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Intellectual rights

Main intellectual rights

Patent: A patent is a novel invention that implies something inventive capable of industrial application.

It must be registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property. A patent lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the application. Fees have to be paid annually.

Trade mark: A trade mark protects a distinctive sign or mark that can be represented graphically such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, sound, olfactory marks,  etc.. and any combination of the these signs. It must be registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property.

A trade mark lasts for 10 years from the date of filing the application, and the registration is renewable for periods of 10 years indefinitely.

Copyright: A copyright protects intellectual works provided that they are original and expressed in a medium from its unauthorised copying or use.

The registration is not needed to be protected. However, the registration allows the author to benefit from a presumption of ownership.

Copyright lasts for 70 years from the end of the year in which the author dies. If more than one author collaborates to create a work, the 70 year deadline does not begin running until the last joint author dies.

Registered design right: A registered design right protects a novel design that is not similar to any existing design and that does not simply contain features that are required by the product’s technical application.

It must be registered  with the National Institute of Industrial Property.

A registered design right lasts for 5 years and it can be extended up to a maximum of 25 years. Designs may benefit from a protection of both copyright law and design law.

Statutory framework

The ordinance which transposed Directive (UE) 2015/2436 named "Paquet Marques" establishes an administrative procedure for invalidity and revocation of trademarks before the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property).

All intellectual property rights may be enforced both by administrative and court proceedings. There both civil and criminal sanctions. The owner may request from the customs authorities to withhold and seize the infringing goods and/or initiate summary proceedings before the judicial authorities to obtain measures to prevent an imminent infringement or to secure the evidence of an infringement. The owner may also seek all necessary reliefs against the infringer, damages and the destruction of the infringing goods and publication of the judgment in newspapers.

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