The Brazilian trademark system is flexible. Despite proprietary rights being given by law to the owners of registered marks, marks simply used in commerce or that have only been applied for can also be protected under unfair competition and anti-dilution doctrines.
II LEGAL FRAMEWORK
The primary domestic legislation is the Industrial Property Law 19961 (the IP Law), which deals with civil and criminal aspects of trademarks, patents, geographical indications (GIs),patent designs, industrial designs and unfair competition practices.2 Brazil is a member of the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the Nice Agreement.3 The Brazilian government intends to join the international trademark system (Madrid Protocol) by mid-2018. The Brazilian Industrial Property Office (BIPO)4 is working hard to reduce its backlog.
The Brazilian Constitution includes a trademark clause in Paragraph XXIX of Article 5, which sets out the fundamental rights.5
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* Mauricio Maleck Coutinho is head of the intellectual property disputes team at Veirano Advogados' Sao Paulo's offices.
1 Federal Law No. 9,279, of 14 May 1996, known as the Industrial Property Law.
2 Copyrights are governed by a separate piece of legislation - Federal Law No. 9,610 of 1998. Federal Law No. 9,609 of 1998 regulates software.
3 The Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration...