March 20, 2022

Trademark Episodes: “Two for the price of one”

António had been dedicated for several years to the production and sale of home textile products and had just completed a new line of products that he decided to call “ABC”. António, a businessman with some experience in the market, knew that it was imperative to register “ABC” as a national brand to name a new product line and, that way, market it through his company.

Without further delay, and because time is money, António accessed the website of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and started filling in the brand registration application form – only the name “ABC” to refer to the home textile products; no logo or other figurative elements were associated.

A few weeks passed. António received from his company’s marketing department a proposal for a logo that he found very interesting and that he wanted to associate with his brand “ABC”. He just didn’t know how to do it. It is then that he calls the company’s lawyer asking for support in the “update” of the “ABC” trademark registration process. At this point, he finds an obstacle. The registration request that he had already submitted to the INPI had just been published.

In the phone call, António learned that, once this application for registration of a national trademark has been submitted – and after it has been published by the INPI – this application cannot be altered in any way (principle of inalterability of the registration). There was only one solution left: to submit a new trademark application, this time accompanied by the figurative element (commonly and not technically referred to as logo).

In the end, António had to pay two registration fees. And, without any need, he was left with two trademarks. With regard to trademark registration, inexperience can have costs and totally counterproductive effects. If you have questions, contact a professional who can help you and don’t be like António.