a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program to increase efficiency and timeliness of patent examinations. The trial period for this program will end on March 2, 2020.

This means that a system similar to the PPH has been put in place, and it should significantly reduce the examination time for patents. One optimistic estimate foresees that examination will take place within 60 days. Moreover, implementation might also mean that that Argentina will become fully able to enter the PCT system. The Argentinian Office is working with the Danish Office as a partner to develop the new practice.

Regarding the PCT, there are no time frames yet. One should bear in mind that this is not only an administrative decision, but it would have to be approved by Congress, and a formal proposal amending the law has not yet been filed.

IPKat says–welcome news! Keep up the good work and we look forward to further reports on this promising development.