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Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Register Your Trademark in Brazil

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5 Reasons Why You Should Register Your Trademark in Brazil
  1. Brazil is a “first to file” country
  2. Trademark registration is a fairly straightforward process
  3. A trademark registration in Brazil is valid for 10 years
  4. Brazil is a part of the WIPO’s International Trademark System (ITS)
  5. Trademark registration asserts your trademark ownership in Brazil
What Can Be Registered as a Trademark in Brazil?
Protect Your Assets with Nominus

Brazil is one of the world’s most important business hubs. The country’s diversified economy and large consumer population have played a role in making it the largest consumer market in South America. It’s also one of the world’s largest economies based on its GDP.

Furthermore, Brazil is intensifying its efforts to become more open to international trade and further strengthen its growth, making the country viable for businesses looking to expand their operations into the region.

In starting a business in Brazil, you need to register your trademark in Brazil to protect business assets and establish ownership. Additionally, a trademark registration can serve as a basis for filing a trademark in other countries later on.

Here are five reasons why it’s important for you to register your trademark in Brazil.   

5 Reasons Why You Should Register Your Trademark in Brazil

While the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (BIPL) affords some level of protection for trademark owners who’ve yet to file for trademark registration with the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO), it does have some limitations. This means the scope of protection given to unregistered trademarks is less than their registered counterparts. For example, there is preference given to well-known trademarks and trademarks that have been used for at least six months in the country.

In addition to that, if you’ve registered your brands in another country, there’s no guarantee that the scope of trademark protection will cover Brazil, given that trademarks are territorial, making them effective only in the country where they’ve been registered. If your trademark isn’t registered in Brazil, you can still have some protection, but it’s not going to be comprehensive.

Registering your trademark in Brazil not only protects your brand and assets, but it can also help with your business’s growth.

1.Brazil is a “first to file” Country

Brazil is a first-to-file country, which means the trademark rights belong to the entity that first applied for and registered the trademark successfully. Not registering a trademark as early as possible can be problematic for business owners, given that a different party can beat the rightful owner to filing a trademark registration. This would mean costly and time-consuming litigations.

To prevent such issues, it’s best that you file a local application prior to launching the product or service in Brazil.

2.Trademark Registration is a Fairly Straightforward Process

Brazil’s trademark registration process is relatively simple. You can file online, via post, or in person.

Before filing a trademark application in Brazil, it’s recommended that you perform a trademark search to verify whether or not your trademark is free to use and register.  Not conducting a trademark search may lead to an unexpected need to rebrand your goods or services, especially in cases where a mark is unavailable for registration. Furthermore, a third-party entity may file a court action against you for trademark infringement.

Check if your trademark is available for registration using Nominus.com's trademark search tool.

You’ll need to prepare documentation, such as trademark information, including the applicant’s complete name and address, the mark’s details, and the class under which the application should be filed.

Note that Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) follows the Nice International Classification (NCL), which organizes Brazil’s trademark registry for products and services. This makes it necessary for applicants to define the class or classes under which their application should be filed and registered.

Other important documents you need to have included are a power of attorney that the applicant or the applicant’s company signs, translated versions of your documents, and a certified copy of your priority document.

To register your trademark in Brazil, you first need to create an account on the INPI GRU website and pay the Federal Government Payment Form (GRU). Keep the assigned GRU number because you’ll need it to file your application. It’s important to note that if you’re an individual, a micro-enterprise, cooperative, or nonprofit entity, the INPI offers reduced fees for such entities, among others.

After paying the GRU, you can begin your application. The INPI offers an e-Marcas module for online applications.

When an application is filed, whether you’re filing online or in person, it will undergo an evaluation process. You also need to monitor your application process. You can do so by checking the INPI Gazette, published every Tuesday.

The INPI will make your application public to see if opposition claims will arise. If there are other interested parties, they can file an opposition within 60 days. You will be notified and will be expected to respond within 60 days.

If there are no oppositions to your registration, the examiner will then conduct an availability search. Once the evaluation process is finished, a decision will then be issued. If your application is rejected, you have 60 days to file an appeal.

Trademark registration in Brazil can take anywhere between 12 to 36 months from filing, provided that there’s no opposition. If there are oppositions or office actions, then the process may take longer or even last for several years.

3. A Trademark Registration in Brazil is Valid for 10 Years

Brazil’s trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date the application is granted. You can renew your application within 12 months before it expires. It will grand protection for your brand for a long period of time.
To renew your term of protection, you must pay fees to the INPI. You can pay the fees up to six months after the term’s expiration. Additionally, registered marks can be renewed successively in 10-year periods.

4. Brazil is a Part of the WIPO’s International Trademark System (ITS)

Brazil being a part of the WIPO’s ITS means that applicants can protect and promote their trademarks in 120 other countries. For businesses, Brazil’s membership means lower costs of doing business in Brazil and having access to a more simplified trademark registration process worldwide.

Businesses only need to file their trademark registration via the Madrid System, which allows for trademark filing under a multi-class system, co-ownership of trademarks in Brazil, and automatic application approval, in the event that a regular examination is not completed within 18 months from the date of filing.Furthermore, the Madrid System lets businesses file a single international application that affords them trademark protection in the WIPO’s member countries. Filing through the Madrid System can also save you time. Instead of the application process taking several years, the processing of the application will only take 18 months.

5. Trademark Registration Asserts your Trademark Ownership in Brazil

When your registration is granted, you’ll be able to enjoy rights such as being able to exclusively use your mark throughout Brazil, having protection against third-party infringement, the ability to protect your brand’s reputation, and access to licensing rights.

What Can Be Registered as a Trademark in Brazil?

Any distinctive sign may be registered as a trademark in Brazil, given that it meets Brazilian law requirements. You can also register for collective and certification marks.

There are three types of trademark registries in Brazil:

  • Trademark Registry for Products and Services: symbols or words that distinguish a product or service from other entities.

  • Certification Mark Registry: a type of trademark that allows consumers to see that a product or service has met certain standards or specifications

  • Collective Mark Registry: marks used to identify goods or services coming from members of certain collectives, associations, or organizations

The first registry type is the most identified type in the country. Under the Trademark Registry for Products or Services, you can protect your brand through four formats, which are:

  • Nominative Trademark: a nominative mark can be comprised of words (Roman alphabet) and numerals (Arabic)

  • Figurative Trademark:  utilizes images, figures, and symbols associated with the brand.

  • Mixed Trademark: combines elements from the first two formats

  • Three-dimensional Trademark: comprised of signs that have a distinctive physical shape that will help distinguish a brand’s products or services

Note that there are signs that cannot be registered as trademarks in the country. These include:

  • Generic, common, or descriptive signs

  • Marks that are solely used for advertising, such as slogans

  • Colors and names, unless they are used in a distinctive manner

  • Marks that are similar to or imitate a registered trademark

  • Names or symbols associated with officials or officially recognized events  

Protect Your Assets with Nominus

Planning on expanding your business? Protect your most valuable assets with Nominus. Nominus specializes in international trademark registration and domain registration services.

Remember, your brand is your reputation, and by protecting it, you are investing in the future success of your business.