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The wine industry is regarded as one of the Portugal key sectors, holding substantial significance for the country's economy. According to the 2021 Inventa Barometer - Trademarks Made in Portugal, class 33 (covering wines and other alcoholic beverages, excluding beer) features the oldest international requests of Portuguese origin and has consistently maintained a steady growth.
Registering a trademark in the wine sector not only ensures legal protection but also provides market security for the trademark owner. It grants the exclusive right to own and use the brand for the specified products and services. Investing in registration enhances brand recognition, making it easier for customers to establish trust, often leading to brand loyalty.
Seen as a symbol of distinction, registrations for non-traditional trademarks are an effective strategy to differentiate wine brands in a potentially saturated market. For example, a tactile trademark (exclusively relying on the tactile sense.) with a unique texture on a wine bottle or label can be registered, as well as a three-dimensional trademark (such as distinctive packaging or bottle design). There has been an increase in requests to protect unique and distinctive wine bottle designs in the wine industry. Since 2021, an additional incentive for the registration and protection of trademark has been created. The SME Fund, an initiative promoted by the European Commission and implemented by European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), aims to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to register patent applications, trademarks, or designs internationally in Portugal, the European Union, or via WIPO.
This fund provides an opportunity for national SMEs to protect their intellectual property rights, a crucial factor for a business's economic success. In 2023, Inventa successfully submitted 40 applications to the SME Fund. Many of these registrations were requested for European Union trademarks, providing simultaneous protection in 27 member states.