Recently, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) published new guidelines for the examination of patent applications related to chemistry. These guidelines are intended to complement the general rules regarding patentability and formalities observed by the BPTO.

The guidelines detail what the BPTO considers as sufficient for a patent application related to chemistry. Amongst the mentioned topics, the following are treated in detail: chemical compounds; stereoisomers; polymorphs; combinations of chemical compounds; and others.

Another element addressed by the guidelines pertains to patent applications that request patent rights for new uses of known products, especially for medical purposes. The BPTO points out that the specification of the patent application must describe, clearly and sufficiently, this new use.

When a patent application refers to a new use for a number of chemical compounds identified, for instance, in a Markush structure, the use of the compounds must be effectively demonstrated in the specification of the patent application for it to meet the requirement of sufficient description. Yet, according to the BPTO, it is not possible to project the new use of one compound to all the others, unless the applicant presents tests that prove an equivalence of effects.

These guidelines revoke the previous guidelines published in 2002 by the BPTO for the examination of patent applications on Biotechnology and Pharmacy.