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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Portugal: the creation of an IP court

Up until now, all the litigation in Portugal over Industrial Property rights (not over copyright matters) has been concentrated in two commercial courts (Lisboa and Vila Nova de Gaia), which were also competent in insolvency matters as well as in matters related to the day-by-day life of commercial companies.

The concentration of so many (complicated) matters on just two courts resulted in the delay of all the judgements, with decisions in IP cases being often delayed with no other apparent reason for it. Therefore, the creation of chambers dedicated to IP litigation or of specialized courts was, as a result, one possible course of action to solve this problem solution. In April 2010, it was announced the creation of the first specialized Intellectual Property Court in Portugal. Such court would have jurisdiction over all litigation on Intellectual Property rights, emerging as a unique solution in the world.

Although it was evident that some improvement was needed, the creation of a centralized court with jurisdiciction over all IP matters (both copyright and Industrial Property) might create new problems if the court hears all pending proceedings in IP cases, which would result immediately in being overwhelmed. The fact that such decision – one court with competence over all Intellectual Property cases – is not based in any previous successful experience has been heavily criticized, as well as it has been also the chosen location for such court: Santarém, a small city 70km far away from Lisbon.

In any case, it seems that the decision is final and last week, on Friday 18th, the Portuguese Minister of Justice (Alberto Martins) signed the protocol for the creation of the legal city of Santarém, in which the new Intellectual Property Court is to be located. As a result, it is expected that the installation of the IP court is finalized by September. 

Let’s hope that such solution will prove itself right and that the new IP Portuguese Court reduces, in fact, the time taken for sentences in IP litigation.

Posted by: Pedro Malaquias @ 16.20
Tags: Portugal, IP Courts,
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