Industrial Property Code to be amended
During its meeting of March 6 2008, the Portuguese government approved several amendments to the Industrial Property Code which aim to simplify access to industrial property protection. Specifically, the amendments are intended to reduce the time period for granting IP rights and to remove unnecessary formalities.
The main changes are as follows:
- The length of time for examination of trademark applications will be shortened. The trademark examination procedure took approximately 12 months in 2005 and currently takes approximately six months. Following the amendments, the examination procedure should be completed within four months.
- The length of time for registration of designs and industrial models will be reduced from nine to four months.
- The obligations to obtain a certificate of trademark registration will be removed. Currently, applicants are also required to pay a fee in order to obtain such a certificate.
- Applicants will no longer be required to make a declaration of intent to use. Currently, trademark owners must make a declaration stating that the mark is in use every five years following registration.
- Applicants will no longer have to file a written description of a design or industrial model in order to obtain protection. It will be sufficient to file a graphic representation or photo of the design or industrial model with the application.
- With regard to trademarks, logos, designs and industrial models, the obligation to file certain documents (eg, photolithographic and graphic representations) will be removed.
- The requirements to notarize the signature of the applicant and file documents in duplicate will be removed.
The amendments are scheduled to be published in the Official Journal.
Gonçalo Moreira Rato, Isabel Magalhães Tavares de Carvalho Xavier da Cunha & Associados, Soc de Advogados RL, Lisbon
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