by Rodrigo Borges Carneiro
September 01, 2009
Trademark application submissions via the E-MARCAS online system the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) rolledout on September 1st 2006 have already outnumbered those made based on the traditional, hardcopy method.
In the year to date, from January to August, 71,035 applications had been submitted via the E-MARCAS, adding up to 33.25% of total submissions.
The possibility of making the submission online, vis-à-vis the traditional application submission process, is undeniable proof of the progress the BPTO has made in its efforts to render the system more efficient.
Online system usage tends to increase even more after the new schedule that sets lower rates for online submissions, compared to submissions made on hardcopy, took effect on June 1st 2009. Under the new schedule, the official rate to make trademark application submissions electronically is R$300, while R$400 on paper.
The new system needs improvements, however, and faces some limitations that often render it impossible to use.
The main limitation involves product and service specifications. Applications can only be submitted online for products and services that already appear on the list of examples of BPTO products and services. For other products or services, the user must wait for the results of prior consultation in order for the inclusion on the list to be authorized. This procedure may take a few days to be completed and makes many submissions unfeasible.
In addition to the specifications, the E-MARCAS system will also not acknowledge priorities when process numbers are composed of numbers and letters, since the system only recognizes numbers. Cases involving numbers and letters include, for example, priorities coming from Italy.
Other priorities the system does not accept are those originating from the European Community and Benelux, since the initials (EM and BX, respectively), do not appear in the E-MARCAS database.