WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY RIGHTS?
IP rights include: trademarks, patents, utility models, industrial designs, layout designs or topographies of integrated circuits, geographical indications and appellations of origin.
WHAT ARE PATENTS?
PATENTS, ALSO KNOWN AS PATENTS OF INVENTION, ARE THE MOST GENERALIZED EXISTING MEAN TO PROTECT INVENTOR´S RIGHTS
Patent means the exclusive right granted by the State for the protection of an invention. The patent gives its owner the exclusive right to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting the protected invention for a limited period of time, in exchange of disclosing the invention to the public. Therefore, the owner of the patent (owner) may prevent others from making, using, offering, selling, or importing the patented invention without permission, and may sue the person who exploits the patented invention without his authorization.
ADVANTAGES OF THE PATENT REGISTRIES
The use of the information contained in patent documents is an effective tool for the planning of any technological development process, since from these documents it is possible to determine the novelty of an invention and therefore its patentability and, at the same time, identify technologies which may be freely used.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROTECTION PERIOD OF A PATENT LAST?
Protection is granted for a limited period, which is usually 20 years from the filing date of the application.
WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?
ANY SIGN OR GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION, CAPABLE OF DISTINGUISHING PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE MARKET PLACE.
The protection granted by the trademark is TERRITORIAL AND TEMPORARY: TERRITORIAL, i.e. it protects nationally and TEMPORAL, ie, for 10 years renewable indefinitely for equal periods, after payment of the corresponding fees).
ADVANTAGES OF REGISTERING A TRADEMARK
The registration of a trademark offers legal protection to the owner, who may prevent third parties from using the trademark without their consent, both in the course of commercial operations and to distinguish products or services similar to those for which it has been registered.
The person having a registered trademark, has two types of legal actions:
- Civil, inter alia, compensation for damages.
- Criminal, for the crimes typified in the Law.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROTECTION OF A TRADEMARK LAST?
The valid period of the trademark registration may vary, but usually is ten years, renewable indefinitely by paying additional fees. Trademark rights are private rights whose protection is enforced in courts.
WHAT IS A DESIGN?
A DESIGN CONSTITUTES THE ORNAMENTAL OR AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF AN ARTICLE. THE DESIGN MAY CONSIST OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL ASPECTS, SUCH AS THE FORM OR SURFACE OF AN ITEM, OR IN TWO-DIMENSIONAL ASPECTS, SUCH AS MOTIFS, LINES OR COLORS.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION
The design must be “new” to obtain State protection, without prejudice of the industrial application requirement that characterizes all industrial property categories.
A design is considered new if it is not identical or similar to one that has been made public prior to the filing date of the application. That is, to the extent that the design for which protection is sought differs significantly from known industrial designs or combinations of characteristics of known industrial designs.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN LAST?
The protection of a registered design varies from country to country, but is usually granted for at least 10 years since filing.
WHAT KIND OF INVENTIONS CAN NOT BE PROTECTED?
In many countries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, plants or animals, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods or methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) are generally not patentable.