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COMPUTER PROGRAMS (SOFTWARE)

Protection applied to programs developed for computers. Depending on the situation, the author can either opt for Registration with the PTO, or for protection by Copyright.

Legislation

Principal services offered

Required information - Computer programs

For the registration application

Documentation for the registration application

Computer Program Registration Application Procedure

The application to the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for the Computer Program registration must be accompanied by the Formal Documentation – which instructs the process, and by the Technical Documentation – which remains confidential in a sealed envelope.

The formal documentation contains information that identifies the author (including pseudonyms), the holder of the property rights of the program, the title of the program, the language of the program, the evidence of the payment of the due fees, and the documentation with respect to works of another nature, among others.

The technical documentation contains the complete or partial listing of the source program and also a report describing; the internal functional specifications; flow charts, and other information capable of identifying and characterizing the originality of the program.

The documentation becomes part of the documentation property of the PTO.

If mistakes are found when the registration is examined, corrections will be required to remedy this and the instruction of the process. These must be made within 60 (sixty) days, counting from the notification. The failure to attend to these requirements will be considered as an abandonment of the registration application.

The decision of the registrability will be published in the Industrial Property Review – RPI, allowing an Appeal to the President of the PTO within 60 (sixty) days. However, an Appeal against the approval will only be considered if it is based on the formal part of the documentation.

The holder of the registration will be notified to answer within 30 (thirty) days. If the appeal is sustained, the decision will be reversed and the registration granted to the appellant, who must present a new registration application, in accordance with the established regulations.

The Registration Certificate is valid for 10 (ten) years and can be extended. The certificate contains the registration number; the name of the author, the name or company name of the holder of the property rights; the periods of the rights and of the confidential safekeeping of the technical documentation, and other information considered relevant by the PTO. The duration of the rights with respect to works of other types of Copyright, will be duly recorded in the Registration Certificate, observing the provisions of the particular legislation.

The confidentiality surrounding the technical documentation will only be broken in response to a legal order or at the request of the holder of the registration.

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