In Brazil, the software market is expanding rapidly. According to the recent numbers from the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES), the national Information Technology market involved more than 49 billion dollars in 2020.
In Brazil, software is mainly protected under the Software Law (Law No. 9609/1998) and under the Copyright Law (Law No. 9610/1998). These laws protect the authors’ rights and provide important rules on the exploitation of such assets. The Brazilian Software Law provides for both civil and criminal remedies for copyright violations.
Under the relevant provisions, software is protected for a period of 50 years, and the protection has international scope. The registration of software is optional, but is highly recommended as it may become vital down the line in enforcing rights against third parties, for compliance in legal tender processes, or to obtain financing, giving just a few examples.
The competent authority for software registration in Brazil is the Brazilian PTO. In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the registration of software at the agency. This is partly because, in 2017, it created a new e-Software registration system. As a result, the process is now 100% digital and can be completed in less than 10 days.
The INPI’s new e-software registration system included various innovations to make the process faster, more agile and to create greater legal certainty (these include, for example, the use of the digital hash function to guarantee the integrity of the digital document and the use of an electronic power of attorney, which may cover diverse activities related to the INPI services in just one document).
With the advance of technologies, and the new system in place, the Brazilian PTO has already recorded an increase in software registrations from 1,692 in 2017 to 3,259 in 2021, which represents an impressive increase of 92%.
The new streamlined and simplified the registration procedure involves taking the following steps:
- First, encrypt the text or file containing the source code using an appropriate algorithm to transform it into a digital hash summary (this will be inserted into the digital form);
- Second, generate the Payment Form (GRU) for software registration and make payment. Download the “Declaration of Veracity” (DV) available on the e-Software system;
- Third, access the e-Software platform and complete the online form, inserting the hash summary and the digitally signed Veracity Declaration;
- Finally, follow the publications in the Industrial Property Magazine (RPI – Industrial property bulletin) and monitor the BuscaWeb system using your application number (the registration should be completed within ten (10) days of the request).
It is worth noting that in certain instances software related inventions may also be protected in Brazil through the registration of patents. That is, while Brazilian law also expressly forbids patenting so called “software as such” (inventions related to the source code), a software related invention may still be patented if defined as a technical solution that solves a technical problem and which generates technical effects.
In addition to the main forms of software protection listed here, it is also possible to protect the graphical interfaces of software through industrial design, in accordance with Industrial Property Law No. 9259 of 1996. This registration can be granted, depending on the case, for up to 25 years.
For further clarifications, please feel free to contact us. We will be glad to assist you.