Protecting Innovation

The focus on innovation (the development of new or optimized products and services) is nowadays a reality present in an increasing number of companies, as there is an also increasing awareness as to its importance as a crucial factor to maintain or achieve market competitiveness.

Innovation and, consequently, the development of new products is already a reality. Portuguese investigators release new creations everyday in various technological areas, with biotechnology, medicine, electronics and software earning the most media coverage, as well as creations related to design innovation.

Along with innovation Technological Hubs, Business Incubators and Clusters are increasingly emerging, all of them with the common goal of creating the appropriate conditions to foster Investigation and Development, for the financing of Entrepreneurs, encourage partnerships and innovative projects, both national and internationally. In practice, apart from the shared knowledge, specialization and economies of scale, all these synergies enables the creation of added value, the development of exports, a better image of Portugal, more foreign investment and the creation of new jobs.

For the protection of knowledge and to prevent a given innovation from being exploited improperly by a third party who didn’t contribute to it, it is extremely important to use the national and international means for the protection of Intellectual/Industrial Property. Depending on every case, this protection can be attained through patents and utility models, and through the registry of designs or models, brands, logos and also through the recognition of Copyrights, among others.

Patents, Utility Models and Designs or Models create value in a variety of ways, from the freedom of acting, protecting product differentiation, guaranteeing investment returns and providing credibility to their holders, to assuring the legal support for technological licensing.

Increasingly frequent are the cases in which, despite the success of the innovation, the interest regarding it, on behalf of funders or big companies interested in obtaining an operating license or acquiring its intellectual property rights (Patents, Utility Models, Designs or Models) disappears when the protection obtained is assessed, and therefore its commercial exclusivity. Interested funders or companies will verify if these rights are granted, if they’re on the process of concession, the coverage of such protection, or if they’re mere applications which were not granted.

On the other hand, trademarks allow for the identification of products e services of a certain company distinguishing them from other companies’ products and services. Its registry grants its holder the exclusivity and the right to hinder the use of equal or similar signs by a third party in similar products or services. This way, it is highly recommended, before the use of a brand on your products or services, to verify the brand’s possibilities of registration, i.e., if there are no other similar or identical brands registered for the products or services you will market with such brand. After that possibility is assured, the registration shall be made in order to attain the mentioned exclusivity.

A logo is a sign destined to identify an entity which provides services or markets products, distinguishing it from others. It is utilized to identify establishments, in advertisements, in printed materials or in the company’s correspondence.

RCF provides specialized services to its clients in the intellectual property field, of which we stand out:

  • Searches in databases specialized in industrial property and also of generic character, for the assessment of the patentability of an invention;
  • Advising on the choice of the adequate ways of protecting the invention (national, European or international);
  • Elaboration of a patent application;
  • Monitoring and management of the entire administrative process, from the application to the granting of patents and utility models, replies to official entities’ notices and supervision of procedural protocol deadlines;
  • Retention of rights, through payment of the official fees due in such countries where there is an interest in retaining such rights;
  • Surveillance of rights and applications related to our clients’ areas of intervention;
  • Technical analysis of assessment about the possibility for the entrance of new products in the market (‘’freedom to operate’’);
  • Analysis of validity of industrial property rights;
  • Products and/or manufacturing processes’ offense analysis;
  • Assessment of the possibility of registry for trademarks and logos (prior art search);
  • Advice and support during the entire process of registry of trademarks, logos and designs or models;
  • Support in the registry of designations of origin or geographical indication;
  • Support in registering intellectual creations of the literature, scientific and artistic domains, by any way shown, including the protection of copyrights;

Specialized legal support in disputes concerning intellectual property rights.