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August 2, 2012

Newsletter 2012.07 – Coexistence agreements in Brazil

After a long period of darkness on this subject, the BPTO has just released an official communication on how the Coexistence Agreements shall be treated. The former BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks (issued in May/1997) formally admitted that Coexistence Agreements excluded the application of the norm contained in Section 124, item XIX, of the Brazilian IP Law, which prohibits the registration of marks that are identical or similar to another previously registered for the same or related goods or services, being susceptible of causing confusion or association with the senior mark.

Notwithstanding the fact that this guideline has lasted for over 13 years, it has always been refuted by the BPTO Attorneys’ Office, under the allegation that the Agreement by itself could never override that statutory prohibition. During the discussions for the revision of the BPTO’s Guidelines for the Analysis of Trademarks, which final version was released in December 2010, the BPTO Attorneys’ Office position has prevailed. As a result, the formerly applied orientation was excluded from the new Guidelines which did not bring any other ruling for this subject.

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