How to register industrial property rights in Portugal
The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) is the organization responsible for the protection and registration of industrial property in Portugal, in accordance with corresponding national and international legislation.
What is Industrial Property?
Just like any other material asset, intellectual creations can also be subject to a property right - an industrial property right. This right allows a monopoly or a right of exclusive use to be secured for an invention, an aesthetic creation (design), or a sign used to distinguish products and companies in the marketplace.
Intellectual Property (IP) consists of two branches, Copyright and Industrial Property. The aim of Industrial Property is to protect inventions, aesthetic creations (designs) and signs used to distinguish products and companies in the marketplace, thus protecting the results of investments in innovation (whether it be technological or commercial). Copyright is aimed at the protection of literary and artistic works (which includes original creations in literature and the arts).
Where to Protect or Register?
Industrial property rights (trademarks, patents, and designs, amongst others) are locally applicable rights, only guaranteeing protection in the country where they were granted.
For example, if a trademark is only registered in Portugal, its owner can only defend his rights in Portugal. He cannot prevent anyone in Spain from using an identical or similar sign.
If a company’s business strategy involves exporting products or reaching out to new markets, the Industrial Property System also offers several means to guarantee protection in other countries for the various types of industrial property.
In Portugal, industrial property is managed by the INPI.
How can I lodge an application with INPI?
An application for registration can be made online quickly and easily, through the tools available on the INPI portal.
Applications made online have a fee discount: 50% for Patents, 30 % for Trademarks and Registered Design, and 10% in all other acts.
Alternatively, you can submit your applications by post, deliver them directly to INPI, or present them at one of the ‘company counters’ that have recently been introduced at Business Formality Centres (CFE), at some Commercial Registry Offices and at the National Registry of Companies (RNPC).
However, applications made through these channels do not qualify for any fee discounts.