By Moeller IP Advisors
In today’s competitive economy, business owners need to ensure adequate IP protection for their company by registering their trademark, patent, copyright and last but not least, trade name. It is particularly important to differentiate between trademarks and trade names: a trade name is the name that identifies a company after the registration into the commercial registry. While trademarks and trade names tend to match, their registration follows different procedures and entails different legal consequences.
In Brazil, problems arise when a company registers a trade name that is the same as an existing trademark: the trademark owner cannot directly oppose the registration in front of the commercial registry, even when the trademark is well-known.
The situation is complicated by the fact that each of the 26 Brazilian states has its own commercial registry. This can be particularly tricky for foreign companies: even if the trademark owner has a subsidiary registered at a state commercial registry, the registration will not be double-checked in the registries of other states. The commercial registry is likely to decline the registration if the commercial name of the applicant company is identical to an existing trade name in that particular state registry.
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