Patent/IP in Portugal
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Intellectual Property in Portugal
For a list of Patent Attorneys, please click on the 'Patent Attorneys in Portugal' tab located above.
Intellectual Property, or IP, as it is colloquially called, is characterised as legal protection for commercially precious products of human intellect. There are, generally, three forms of IP: patents, copyrights and trademarks. Although these articles are similar many some ways, they each have individual idiosyncrasies and definitions which make them unique. Perhaps most importantly, there is no physicality to intellectual property. If effectively safeguards an intangible idea or process.
Generally speaking, patents are granted to inventors for inventions. These can include anything from machinery, tools, processes, chemicals, biotechnology, software, etc.
To qualify for a patent, an inventor must invariably create something that is:
- Of patentable matter
- Unique to patentee
- Merited and can be utilised
Under a patent, the patentee reserves the right stop or limit others from utilising and trading the invention. Without explicit permission from the patentee, persons using the patent in any of these ways are infringing, and could be subjected to legal action.
The application for a patent must be submitted to the INPI. It must cover the following information:
- Identification of the applicant and the inventor, if not the same
- Description of the invention
- Abstract of the invention
- Title and objectives of the invention
The whole process can take around 2 - 3 years. A patent is valid for 20 years from the date of its application.
Trademarks are used to denote epithets, logos, symbols, slogans, etc, that are individual to a business and product. Fundamentally, the things that distinguish your product or service from a competitor's. Businesses understandably go to endless lengths to have control over their trademarks. Therefore, any persons found infringing upon them through unlawful use could be subject to legal action.
Famous examples of trademarks are Coca Cola and McDonald's.
The application for registration of trademarks must be submitted to the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and the registration process can take approximately a year to finalise.
An application must contain the following:
- Identification of the applicant
- Identification of the trademark and its graphic representation
- Description of the products/services
- Indication of any claim in relation to colours
- Priority claim
Any foreign documents must be translated and, where applicable, legalised. Once granted, the trademark is valid for unlimited periods of 10 years. Every 5 years, the trademark owner must file a declaration of intent to use (DIU) otherwise it may be subject to cancellation.
Copyright gives someone to sell and reproduce a protected product, which is invariably printed work. Things like books, magazines, websites, photographs, music, film and art are common examples of copyrighted work. Copyright denotes five rights of the author, artist, etc: reproduction, distribution, adaptation, performance and display. Use of such materials or works without the explicit permission of the copyright holder is classed as infringement, and persons doing so could be subject to legal action.
Servico de Atendimento
Campo das Cebolas
Tel: +351 21881 8100
Fax: +351 21 886 98 59
Organisations that can assist with Patent/IP
When expanding your business to Portugal, donít forget to protect your brand. We provide Trademark Registration Services in Portugal and in the entire European Union.