This year, Brazil is progressing with its proposal to join the Hague Agreement on International Registrations of Industrial Designs.
The move is part of a bigger strategy to align the country with leading nations in terms of intellectual property matters, and the Brazilian BPTO is already in the process of preparing its examiners for Hague Treaty cases.
As it stands, protection for industrial designs applied for through the Brazilian framework is still limited to a local design filing national territory.
However, as discussed further below, the Brazilian Congress has now agreed to fast-track the analysis of the agreement by the plenary committee, without requiring an analysis by other committees.
What is the Hague Agreement and how does it work?
The Hague system allows applicants to register up to 100 designs belonging to the same class, within 77 contracting parties, covering 94 countries (including the US, Japan and the UK). This is done through a single international application and may be done digitally through the eHague Gateway platform.
To file such an application, you must be a national, have domicile or habitual residence, or have a real and effective commercial establishment within a country that is a contracting party (or a member state of an intergovernmental organization party to the Hague Agreement).
More details, including information on how to calculate the fees for an application under the Hague Treaty can be found here.
In practice this means that Brazilian companies will be able to protect their industrial designs in 94 countries using a single application. Unlike, applications under the Madrid Protocol, for example, no prior national or regional application is required to make an application.
The scope of protection may vary from one jurisdiction to another.
Respectively, foreign applicants who have registered their work with WIPO will be protected in the Brazilian market.
What are the latest developments in Brazil?
On June 29, PDL 274/2022 was presented by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense in the Chamber of Deputies, seeking approval of the Hague Agreement.
The project is being processed as a matter of urgency. That is, certain requirements, deadlines or regimental formalities are being waived so that the proposal is promptly reviewed, until final approval (voting in committees is waived and the rapporteurs of each committee are responsible for delivering their opinions in the plenary hearing). After the opinions are read, voting will take place immediately, requiring a quorum of simple majority.
Once approved in the Chamber, the project will go to the Brazilian Senate, which will be responsible for evaluating the final version of the text approved in the initiating House.
For the moment, we expect that there will be a discussion within the Brazilian PTO on the best ways to adjust the Hague system to the Brazilian IP Law, since some restrictions arise from our practice and clear rules will be very important to achieve a smooth design prosecution process in Brazil.
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If you would like to find out more information on industrial design and the current practice guidelines in Brazil, you can also access our post: Industrial Designs: a brief overview of Brazilian practice.
If you have any questions on this topic, or wish to speak with one of our experts, please contact us.