Newsletter April 2019

Legal Updates

The new Long-Term habitation right

On the 14th February 2019, the Council of Ministers approved the Decree-Law, which created the long-term habitation right, entrenched in the Portuguese New Generation of Housing Policies.

This diploma intends to guarantee families the possibility of maintaining their habitation for a lifetime period by means of payment of a deposit and an instalment for each month of the duration of the contract, with the termination of the same still being possible.

This new regime guarantees stability and security to the right holder, reducing the need for indebtedness due to the currently unfeasible option of purchasing real estate. Moreover, it attributes to the right holder the prerogative of recovering, total or partially, the deposit handed, according to the length of stay in the real estate.

The owner of the property, in turn, benefits from a capital increase, without having to sell the property, and also benefits from the reduction of the management fees of the patrimony and the reduction of the risk of default by the resident, which is safeguarded by the deposit that will represent between 10% to 20% of the price of the real estate.

This diploma intends to ensure the better housing offer, granting stability to families and increasing the investment in the housing market.


Victory of the authors in the digital single market

Two years have elapsed since the controversy, the authors of the available contents in IT platforms of big dimension, will have the possibility of receiving for their published materials, even if these were uploaded or shared by other users of the platform. This applies, among other cases, to platforms like YouTube, which are obliged to compensate the authors of the shared materials.

This novelty arises with the approval in the European Parliament of the New Directive on Copyrights, as an effort to oblige digital platforms to celebrate licensing agreements with the authors of the available contents, so they can authorize the use of their materials and receive an adequate and corresponding compensation. This establishment of contact with the copyrights holders and the attainment of the respective licensing shall come from the IT platforms, and not from the authors.

Notwithstanding, the new services providers of smaller dimension (with an annual revenue inferior to 10 million euros, and a number of individual visitors per month within the European Union inferior to 5 million) will benefit from a lighter regime.

This Directive simultaneously standardizes the copyright rules established in the various member States.


Business Updates

Record in the number of patents applications by Portuguese companies

The European Patent Office disclosed, in the annual report of 2018, a growth of 47% in the patents applications submitted by Portuguese companies and institutions.

This growth in the number of patents, in a total of 220 applications, is deemed as one of the most pronounced among the 38 members of the European Patent Office. Areas such as transports technology, automobile industry, chemical engineering and food chemistry were fundamental to this increase.

The national institution that stood out the most in the number of patents’ applications was “Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência do Porto”, being the northern region the one which presented more patents’ applications (40%) and Lisbon the city that stood out the most in this field.

This sharp rise in the number of patent’ applications in Portugal establishes a new record in the number of applications presented annually and represents a sign of growth in innovation and investigation in Portugal.


Thank God there is receptivity in the tax authority!

Every taxpayer has felt the unbearable pain of being wronged by the Tax Authority. If you add, to this state of mind, the cultural distrust in the efficiency of their services, remains litle or no hope that the actions carried out by the Tax Authority with which the tax payers do not agree, will be reverted.

The reversion can be obtained through an administrative complaint, a merely administrative contentious proceeding that intends to get the annulment of the tax deeds due to their illegality. However, in 2018, only 44.545 tax administrative complaints were presented, corresponding to less than 0.19% of more than 25.3 million liquidations done by the Tax Authority.

These percentages, largely explained by the distrust due to decades of inefficiency of the public services, are not consistent with today’s reality. In fact, according to the last data provided by the Tax Authority, in 2018, 57% of the claims obtained a favorable response.

The uncompromising Publican is giving place to a Tax Authority aware of its condition, fearless of assuming its mistakes and able of correcting them.