On December 09, 2014, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) published Resolution No. 142/2014 (“Resolution”) in its Official Gazette, No. 2292. The Resolution consolidates various trademark regulatory sources focused on the application of the provisions of Brazilian Intellectual Property Law (Law No. 9.279/96 – BIPL) and establishes a new Trademark Examination Guidelines Manual (“Manual”), which revokes the current guidelines as well as Resolutions Nos. 027/2013, 028/2013, 032/2013 and Normative Instruction No. 001/2013. The objective of the Resolution is to guarantee quality, transparency and uniformity in trademark analysis, and facilitate the dialogue between the examination and appeal procedures.

Among several changes, under the new Manual, it is now possible to modify a trademark application after it has been filled in cases of error, and new procedures have been introduced, especially regarding the substantive examination of applications, creating specific guidelines for assessing the distinctiveness of certain designss allowing for the registration of a combination of previously registered marks in which the word element cannot be registered, and of commonly used terms when combined, forming a distinctive trademark.

Requests that contain reproduction or imitation of a geographical indication shall not be automatically refused; instead, requirements for the registry shall be presented by the BPTO and met by the applicant. The same procedure shall be applied when applications contain elements that cannot be registered, allowing the applicant to modify such element.

According to the Manual, in cancellation proceedings, the legitimate interest of the applicant and fiscal and printed notes as evidence shall be evaluated. If there is trademark collision, the existence of annotations regarding trademark terms shall not automatically prevent the evaluation of any confusion.