Portugal is a founding member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in Paris in 1883. It established a Union for the protection of industrial property and it defines a priority right which enables a much easier internationalisation of national rights. It also assures that foreign applicants are given equal treatment as nationals in each participating country of the Union.
Protection or registration in Portugal is not compulsory for individuals or companies that intend to develop or exploit an invention, an aesthetic creation or brand products and services in the marketplace. However, it is highly recommended, since it can offer multiple benefits:
- It secures a legal monopoly: this monopoly allows you to prevent someone from using a trademark, a patent or a design or model (or any other type of IP) without your consent;
- It confers the right to use symbols that may dissuade violation of your rights, such as ®, Pat. no. or DM no. ;
- It provides greater safety for investments made by your company: The grant of registration/protection implies that there are no previously existing trademarks, patents, or designs or models (or other types of IP) that can invalidate your rights;
- It grants a right to property.
What can be protected?
- Inventions. It can be protected with a temporary title, by means of:
- Utility Models
- Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC)
- Semiconductor Topographies
- Signs. A written sign, such as a picture or a word, that serves to identify products, services, establishments or entities in the market, can be protected by means of:
- Appellations of Origin
- Geographic Indications of Source
- Design. The appearance or design of an object (the aesthetic form resulting from the creative activity of companies and designers) can also be protected.
For more information on this topic, visit INPI – Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property).