August 07, 2019

Portugal implements new IP code and reviews official fee schedule

The industrial property office of Portugal (INPI) has announced a newly formed IP code that integrates EU Directives 2015/2436 and 2016/943 into national Portuguese law. The changes were published in the official journal on December 10, 2018, and entered into force as of July 1, 2019.

The amendments have altered the validity term of a trademark, which will now be calculated from the date of filing as opposed to the date of registration. Further, they have introduced the right of the INPI to declare invalidation in the first instance for both registered trademarks and designs, an administrative procedure previously only available at the Court of Industrial Property. In addition, the procedure for oppositions based on a previously registered trademark has been amended. As such, applicants may now request evidence of serious use of the trademark from the opposing party.

In a move to benefit patent right holders, the right to “double protection" will now be available. This allows for a European Patent originally validated in Portugal to exist alongside a national patent for the same invention. This benefit also applies to Portuguese utility models. Furthermore, utility model subject matter has been narrowed, now excluding food products and processes for their preparation from registration. It is also now compulsory for utility model applications to be examined as to substance.

Coinciding with the implementation of the new IP code, updated fees for IP matters are in force as of July 1, 2019. The new fee for trademark filing in one class has risen by just under 1% for both applications filed in paper or online form. Renewal of a trademark in one class has also increased by almost 1% and now costs 127,37 € or 254,73 € respectively for online or paper.

The fees for patent filing as well as patent renewals have followed the same trend, rising by approximately 1%. The filing rate now constitutes 107,62 € and 215,24 € respectively for online and paper applications.

The filing fee for a utility model has increased to a higher degree, from the previous 106,61€ to 188,35€ for online applications and from 213,21€ to 376,67€ for paper applications, constituting an increase of 76%.

The implementation of these amendments arrives shortly after the transposition of the directives into the national law of several EU member states. The harmonisation of legislation in these EU states by way of the directives is hoped to allow for smooth and cooperative IP protection systems across the EU.

Author: Danielle Carvey