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How do you get a trademark registration in Portugal?
If you want to register a local trademark in Portugal, you should file this at the INPI (Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property). This is the only organization within that country that can grant you exclusive rights to a trading market at a national level. The INPI is there to protect industrial property. This can be a patent, a design or a trademark. In Portugal, as in most other countries, trademark registration is mandatory if you want to obtain the rights to a trademark. If your trademark registration in Portugal is granted to you by the INPI, it also applies in Madeira and the Azores.
Possibilities for international trademark registration
Although most entrepreneurs turn to the INPI, you also have other options. Portugal is also a member of the European Union and therefore an EUTM (European Union Trademark) can also be applied for. This registration, which, like registration by the INPI, also offers trademark protection, applies to all 27 members of the European Union. Further expansion of international trademark registration is also possible. This is issued through the Madrid Protocol.
How do you file an application for trademark registration in Portugal?
If you want to submit an application for trademark registration in Portugal at the INPI, you can do this in various ways. For example, you can complete this online via the INPI website, or send the necessary documents to the head office. Another option is to hand in the papers in one of the so-called Business Formality Centers. Finally, you can turn to the Trade Register in the cities of Lisbon, Porto or Coimbra. The trademark registration procedure in Portugal usually takes an average of four months.
The different stages of the application process in Portugal
The trademark registration process in Portugal goes through six different stages. They are the following:
- Submitting the application
- Formal assessment by the INPI according to the Nice classification
- Publication in the Industrial Property Bulletin
- Assessment of specific requirements, including with regard to distinctiveness
- Decision by the INPI
- In case of rejection: possibly appeal to the Intellectual Property Court or ARBITRARE
When can trademark registration in Portugal via INPI not take place?
Obviously, there is a chance that your application for market registration in Portugal will not be honored by the INPI. You can reduce this chance by hiring a trademark agency. Reasons for rejection include:
- The brand has already been registered
- The trademark is misleading to the consumer
- Too commercial language
- Word usage that goes against morality
- Violation of the rights of third parties or the promotion of unfair competition
- The use of state symbols, the use of names or portraits of persons without permission, etc.
- The use of signs with a very high symbolic value, such as religious symbols
Objection by third parties
The fact that your trademark has passed the formal assessment of the INPI according to the Nice classification does not automatically mean that the application has been successful. By publication in the Industrial Property Bulletin, third parties will be informed of your application for trademark registration in Portugal. They then have a period of two months to object to this. If this period passes without any objection, you can continue the process.
Registration outside of Portugal
The rights granted by the INPI are only valid at the Portuguese national level. If you also want to protect your trademark outside that country, please contact EUIPO (for a registration valid in all 27 countries of the European Union) or WIPO, which will assess your application according to the Madrid Protocol. In addition to the countries of the European Union, other large trading nations such as the United States, China and Russia are also affiliated. Note: WIPO grants registration, but no protection.