Brazil’s accession to the Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks will take effect on 2 October 2019.

With Brazil, the countries in the Americas that form part of the Madrid System will now number 6. Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and the USA are all members, with Canada joining them on 17 June 2019 following its accession to the Protocol. There are also some jurisdictions in the Caribbean that have been members for years, such as Antigua and Barbuda and the Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the BES Islands, made up of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba).

With the accession of Brazil, which will become the 121st member of the Madrid System, trademark owners will have the opportunity to opt for an alternative course of protection at WIPO, by means of a single multiclass application, payment of a single fee, the flexibility to seek protection in further countries in the future, and a single procedure for renewal in the designated countries of protection, among other advantages offered by the international trademark system.

It is to be assumed that the official language of the INPI will be Portuguese and, therefore, the language factor will be an issue to consider when defining strategy. While the INPI has worked hard over the years to speed up procedures, there can be no doubt that one of the biggest challenges faced by the Brazilian government is complying with the time limits established by the Madrid System, such as, for example, the time limit for carrying out the examination of the application and the time limits for opposition proceedings.

Authors: Cristina ArroyoJuan M. Sáinz de Marles
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