by Rodrigo Borges Carneiro
May 05, 2003
The president of the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) is receiving mixed reaction to his proposal to join the Madrid Protocol on the international registration of marks.
The BPTO and many businesses advocate accession for two main reasons. First, the cost of having trademarks registered in other signatory countries would be dramatically less. Second, the time it takes to register a trademark in Brazil would be substantially reduced – from the current three years to 18 months. This is because the protocol provides that a mark shall be registered within 18 months of the application date regardless of whether the necessary research into prior rights has been carried out.
However, some businesses are opposed to joining because they feel the benefits of reduced time and cost would be greatly outweighed by the potential adverse effects of registrations being made without due consideration of prior rights. This, they argue, is particularly likely immediately following accession because the BPTO would be flooded with applications from foreign companies.
For discussion of the Unites States’ recent accession to the protocol, see Bush signs off on Madrid Protocol.