Fraudulent invoices in Brazil

Underground Kingdom S.L. is a Spanish company involved in the audio-visual business. The company filed an application to protect their trade mark in Europe and it was granted in July.

As a part of their latest documentary, they wanted to include Brazilian music artists. In addition, they were thinking of promoting and distributing their documentary in Brazil. Therefore, the company decided to file for trade mark protection (name of the company) in Brazil, in addition to copyright.

A few months later, Underground Kingdom received an email from UBRAM (“União Brasileira de Marcas Registradas”) which said that, according to their records, the substantial examination had not been requested by the applicant within the deadline. Thus, INPI the national trade mark office would be forced to shelve the trade mark application unless said examination is formally requested within 10 days from the date of the notification. In addition, the company should also provide proof of payment of the fee –amounting to 387, 50 Brazilian reais (86€) plus a surcharge of 500 Brazilian reais (115€), to be deposited in the bank account attached.

However, within the next few days, they were contacted by phone by an IP agent of INPI. The agent explained that, due to the backlog and as part of the new agility measures adopted by the new president of INPI, UBRAM was subcontracted in order to manage all payments. He then urged the CEO of the European SME to proceed as instructed if he did not want his trade mark application to be abandoned.