DOC

1.3 Presentation of the Trademark

By Henry Green,2014-12-16 15:37
15 views 0
1.3 Presentation of the Trademark

Guidelines for the Assessment of

Trademarks

INTRODUCTION

    The objective of these Guidelines is to clarify the interpretation and applicability of the rules regarding the granting of trademark registrations by the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO).

    The Industrial Property Law (IPL) has now been in force for a decade, and new understandings and procedures have been developed with the aim of making the examination of trademark applications for registration adequate for the demands of a dynamic society, where new services and products are constantly being created. Such dynamism brings about transformations in the spectrum of social communication and language and, as a consequence, the treatment given to the trademarks must reflect these changes.

    In this respect, the Guidelines for the Assessment of Trademarks should be used in conjunction with the User Manual (which provides a step-by-step guide for filing a trademark) and the information supplied on the BPTO website to form a set of aids which can guide the user in filing the registration of its trademark.

    This document has relied on the participation of a significant portion of the professionals of the Trademark Department and is the fruit of a long internal and external discussion. The Guidelines are not intended to cover all questions that may arise from the wealth of the day-to-day examination of trademark registrability. Thus, they are intended to be continually complemented and updated in order to follow the dynamism of the markets.

    To facilitate the understanding of the rules and applicable criteria for the examination of trademark applications for registration, this document has been divided into 8 chapters: General Provisions; Registrable Signs; Non-Registrable Signs; Limitations to Rights: Disclaimers; Compulsory Documentation; Collective and Certification Marks; Maintenance of Rights; Assignment of Rights: Transfer and Lien of Rights.

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 2

Contents

    INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................ 2

    1 General Provisions ............................................................................................................ 6

    1.1 Definition of a Trademark ......................................................................................... 6 1.2 Nature of a Trademark .............................................................................................. 6

    1.2.1 Product or Service Trademark ........................................................................... 6

    1.2.2 Collective Mark ................................................................................................. 6

    1.2.3 Certification Mark ............................................................................................. 7 1.3 Presentation of the Trademark ................................................................................. 7

    1.3.1 Word Trademark ............................................................................................... 7

    1.3.2 Figurative Trademark ......................................................................................... 8

    1.3.3 Word and design Trademark ............................................................................. 8

    1.3.4 Three-dimensional trademarks .......................................................................... 8 1.4 Legal Principles .......................................................................................................... 9

    1.4.1 Territoriality ...................................................................................................... 9

    1.4.2 Speciality Principle .......................................................................................... 10

    1.4.3 Attributive System ........................................................................................... 10

    1.4.4 Repression of Unfair Competition .................................................................... 11 1.5 Applicable Rules ...................................................................................................... 12 1.6 Legitimacy of the Applicant..................................................................................... 12

    1.6.1 Legitimate persons .......................................................................................... 12

    1.6.2 Effectiveness and Legality of Activity Carried Out ........................................... 12

    2 REGISTRABLE SIGNS ........................................................................................................ 13

    3 NON-REGISTRABLE SIGNS ................................................................................................ 14 3.1 Regarding the constitution of the sign .................................................................... 14

    3.1.1 Sound, Taste and Smell ................................................................................... 14

    3.1.2 Letters, digits and dates .................................................................................. 14

    3.1.3 Colors .............................................................................................................. 15 3.2 Regarding the condition of lawfulness of the sign .................................................. 16

    3.2.1 Due to its official or public nature ................................................................... 16

    3.2.2 Due to their nature being contrary to morals and socially acceptable standards

     20

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 3

    3.2.3 Due to its misleading nature ........................................................................... 21 3.3 With respect to the condition of distinctiveness of the sign ................................... 22

    3.3.1 SIGNS OF GENERIC, NECESSARY, COMMON, USUAL OR MERELY A DESCRIPTIVE

    NATURE 23

    3.3.2 Technical Terms ............................................................................................... 26 3.3.3 Advertising sign or expression ......................................................................... 27 3.3.4 The necessary, common or usual shape of the product or of its packaging or that

    which cannot be dissociated from technical effect. ......................................................... 29 3.4 Regarding the Condition of Availability of the Sign ................................................... 31 3.4.1 Registered Third party trademark .................................................................... 31 3.4.2 Third party trademark of which the applicant could clearly not be unaware ..... 34

    3.4.3 Double rights in the same trademark ............................................................... 36 3.4.4 Characteristic or distinguishing element of an establishment or business name

     36

    3.4.5 Designations or acronyms of a public entity or agency ..................................... 38 3.4.6 Geographical Indications .................................................................................. 40 3.4.7 Collective and certification marks not in force for more than five years ........... 42 3.4.8 Names, prizes or symbols of official or officially recognized events .................. 42 For the purposes of the application of this statutory provision, the following aspects must be observed: ................................................................................................................... 43

    3.4.9 Personal and patronymic names and images of third parties ............................ 43 3.4.10 Pseudonyms and artistic names ....................................................................... 46 3.4.11 Works protected by copyright .......................................................................... 47 3.4.12 Industrial Design .............................................................................................. 50 4 LIMITS TO RIGHTS: DISCLAIMERS ..................................................................................... 50 4.1 Cases in which the disclaimer is not applied ............................................................. 51 4.2 Cases in which the disclaimer is applied: .................................................................. 52 4.3 Other Disclaimer Cases ............................................................................................ 55 5 COMPULSORY DOCUMENTATION COLLECTIVE AND CERTIFICATION MARKS ................. 55

    5.1 Regulation for the use of a Collective Mark ............................................................ 55

    5.2 Characteristics of the Product or Service and Control Measures for the Certification

    Mark 56

    6 MAINTENANCE OF RIGHTS .............................................................................................. 56 6.1 RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION .................................................................................. 56 6.2 USE OF THE TRADEAMARK FORFEITURE ................................................................ 56

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 4

    6.2.1 Legitimacy of Applicant .................................................................................... 57

    6.2.2 Requirement for Admissibility and Start of Use ................................................ 57

    6.2.3 Effective use .................................................................................................... 58

    6.2.4 Non-use for Legitimate Reasons ....................................................................... 59

    6.2.5 Use of the trademark due to its Characteristic Elements .................................. 60 7 ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS TRANSFER ............................................................................. 60 7.1 Transfer by Assignment ........................................................................................... 61 7.2 Transfer by Fusion or Merger ................................................................................... 61 7.3 Transfer by Scission ................................................................................................. 61 7.4 Transfer in virtue of Legal or Testate Succession ...................................................... 62 7.5 Transfer resulting from Bankruptcy.......................................................................... 62 8 LIEN OF RIGHTS ............................................................................................................... 62

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 5

1 General Provisions

    1.1 Definition of a Trademark

    According to Brazilian Law, a trademark is every visually perceptible distinctive sign that identifies and distinguishes products and services from other similar products and services from different sources, as well as certifying their compliance to determined standards or technical specifications. Distinctive character is a legal requirement and is found enshrined in article 122 of Law No. 9,279/96 (Industrial Property Law IPL).

    At the same time, although distinctiveness continues to be the basis on which the function of the trademarks rests, this distinctive nature now takes into consideration not just the constitutive graphic elements of the trademarks, but also the impressions as a whole resulting from them that play a part in individualizing, distinguishing or certifying products and services. 1.2 Nature of a Trademark

    The trademark, with respect to its nature, can be a product, service, collective or certification

    mark.

    1.2.1 Product or Service Trademark

    A product or service trademark is that used to distinguish a product or service from other identical, similar or related products or services from different sources (art. 123, subsection I of the IPL).

1.2.2 Collective Mark

    A collective mark is that which is dedicated to identifying and distinguishing a product or service in the market originating from members of a representative legal person of a collective, from other identical, similar or related products or services from a different source (art. 123, subsection III of the IPL). The collective mark has a different purpose from that of product and service trademarks. The essential objective of the collective mark is to indicate to the consumer that a certain product or service originates from members of a specific entity.

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 6

1.2.3 Certification Mark

    A certification mark is that used to certify the compliance of a product or service to determined norms, standards or technical specifications, notably with respect to quality, nature, material used and methodology employed (art. 123, subsection II of the IPL). The certification mark has a different purpose from product and service trademarks. The essential objective of the certification mark is to inform the public that the product or service distinguished by the mark meets with the specific technical norms or standards. The certification mark, before being introduced by Law No. 9,279/96, was already foreseen at a regulatory level in the area of industrial standardization and quality, and was even practiced in the private sector.

1.3 Presentation of the Trademark

    The trademark, with respect to its form of presentation, can be word, figurative, word and

    design or three-dimensional.

    1.3.1 Word Trademark

    A word or verbal trademark is a sign formed of one or more words in the complete sense of the Roman alphabet, including also the neologisms and combinations of Roman and/or Arabic letters and/or digits/numerals, provided that these elements are not presented in a fantasy or figurative way.

    VARIG CORONA AtlânTIca 9 E 1/5

    (9 AND 1/5)

    IRREVENTE & CIA TREZENTOS E XIX

    OITENTA (nineteen, in Roman numerals)

    (THREE HUNDRED

    AND EIGHTY)

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 7

1.3.2 Figurative Trademark

    A figurative or emblematic trademark is a sign formed of:

    ; a drawing, image, figure and/or symbol;

    ; any fantasy or figurative form of an isolated letter or digit/numeral, or accompanied by

    a drawing, image, figure or symbol;

    ; words composed of letters from alphabets other than the native language, such as

    Hebrew, Cyrillic, Arabic etc.;

    ; characters in languages, such as Japanese and Chinese.

    In the last two chosen examples, the legal protection falls on the graphical representation of the letters and on the character itself, and not on the word or expression that they represent, except in cases where the applicant indicates on the application the word or term that the character represents, provided that this is understandable by a significant proportion of the consumer public, in which case it will be regarded as a word and design trademark.

1.3.3 Word and design Trademark

    A word and design or composite trademark is a sign formed of the combination of word and figurative elements or even just those word elements whose spelling is represented in a fantasy or stylized form.

     **LIGHT SIGN**

    1.3.4 Three-dimensional trademarks

    A three-dimensional trademark is a sign formed of a distinctive plastic shape of the product or of its presentation or packaging.

    To be registrable, the distinctive three-dimensional shape of the product or service must be dissociated from technical effect.

     **YAKULT SIGN**

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 8

1.4 Legal Principles

    1.4.1 Territoriality

    Article 129 of the IPL enshrines the principle of territorial protection when it prescribes: “trademark ownership is acquired by a validly granted registration, in accordance with the provisions of this law, its exclusive use in all national territory being assured to the owner (…)” (our emphasis).

    The protection afforded by the State does not go beyond Brazilian territorial borders and only within this physical expanse is the right of ownership and exclusivity of use of the registered trademark recognized.

    Exception: Well Known Trademarks

    There is, however, a single exception to this principle, which is the protection afforded to a well known trademark under the terms of art. 6 bis of the Paris Union Convention (PUC), which provides:

    The countries of the Union undertake, ex officio if their legislation so permits, or at

    the request of an interested party, to refuse or to cancel the registration, and to

    prohibit the use, of a trademark which constitutes a reproduction, an imitation, or

    a translation, liable to create confusion, of a mark considered by the competent

    authority of the country of registration or use to be well known in that country as

    being already the mark of a person entitled to the benefits of this Convention and

    used for identical or similar goods. These provisions shall also apply when the

    essential part of the mark constitutes a reproduction of any such well-known mark

    or an imitation liable to create confusion therewith.

    As a signatory to the Convention, Brazil has committed by this rule, to refuse or invalidate a registration of a sign that constitutes the falsifying of a trademark that is protected regularly via a filing or registration in another country that is also a member of the Convention, when such trademark is well known in Brazil, irrespective of whether or not it has been previously registered or filed there (art. 126 of the IPL).

    Bearing in mind that the Paris Convention does not provide any definition of “well known”, nor

    does it even establish criteria for its appraisal, the BPTO, in its capacity as competent authority to appraise subjects of this nature, contemplates this question, noting if the trademark is known to a certain degree in Brazil in the identical or similar market segment. The rule presented can be applied ex officio or on the request of the interested party. It can be

    applied ex officio when the examiner deems that it is sufficiently well known to be able to dispense with the production of evidence.

    When this rule is applied by means of opposition, it will be verified if the opposer:

    a) is a resident national of or domiciled in a country that is a signatory to the Paris Union

    Convention;

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 9

    b) has legitimacy to oppose;

    c) has grounded its petition and submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the

    trademark is well known in the identical or similar market segment.

    These guidelines must equally be followed when dealing with service trademarks, since, although this PUC rule does not cover these trademarks, Brazil has recognized that they are equally capable of being well known, and are thus worthy of protection beyond territorial

    stborders (art. 126, 1 ?, of the IPL).

    However, for the understanding of oppositions with grounds in the statutory provision of the thnd6 article bis of the PUC, it is necessary to note that which is provided in 2 ? of article 158 of

    the IPL.

    1.4.2 Speciality Principle

    The protection afforded to the trademark extends to products or services that correspond to the activity of the applicant, aiming to distinguish them from other identical or similar products or services from a different source.

    Exception: Highly Reputed Marks

    Trademarks registered in Brazil and deemed to be of high repute shall be afforded

    special protection, in all fields of activity (art. 125 of the IPL).

    Contrary to what is seen in item 1.4.1, where the prior registration in Brazil is not necessary to follow the provisions in art. 6 bis of the PUC, this special protection, which does away with the principle of speciality, is only possible if the trademark is already duly registered under the terms of the Law. This is inferred from article 125, transcribed above.

    Once a trademark is recognized as being highly reputed, in accordance with BPTO Resolution No. 121/05, the BPTO will make the corresponding note in its registers and any reproduction or imitation of the trademark that is likely to cause confusion or damage to its reputation will be prohibited.

    1.4.3 Attributive System

    The trademark registration system adopted in Brazil is attributive rights, that is, its ownership and exclusive use are only acquired by registration, as art. 129 of the IPL defines. The principle of the attributive nature of rights, resulting from the registration, is opposed to the so-called declarative system of rights to a trademark, in which the rights result from first use and the registration only serves merely as a ratification of ownership.

    As a general rule, the first to file an application has the priority for the registration. However, this rule has one exception, which is called previous user rights.

    Exception: Previous User

     Guidelines for the

    Assessment of Trademarks

     Page 10

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com