Trademarks may now be registered in one hour
A special regime for fast track and online registration of trademarks has been introduced.
The Programme of the XVII Constitutional Government establishes that "citizens and companies shall not be burdened with bureaucratic requirements that add nothing to the quality of service". It also states that administrative controls should be simplified and that "all registry and public practices that do not increase value and cause difficulties to citizens and companies" should be eliminated.
Against this background, several simplification procedures have been implemented, including:
- the possibility to register a company in one hour;
- the possibility to incorporate a company online; and
- the introduction of online commercial registries.
Under Executive Law 318/2007, the existing system will be simplified to allow the registration of trademarks in one hour, independently of the incorporation of a company. This service will be available online and at public registries, among other places. A trademark may also be registered in one hour following the incorporation of a company online.
The new system allows the immediate acquisition of a trademark chosen from a list of names that have been pre-approved and are registered in the Commercial Registry. The list was established pursuant to Executive Law 111/2005. The classes of products and services available are those that are statistically in highest demand in the country (Classes 25, 33, 35, 41 and 43 of the Nice Classification). Applicants must thus place an option on one of the marks (Article 2 of the law).
Under Article 5 of the law, the procedural steps are as follows. An applicant must submit its application to the competent body and present its option on one of the pre-approved trademarks. Subsequently, the body must:
- charge the relevant fees;
- select the relevant goods or services in relation to the trademark;
- deliver the following documents to the applicant (free of charge):
- proof of registration;
- certificate of registration approved by the Intellectual Property National Institute; and
- a document attesting the payment of all fees due; and
- proof of registration;
- inform the institute - by electronic means - of the transfer of the trademark to the applicant, so that the mark will be officially registered.
Under Article 9 of the law, the owner of a trademark transferred under the new regime will be exempt from presenting a declaration of intention of use, as required under Article 256 of the Industrial Property Code.
Other laws have been amended following the enactment of Executive Law 318/2007. The Industrial Property Code, which was approved by Executive Law 36/2003, was amended with regard to the requirements imposed by the institute (deadlines and notifications). One article of Executive Law 111/2005 (which established a special regime for the immediate incorporation of companies) and one provision of Executive Law 125/2006 (which establishes a special regime for the incorporation of companies online) have also been amended.
Manuel Lopes Rocha and Patrícia Fragoso de Sousa, AM Pereira Sáragga Leal Oliveira Martins Júdice E Associados - Sociedade De Advogados - RL, Lisbon
Copyright © Law Business ResearchCompany Number: 03281866 VAT: GB 160 7529 10