Thinking about heading into the Brazilian market? There are a few things that you should know beforehand so you can make the process as simple and timely as possible.
Recognize the Governing Authority in Brazilian Trademark Registration
It always helps to know about who to go to for legal registration. In Brazil, trademark registration is carried out by the National Intellectual Property Institute (INPI). The trademarks that INPI registers are valid only in the country of Brazil, which is something else to keep in mind. In addition, they can register business names as well as logos and slogans.
Consider the Time Frame and the Costs
Registered trademarks are valid for 10 years and can be renewed. The entire process of applying and finishing the registration can take between 24 and 36 months but this time frame should not deter you from applying.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that you will need a representative from Brazil to act on your behalf. INPI has a regulation that obliges foreign applicants to designate an Intellectual Property agent, an attorney, or any Brazilian citizen to work as their power of attorney, granting them administrative and judicial responsibility.
Ideally, you want to work with someone that you trust and who has a firm understanding of the red tape in Brazil. Keep in mind that there are third parties and service companies, such as this Brazil trademark service by Bonamark, that you can turn to if you have trouble securing someone to serve as power of attorney.
Try Getting a Preliminary Search Report
INPI recommends that applicants do a preliminary search report before they begin the process. This report includes any companies that have similar business names that could potentially match yours.
This can keep you abreast of anyone who you might infringe upon, which you definitely do not want to happen. You can have your power of attorney handle this or you can access INPI’s databases.
Determine What Type of Trademark You’ll Have
There are different types of trademarks and they can be categorized depending on how they look. For instance, a registered trademark that is only words or letters is a denominative trademark. One that includes words, letters, and visual images is called a combined trademark.
Finally, a trademark that consists only of visual images is a figurative trademark. INPI will ask for a description of the goods and services that will be provided under the given trademark registration so that they know what they are protecting. This will help them place your trademark in a specific category or class.
INPI uses the NICE classification system, or the International Classification of Goods and Services. There are 45 distinct categories and each one pertains to specific information about the services rendered. Typically, categories 1 through 34 pertain to products while 35 to 45 are related to services.
Remember That it’s Best to Get Trademark Registration in Your Own Country First
Finally, it is in you and your business’s best interest to obtain trademark registration in your own country before delving into international protection. If you primarily do business in the United States, then you should check out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) so you can take care of federal registration first.
This may even make for a smoother process for your trademark registration in Brazil. Besides, going through the process in the United States can prime you for international trademark registration and instill confidence in yourself and your business. Just be sure to stay patient because results don’t happen overnight.