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WHAT IS A TRADEMARK AND WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO REGISTER IT IN PORTUGAL?

A trademark is a sign that identifies products or services that exist or is going to be launched in the marketplace. Trademarks enable us to distinguish a company’s products or services from those of other companies.

A trademark can comprise letters or words (verbal trademark), but may also be composed of pictures (pictorial trademark), or both (mixed trademark). It is also possible to register sounds as trademarks (recorded graphically on staves - sound trademark), as well as three-dimensional shapes (three-dimensional trademark). Trademarks can also be made up of advertising slogans, independently of any Copyright protection they may enjoy.

If the trademark is pictorial or contains a mix of words and pictures, you need to attach a picture of the trademark for publication in the Industrial Property Bulletin. This should be on A4 paper, no larger than 8cm x 8cm, and no smaller than 3cm in at least one of its dimensions. The image for publication should be of good technical quality and professionally produced with attention to detail, using appropriate manual or electronic graphic design tools.

Besides the graphic representation of the sign representation, you should include a list of goods or services for which the protection is sought.

The application process begins once the application is submitted, and includes an examination in accordance with the rules governing the composition of trademarks. The application is published online in the Industrial Property Bulletin, and there then follows an opposition phase. The examination is carried out at the end of this period and after that, the final decision is published. Once this process is complete your trademark is protected.

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NUMBER OF NEW COMPANIES RISES

Business formation with new businesses having been started in Portugal went up in 2017. Over 3,687 new companies were registered in Lisbon (14.5% more than in 2016), while Porto registered 7,107 new firms (5% up on the previous year).

On the other hand, business failures in Portugal fell 12.7% in 2017 compared with 2016 to 6,284, while the number of new companies being set up rose 9.1%, to 40,465. Lisbon and Porto saw the highest number of bankruptcies – 1,683 and 1,330 respectively, but these were still 2.4% and 15.4% lower than in 2016.

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF SECURITY TAKEN OVER REAL ESTATE IN PORTUGAL?

There is three standard security taken over real estate: voluntary mortgage, retention of title and seizure.

Concerning mortgage, it should be formalised through public deed or by a certified private document. To produce its legal effects, a mortgage must be registered at the land registry office.

As for the retention of title, it should be incorporated using a duly authenticated contract or public deed and is also subject to registration at the land registry office so it can be used against any third parties.

Finally, a seizure is done through a lawsuit and is not subject to specific conditions.

The mortgage is by far the most widely used security.

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY COLLECT A DEBT IN PORTUGAL

To evaluate the chances to successfully collect a debt in Portugal, one should ask the following main six questions:

1 - Is the debt business or consumer related?
Business-related debts often have more chances to receive an immediate positive response than consumer debts. So if the debtor is a company, there are more chances of collecting the debt, unless de company is insolvent or out of business.

2 - How old is the debt?
The age of the debt is critical. Despite the fact that in Portugal the period of limitation is 20 years, the older overdue invoices are, the more difficult it becomes to collect.

3 - Are there documentation to support the debt? 
To make a strong case towards the debtor, and to start legal actions to enforce payment of overdue invoices or a contractually agreed payment, it is mandatory on file the documentation that supports the claim. Supporting documentation regarding the debt may consist of contracts, invoices, order forms, order confirmations, debt acknowledgement, …

GARANTEES AND SEGURITIES IN PORTUGAL

In an open economy model, it is more important than ever to know what the legal risks are and how to minimise and overcome them. The better you know, the better you perform. In this article, we will summarise a clear and updated understanding of law and practice regarding guarantees.

Guarantees and securities
As a general rule, the debtor is liable in respect of his obligations. This rule affects all the debtor's assets, including future ones. The breach of an obligation, such as a payment, means that the debtor is liable to pay compensation.

Personal guarantees
By the contract, the parties may request additional guarantees besides existing assets to ensure the fulfilment of the obligation. One of these guarantees is "fian├ža." By entering into this kind of guarantee, a guarantor undertakes to pay on behalf of a third party in the event of this party not complying with the obligation of paying. The obligation depends on a principal debt and cannot exist without a valid prin…

LISBON QUALITY OF LIVING

Lisbon passed New York in the quality of living. A study made recently by Mercer consultancy puts eight European cities among the ten cities with the best quality of life.

Lisbon occupies the 43rd place in a ranking with 231 cities. European cities continue to lead the list of cities with better quality of life. According to Mercer's study released on Tuesday, there are eight Europeans among the ten cities with the best quality of life. Lisbon is a place below last year, currently occupying the 43rd place in a ranking that considered 231 cities.