On December 9, 2014, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) introduced its new Trademark Manual. This has consolidated, in one document, several normative acts referring to the application of legal provisions with respect to trademark applications and registrations, such as the Analysis Guidelines and the User Manual.
Among the most sensitive questions, the PTO set out its position on the possibility of the alteration of the application due to material errors (alterations in the trademark, in the international class or in the specification of the products or services), the forms of reservations of rights, as well as rules for the analysis of trademarks formed by official or protected signs, such as official monuments, flags and landform.
Additionally, the current understanding of the PTO on coexistence agreements was also mentioned in the new Manual, thereby ending a long discussion with respect to the admissibility and interpretation of these agreements. However, despite these significant advances, the PTO remained silent about other important questions, such as the possibility of filing "multi-class applications" and the "co-ownership of trademarks", which it had promised to introduce in 2014.
In general terms, the manual can be seen as a significant step by the PTO to encourage the protection of trademarks in Brazil and to assure the transparency and coherence of its decisions. It provides clear instructions referring to the filing and monitoring of applications, as well as guidelines, and is aimed both at examiners and the general public to ensure the correct processing and analysis of applications. The Manual can be found on the PTO website, at the following link http://www.inpi.gov.br/portal/artigo/ inpi_consolida_procedimentos_e_diretrizes_ em_novo_manual_de_marcas.
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