Learn about our origins and our history

History & Values

Our history

In 1938, Gastão da Cunha Ferreira finally achieved a long-standing objective: to open its own consultancy firm dedicated to Intellectual Property matters.

The firm has remained in the family ever since, now being run by the founder's descendants who remain committed to the values passed on by the family legacy.

The course of the firm has been long and demanding, but always guided by the need to be constantly updated to national and international dynamics and always prioritizing the needs of our clients and partners.

The company's more than 80-year history is reason for pride, but it is also the greatest motivation to face the challenges of the present and future.

The accumulated experience has brought recognition, but it has also brought the conviction that this recognition is only achieved by working every day as if it were the first.

Nowadays, the company has a young and dynamic team, with specialists from several areas related to various fields of expertise related to Intellectual Property.

Our mission

Knowledge and innovation are valuable assets.

We work alongside our clients to delineate a protection strategy for their business, selecting the tools, jurisdictions and means for expansion more suitable to obtain and maintain a solid protection on what tells them apart from the competition.

In short, our mission is to partner with our clients in order to assist them in obtaining the maximum return on their creations.

Our values

The protection of Intellectual Property requires experience, in depth-knowledge and the commitment to satisfying our clients needs.

We work daily to distinguish ourselves through the consistency and quality of the services we provide.

We accept our past and what it represents, aware of the added responsibility that 80 years of history entail.

Our values come from tradition as well as from a innovative, sofisticated and modern mentality, and we are governed by high standards of quality, seriousness, transparency, commitment and the defense of exclusivity.

A timeline of Intellectual Property and our firm's history

Patent Act, United States
The Patent Act of 1790 was the first patent statute passed by the federal government of the United States. It was enacted on April 10, 1790, about one year after the constitution was ratified and a new government was organized. The law was concise, defining the subject matter of a U.S. patent as “any useful art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement there on not before known or used.” It granted the applicant the "sole and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using and vending to others to be used" of his invention.
First Portuguese legislation on Patent matters
The Portuguese legislation on Industrial Property dates back to 1837 and 1852. Subsequent diplomas of 1892 and 1894 have eliminated some gaps in previous legislation, complying with commitments established in the Paris Convention, that Portugal signed in March 1883.
Paris Convention
The Paris Convention of 1883 gave rise to the so-called International System of Industrial Property, and was the first attempt at an international harmonization of the different national legal systems relating to Industrial Property. Portugal signed the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property on 20 March 1883. This Convention became known as the Paris Convention.
Bern Convention
Following a campaign by French writer Victor Hugo and his Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works is agreed. The aim is to give creators the right to control and receive payment for their creative works on an international level.
Madrid Agreement
With the adoption of the Madrid Agreement, the first international IP filing service is launched: the Madrid System for the international registration of marks. In the decades that follow, a full spectrum of international IP services will emerge under the auspices of what will later become WIPO.
BIRPI is created
The two secretariats set up to administer the Paris and Berne Conventions combine to form WIPO's immediate predecessor, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property – best known by its French acronym, BIRPI. The organization, with a staff of seven, is based in Berne, Switzerland.
Afonso D'Ornellas is certified as an Agent for Trademarks and Patents
Afonso D'Ornellas, future patron in the assembly of the firm that is to be founded by Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, is named as Trademark and Patent Agent (prior designation of Official Patent and Trademark Attorney).
Afonso D'Ornellas is recognized as foreign member of the Association Français de Inénieurs Conseils
Afonso D'Ornellas is on this year accepted as a foreign member of the Association Française de Ingénieurs Conseils.
Gastão da Cunha Ferreira is certified as a member of the Institute of Trademark Agents in the United Kingdom
On this date, Gastão da Cunha Ferreira is certified as a Member of the Institute of Trademark Agents, in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1934, chartered in 2016, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) is a professional membership organisation with the power to shape law and practice – nationally and internationally.
Establishment of Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, Lda.
The year of the establishment and opening of the Intellectual Property Consulting firm Gastão da Cunha Ferreira Unipessoal, founded by Gastão da Cunha Ferreira. With the support of Afonso D'Ornellas, Gastão da Cunha Ferreira decides to create his independent firm for consultancy in Intellectual Property matters.
First Industrial Property Code in Portugal
The Industrial Property Code of 1940 was approved by the Decree No. 30 679 of the 24th August, 1940.
Afonso D'Ornellas is recognized as foreign member of The Chartered Institute of Patent Agents
Afonso D'Ornellas is on this year accepted as a foreign member of The Chartered Institute of Patent Agents.
Nice Agreement for the classification of Products and Services
The Nice Classification of Goods and Services or the Nice Agreement was an international agreement concluded on the 15th June of 1957 at the Nice Diplomatic Conference. This agreement was revised in Stockholm on the 14th July of 1967 and in Geneva on the 13th May of 1977.
Lisbon Agreement for the protection of Appelations of Origin
The Lisbon Agreement of the 31st October of 1958 was concluded to allow for the international registration of Appellations of Origin. Any of the signatory countries to the Paris Convention may participate.
BIRPI becomes WIPO
The Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) comes into force and BIRPI is thus transformed to become WIPO. The newly established WIPO is a member state-led, intergovernmental organization, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Gastão da Cunha Ferreira becomes a member of the Society of International Law in the USA
Gastão da Cunha Ferreira is accepted as a member of the American Society of International Law. Since its founding in 1906, the American Society of International Law has been the pre-eminent scholarly society in the international law field. For more than a century, its publications, conferences, and research and educational programs have advanced the study and use of international law as a cornerstone of a just and peaceful world.
Signing of the EPC (European Patent Convention)
On the 5th October 1973, after more than 20 years of negotiations and debate, 16 countries sign the European Patent Convention in Munich, Germany.
Gastão Cunha Ferreira changes to a LLC
The evolution of Gastão da Cunha Ferreira as a sole proprietorship for a Limited Liability Company takes place in 1976. Despite this change in its organization, the firm remains a family structure.
Creation of INPI, the Portuguese Patent and Trademark Office
Created in 1976 by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, through Decree-Law no. 632, INPI (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial) had as its main objective the promotion of competitiveness through innovation.
Creation of the EPO
The EPO first opens the doors at its temporary headquarters in the rented Motorama building in Munich on 2nd of November of 1977.
PCT System is launched
The PCT international patent system begins operation. The PCT expands rapidly to become WIPO's largest international IP filing system today.
Passing of Gastão Cunha Ferreira
After a lifetime dedicated to the study of Intellectual Property, and to which he contributed as personal practitioner or through various associations to which he belonged, 1982 was the year of the passing of the founder of our firm, Gastão da Cunha Ferreira.
Maria Luiza Cunha Ferreira assumes the office GCF
Maria Luiza Caraça da Cunha Ferreira Moniz Pereira, daughter of our founder Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, now holds the exclusive ownership of Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, Lda.
Management is assumed by Mr. Manuel Gomes Moniz Pereira
With the change in ownership of the firm, Mr. Manuel Gomes Moniz Pereira, son in law of the founder Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, is appointed as Manager.
The start of our digital age
In 1991, the first computer for handling matters in the office was installed. In a constant attempt to innovate and improve the services provided, the firm Gastão Cunha Ferreira began to implement and use computer solutions to handle their processes.
Creation of the OHIM
The Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM) was created as a decentralised agency of the European Union to offer IP rights protection to businesses and innovators across the European Union (EU) and beyond. Since its foundation in 1994 it has been based in Alicante, Spain.
Change of corporate brand
We update our corporate identity and the way we communicate with our customers and partners.
Change in the company's structure
Preparing for the future of the firm and its succession, the year 1998 marks the change in the company's statutes, in which it is now owned by the four grandchildren of the founder.
Accreditation by IAPMEI
The firm Gastão Cunha Ferreira is recognized by IAPMEI, Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation as SME Excellence.
Launching of our first website
Accompanying the most recent trends in Information Technology, the firm Gastão Cunha Ferreira launched the first version of its website in 2001, being one of the first companies in the IP field to make itself known through the internet.
New IPC Industrial Property Code
2003 is the year of publication of the new Industrial Property Code. This new code has undergone quite significant updates, and is still the current code in use. It came into force upon the aproval of the Decree-Law no. 36/2003 of 05/03.
Change in Management
In 2005, the management of the firm was assumed by Ms. Isabel Moniz Pereira.
Passing of Maria Luiza Moniz Pereira
Maria Luiza Cunha Ferreira Moniz Pereira, partner of the firm and daughter of the founder, passed away on 14th August of 2008.
Update of corporate brand
In an attempt to convey the firms values to the clients and partners with which the it collaborates, the corporate image has been renewed. The logo is now accompanied by a distinguished gentleman wearing an umbrella, a timeless invention still used today, and synonymous with protection and safety. This is, to this day, the corporate image used by the firm.
Return to the base and change of address to Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 4
After a period of renewal of the headquarters building, the firm returns to its initial location, after a hiatus of about 2 years. The address is also updated to Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 4.
Passing of Eng. Manuel Gomes Moniz Pereira
After 28 years of leading the firms activity, the year of 2016 is marked by the passing of Eng. Manuel Gomes Moniz Pereira.
Change in Management
2017 was marked by a change in the management structure, which was assumed by Mr. Pedro Moniz Pereira and Mr. Manuel Bastos Moniz Pereira, respectively grandson and great-grandson of the founder of the firm Mr. Gastão da Cunha Ferreira.
80 years!
2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the firm. To emphasize the occasion, a small reference to the fact was included in the main company logo, which will be used until the end of the year.
Acquisition of Letrário Translation Services
In 2021, Gastão Cunha Ferreira strengthened its language services offer by acquiring the business of Letrário Translation Services, a company specialized in language services for over 30 years.

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