Brazil joins the Madrid Protocol and promises to reduce patent registration backlog

Yesterday, July 3rd, in a joint event the Ministry of Economy and the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) announced the adoption of measures to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency in the protection of intellectual property rights in the country.

In regards to trademark protection, Brazil has finally concluded the legislative procedures to join the Madrid Protocol, which will become effective as of October 2nd, 2019. The Protocol, created in 1989 and with 121 members today (including the 10 biggest economies in the world), allows trademark petitioners and/or trademark owners to extend its protection to the territory of any of its members.

Among the advantages of such international expansion are the reduction of time and costs related to the international trademark protection, particularly important to Brazilian companies which intent to offer goods or services abroad and foreign companies that seek trademark protection in Brazil. However, it is important to note that the registration in another country depends upon its adequacy to local law, meaning that eventually trademark registrable in a certain country will not be registered in Brazil. As for the deadline for registration, the Protocol imposes that trademarks are to be analyzed in 18 months as of its filing.

In regards to patent protection, INPI declared that it will adopt a Backlog Combat Plan that mainly focuses on (a) reduce in 80% until 2021 the number of patent applications pending analysis and (b) reduce the average time of patent request analysis to 2 years (having in mind that today may take longer than 10 years to be analyzed). Among the administrative measures to be taken by INPI to reach such goals is the incorporation of searches already made by foreign patent offices when analyzing a patent filled in Brazil. This will reduce time of analysis and bring more productivity to INPI’s analysts.

These measures are welcomed as they demonstrate a real interest from the government to give more importance to intellectual rights protection in Brazil, an action that contributes to the economical development and legal certainty for actors involved.