By André Venturini, Venturini IP
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Brazil is one of the top 10 countries in the world for patent applications, with over 25,000 applications filed in 2019. If you are an inventor or a company looking to protect your intellectual property in Brazil, you might be wondering about the process of registering a utility model. In this article, we will guide you through the process of registering a utility model, pricing, and peculiarities of the utility model in Brazil.
1. What can be patented as a utility model in Brazil?
Utility models, like inventions, can be protected as patents in Brazil. While there is no definition of what an invention is in the Brazilian Patent Statute, utility models are defined as an object of practical use or parts thereof. This definition naturally excludes processes, compositions, uses, systems and other more complex objects, which will be categorized as inventions.
In Brazil, a utility model can protect any new and useful invention that has a practical application. This includes machines, devices, tools, and other types of equipment. To be eligible for protection as a utility model, the invention must meet the following criteria:
– Novelty: The invention must be new and not already disclosed in the prior art.
– Inventive step: The invention must not be obvious to a person skilled in the art.
– Industrial applicability: The invention must have a practical application in industry.
2. What is the process of utility model registration?
The process of registering a utility model in Brazil is similar to that of a patent application. The first step is to conduct a search to ensure that your invention is new and not already patented by someone else. You can conduct a search online on the website of the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) or hire a patent attorney to conduct the search for you.
Once you have confirmed that your invention is new, you can proceed with the application process. The application must be filed with the INPI and must include a description of the invention, drawings, and claims that define the scope of protection you are seeking. The application must also include a request for examination and payment of the filing fee.
After the application is filed, it will undergo a formal examination to ensure that all the requirements have been met. If there are any deficiencies, the INPI will issue an Office Action requesting that they be corrected. Once the formalities are complete, the application will be examined for novelty and inventive steps.
In many jurisdictions utility models are not submitted to substantive examination by the Patent Offices. Novelty is usually the sole patentability requirement. This is not true for Brazil, where utility model applications will be subjected to a substantive examination. However, differently to what happens with inventions, the inventiveness degree assessed for an utility model is lower. This is why utility model patents are commonly known as “petty patents”.
If the INPI determines that your invention meets the criteria for a utility model, it will grant you a certificate of registration. The registration is valid for 15 years from the date of filing and can be renewed for an additional 15 years.
3. Opposition of a utility model in Brazil
After a utility model is granted, it is subject to opposition by third parties who believe that the invention does not meet the requirements for protection. The opposition must be filed within six months from the date of publication of the grant of the utility model. Also read about design registration in Brazil.
The opposition can be based on any grounds that would invalidate the protection of the utility model, such as lack of novelty or inventive steps. If the opposition is successful, the INPI may revoke the grant of the utility model.
4. Peculiarities of utility models in Brazil
There are a few peculiarities an applicant should be aware of before filing utility model in Brazil:
– Equal treatment and a lower degree of inventiveness: for being protected as patents in Brazil, enforcement of utility model patents is as accessible as of patents of invention. Utility model patents will be treated equally. For this reason, and given the lower degree of inventiveness required, filing of utility model applications can be an interesting strategy for companies trying to access the Brazilian market.
– The scope of protection: for being an object of practical use with a lower degree of inventiveness, claims of a utility model application are most commonly related to a specific arrangement applied to that object. A broader interpretation of the claims is usually not available to utility model patents, which makes design around easier.
–The patent term limitation: while patents of invention benefit from a term of 20 years counted from the filing date, utility model patents are valid for 15 years counted from the filing date.
The cost of registering a utility model in Brazil depends on several factors, including the complexity of the invention, and the number of claims.
A filing stage:
|Professional fees for filing||$550|
|Translation into Portuguese (per 100 words)||$8|
|Government fees for filing for Individual||R$70|
|Government fees for filing for Company||R$175|
An examination stage:
|Government fees for filing for Individual||R$152|
|Government fees for filing for Company||R$380|
The utility model registration cost in Brazil via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $845, which includes all government fees and document preparation. Find the best IP attorney in Brazil on iPNOTE.
Registering a utility model in Brazil can be a complex process, but it is essential to protect your intellectual property and prevent others from using your invention without permission. If you are considering registering a utility model in Brazil, it is advisable to consult with a patent attorney who can guide you through the process and help you navigate any challenges that may arise.
The iPNOTE platform features more than 700 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.
Do you have questions about utility model registration in Brazil? Contact Venturini IP via iPNOTE.
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