Maintaining applications and granted patents
When do I have to pay annual fees in Portugal?
The annual fee must be paid from the 5th year in which the application has been filed. Subsequent annual fees are then payable. Annuity fees can be paid from 6 months in advance. For the third and fourth annual fees the applicant does not pay any fee, but must indicate to the Office that the patent should be renewed.
Where can I find official information about annual patent fees in Portugal?
You can find official information about patent fees on the Industrial Property Office of Portugal's (INPI) website. If the following page does not load, try changing the language to 'EN', then retry.
List of fees at the Industrial Property Office of Portugal's (INPI). Though not as useful for understanding the fee structure, the official Portuguese language fee list is here.
Is there a grace period for paying annual fees in Portugal?
If you miss the deadline for payment of the annual fees, there is a six-month grace period. If you do not pay them (plus surcharge) within this period, the patent lapses. However, an application for revalidation of can still be made, if within the period of one year beginning on the date of publication of the notice of expiry in the Industrial Property Bulletin (see next question).
Can a lapsed patent be restored in Portugal?
In Portugal, an application for revalidation of can still be made within the period of one year beginning on the date of publication of the notice of expiry in the Industrial Property Bulletin. The revalidation requires treble the amount of the fees in arrears. The revalidation is done without prejudice to the rights of third parties who, meanwhile and in good faith, have started to use the invention.
Can I request an extension of the patent term in Portugal?
Yes. In Portugal the 20-year term for invention patents can be extended by supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) for medicinal and phytopharmaceutical products. There is a further extension of SPCs available for medicinal paediatric products. Standard EU Regulations apply.
How can I challenge a granted patent in Portugal?
Unfortunately, the opposition system does not apply to granted patents, only to published applications, and even so within a very short time limit after publication. The only way to a challenge a granted patent is through an invalidation procedure in court. A declaration of nullity or annulment may thus only result from a judicial decision. Nullity can however be invoked at any time by any interested party.
Is it mandatory to register a transfer or sub-licensing of a Portuguese patent?
A transfer, a license or a surrender of a Portuguese license must be registered in order to be enforceable. These are published in the patent bulletin. Restraining measures, collaterals for secured loans, seizures, impoundments, nullity or annulment actions are also subject to registration.