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News blog19 January 20224 min read

Register and protect you Intellectual Property in Brazil

Brazil
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Vicente Zafrilla Díaz-Marta

 

How do I protect my trade mark? What are the steps to register a patent? Can I extend the protection of my EU trade mark, design, or patent to Brazil? How is the best way to combine patent and trade secrets protection? Who is the authority in charge of the registered patents, trademarks, and designs in Brazil? Do I need to register my copyright to obtain protection in Brazil? These are some of the most recurrent questions we receive in our Helpline service. But if you do not know where to start, this post is for you.

To begin with, we encourage you to take a look at our video:

 

When it comes to internationalise your business, for sure you need to take care of the protection of your intangible assets. These assets are usually protected by intellectual property (IP) rights such as patents, trade marks, copyright, industrial design, or trade secrets, among others. IP rights are territorial in nature, and hence they will not be covered by your registrations in other countries.

While it might seem difficult and burdensome at first sight, it is easier if you know what to do and how to do it. The Latin America IP SME Helpdesk offers here an overview on how to protect your IP in Brazil.

 

Some basics:

If you are a European Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), an inventor, a creator or a researcher you can gain useful tips on how to protect your Intellectual Property in the Brazil IP Country Factsheet.

Shall you have already registered some patents, trade marks, or designs in Europe, you can find the most important differences between Brazil in Europe when it comes to IP in our comparative Brazil vs Europe, and adapt your strategy accordingly.

A simple, but necessary, tip to safely operate in Brazil is to be careful with scammers that send fraudulent invoices pretending to be the Brazilian IP office (INPI – Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial).

 

For inventors and researchers – patents and technology transfer:

Developing, testing, and marketing a technological improvement – including pharmaceutical compounds, machinery, or software – it’s a long way. Patents and software protection are absolutely paramount to secure returns from such investments. Sometimes obtaining patent protection in Brazil takes longer than in Europe, yet it is possible to accelerate the patent granting procedure in Brazil.

If you are planning to licence your patent, externalise part of your know-how or engage in collaborative research with Brazilian institutions, our factsheet on Technology Transfer in Brazil is for you. Find also some tips and insights from a real case involving improvements over copyright-protected software in Beware of Brazilian legislation when negotiating your R&D agreement.

 

Confidentiality and secrecy – trade secrets:

In any case, take into account that any disclosure of your invention, prior to applying for a patent may render your patent application non-novel. In addition, you might also want to keep confidential part of the information you plan to share with your Brazilian business partners. Hence it is paramount to properly protect confidential information by means of trade secrets.

 

For brand lovers – trade marks:

Building and maintaining a reputation is essential for succeeding in any market, and trademark protection is the right tool to legally protect it. To prevent others from free-riding on your marketing efforts, we encourage you to protect your brand in Brazil, in particular, to prevent bad faith registrations of your trademark. It is easy if you know how to protect your trade mark in Brazil. Just like in the EU, you can overcome conflicts with earlier trade marks thanks to coexistence agreements in Brazil, as illustrated by our case study.

After that, you can leverage your trade mark and know-how to set up your franchise business in Brazil or safely display your products at a trade fair in Brazil.

 

Design, register, succeed – Industrial Designs:

In sectors such as fashion, furniture, or toys, design protection is the way-to-go to safely exploit your creations. Take into account that, contrary to Europe, Brazil does not protect unregistered designs. You can know more about registering your design in Brazil in our factsheet.

 

Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack. (Sun Tzu) – enforcement and customs:

Successful companies and products are likely to attract the interest of counterfeiters and free riders. If that is the case you do not need to worry. In Brazil, there is a wide catalog of means to enforce your Intellectual Property rights before the courts, administrative bodies, and customs authorities. Alternatively, this case on patents arbitration will illustrate to you how to solve patent-related conflicts outside of the courts.

 

If you need further guidance…

If before, during, or after reading our guides you happen to need further clarifications with regards to the protection of your intellectual property in Brazil, please contact our Helpline. All SMEs, inventors, and entrepreneurs from the European Union and COSME countries are eligible for free and confidential guidance from our IP experts – in just three working days.

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Publication date
19 January 2022