1. What are my rights and duties as a trademark owner?
The trademark registration guarantees the holder the exclusive right to use the trademark throughout the national territory, as it was granted and for the chosen segment of activity, because, at the time of the request, the interested party must present the intended expression in the mixed or nominative form, choosing, among the 45 existing classes, the one that best suits your product or service to be identified by that brand. The trademark holder must, every 10 years, make the payment for the decade in order to maintain its current registration.
2. Do I need to have a company to register a trademark?
To register a trademark, there is no need to own a registered company. Any person, individual or legal entity that carries out an activity, directly or indirectly related to the product or service to which it is intended to be protected, may apply for registration. It should be noted, however, that in the case of individuals, proof of the exercise of the related activity takes place through proof of the profession exercised, for example, with the presentation of a course completion certificate. For legal entities, normally the social contract, in which the social object related to the activity is stated is enough.
3. Can I access information about my brand online?
The trademark registration request takes an average of 40 days to be published on the INPI website. From then on, the information remains available to anyone who may be interested, and can be accessed directly on the INPI website: www.gov.br/inpi/pt-br.
4. How long does it take for me to get the registration?
In all, from the filing of the process to the granting (in a normal process without intercurrences), the INPI has taken an average of 8 to 12 months to analyze the feasibility of registering the trademark.
5. Can I lose my trademark even though it is registered?
Yes, if you eventually do not start using the trademark or stop using it for a period of 5 consecutive years or even start using it in a different way from the way it was granted, there is a great risk of the registration being extinguished due to forfeiture.
6. Can I transfer my brand to another person or company?
Trademarks can be either licensed for a fixed period of time, or definitively transferred to other owners free of charge or upon payment of royalties in the case of licensing or a fixed amount in the case of sale, with the definitive transfer.
7. How long does the trademark registration last?
The trademark registration is valid for 10 years, renewable for equal and successive periods, as long as the process is maintained with the payment of ten-year fees.
Source: Vanessa Pereira Oliveira Soares, attorney at Cesar Peres Dulac Müller, specializes in Intellectual Property Law.