Operating commercially in any country comes with a desire to protect your brand and creative energy. Register a trademark in Brazil with the help of a local legal expert, to protect your inventions and succeed as a profitable business. This includes conducting a trademark search in Brazil beforehand to ensure your inventions and ideas are unique.
Brazil is a country that has become more attractive for foreign investment after its economy began to gain speed this year and due to its rich startup scene and innovation.
Brazil can be considered as the start-up hub of South America, and is the home of diverse fintech, agribusiness, gaming and other startups. In the midst of a commercial revolution where technology and innovation is king, many entrepreneurs are looking to register their trademarks and patents to secure their profits.
In this article, we touch upon key aspects to register a trademark in Brazil.
Where to register a trademark in Brazil
The governmental institution in charge of registering trademarks and granting patents is the National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial, INPI)
INPI protects your trademark in Brazil, giving the trademark validity for a period of 10 years. This period can be extended for the same amount of time indefinitely.
Key aspects to consider before registering your trademark
To register your trademark in Brazil, you must understand and comply with the Industrial Property Law.
A trademark can only be registered if it is directly relevant to the business’ nature or activities. For foreign entities, it is necessary to have a legal representative in Brazil to undertake the trademark registration process.
Additionally, before proceeding with the registration process, consult the list of prohibited items that can’t be registered. Article 124 of the Brazilian industrial property law outlines the list of prohibited items.
After confirming that you can register the trademark, you must then confirm that it’s available by conducting a trademark search in Brazil’s national database. You can check trademark availability on INPI’s database, this step is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended as it may affect the evaluation of your petition.
Make sure to act quickly once you know what you want to protect. The first application to be received by INPI has priority over applications submitted afterward. The trademark search in Brazil doesn’t take long, and will ensure that the elements you want to protect are unique, and won’t be competing with others that have similar characteristics.
Once you are sure that your trademark is available and that your product or service is compatible, determine the nature of the trademark. To register a trademark it is important to make a detailed description. The nature of your trademark can include a mixture of characteristics. Consult an expert to help you determine the exact nature of your product or service.
Brazil classifies trademarks in the following way:
- Scope of protection: Product or service
- An object of protection: Collective or certification
- According to its graphical representation: nominative, mixed, figurative or three-dimensional.
It is of the utmost importance to have an exact notion of the type of trademark you want, as this determines the type of protection it will receive.
Steps to register your trademark in Brazil
You can register your trademark over the internet or in person through the following process:
1. Register your trademark over the internet
To register your trademark online, you will need to create an account on INPI’ Union Collection Guide (Guia de Recolhimento da União, GRU).
There are two links to register an account in GRU, one for applications handled by legal representatives and other for individuals who are handling their application themselves. Be mindful that foreign entities must have a legal representative.
Once registered in GRU, you must issue and pay the Union Collection Guide (GRU), don’t forget to keep your the assigned number of GRU, as it will be necessary for later steps.
2. Apply for your trademark over GRU
Next, you must submit an online form. Use your GRU account created before to access INPI’s e-marcas site. E-marcas is the electronic system utilized to register a trademark. There you will be able to fill and submit the electronic form that will ask for specific information including:
- the general information about your trademark and business application form
- GRU payment receipt
- digital image (if applicable)
- power of attorney (if applicable)
- regulation on use and other documents to support your application
Once your application is approved, you can proceed to obtain a certificate. The approximate fee for the GRU and the trademark certificate of 10-year validity is approximately US$372.50.
3. In-person procedure to register your trademark in Brazil
At INPI, fill and submit the application form and pay the respective fee. The information to submit is similar to that of the online application.
The overall calculated fee for an in-person procedure to register your trademark in Brazil is US$432.29. This includes the payment for the certificate if the trademark is granted. The payment for the certificate is only incurred once the trademark has been granted.
4. Evaluation process
Once your application has been filed, INPI will make it public for opposition files and claims for a period of 60 days. If there is no claim, examiners will check INPI’s data base to confirm that there aren’t conflicts with other registered trademarks. If an opposition is filed, applicants should respond within 60 days.
When the evaluation concludes a decision will be issued, track your application on INPI’s website and check the IP magazine.
Brazil is a member of WIPO
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works to increase respect for intellectual property internationally. Brazil joined WIPO’s International Trademark System in July of 2019 through the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid protocol facilitates Brazilian trademarks protection in international markets.
This system entered into force this year and covers 80% of the world trade. In this sense, exporters seeking to protect their brands can do so more easily in the countries registered under the Madrid Protocol. To protect a brand internationally using the Madrid Protocol, interested individuals can submit an application once they have already registered their brand in Brazil. This application should be submitted to INPI and they will forward it to WIPO for evaluation.
Register your trademark in Brazil through Biz Latin Hub
Entering the Brazilian market is exciting, but challenging. The country is open to innovation and offers great potential due to its vast population and economic reforms. However, there’s still a complex bureaucratic system that market entrants must navigate, and it helps to have an expert on hand.
To register your trademark in Brazil, find a trusted legal representative to guide you through the steps and required documentation. Your legal partner must have an in-depth understanding of Brazilian legislation to assist you with your trademark search in Brazil, and the subsequent registration process.
At Biz Latin Hub, we have experienced local lawyers with vast experience helping businesses with company formation, legal representation, hiring services and more. We’re experienced in supporting new and established businesses apply for and obtain the trademarks they need to secure their brand and revenue.
For more information about how we can help, contact us now and get started.
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