Contrary to owning tangible objects, such as for example owning a car, house or other objects, intellectual property refers to owning by a natural or legal person the creations of the human mind, such as an invention, design, distinctive mark, and artistic works.
Intellectual property rights are protected by national and European legislation, as well as international agreements, and Cyprus as an EU member state since 2004, is committed to providing exceptional services to companies and individuals who want to protect their intangible assets.
The protection of such intellectual property rights offers to their holder the exclusive or unique right of exploitation of their creation, as well as the right to take legal and other measures for their protection in cases of unlawful or unauthorized copying and use by third persons, in Local, EU, and international courts.
The protection of intellectual property rights of an enterprise or person may provide significant financial value, that can contribute to its profitability and further development through exclusive commercial exploitation, sale of rights, licensing the use to third party entities, as well as exploiting them as security for obtaining financing and attracting investors.
Seeking Professional Advice
Seeking professional advice regarding IP issues is highly recommended due to the complexity of the various procedures, options, jurisdictions, professional bodies and entities involved in the entire process. Interested entities can seek professional advice from a lawyer, a law firm member of the Cyprus Bar Association as well as other professionals and specialized organizations.
Differences between patents, trademarks, designs and copyrights
A patent protects new inventions that concern for example innovative products, innovative procedures, and improvement of a product’s way of operation or its production method. For an invention to be patentable, it must be new, involve an inventive step and be susceptible to industrial application.
Trademarks aim to distinguish the products and services of an enterprise from the corresponding products or services of other enterprises. A trademark can be a distinctive word, shape, image, sound or colour or any combination of the above.
An industrial design protects the appearance of a product or part of a product.
Copyright is an automatic right which protects, among others, literary, audio-visual, musical, theatrical, architectural and other artistic works, movies, databases, sound recordings, broadcasts, publications of previously unpublished works and computer programs.
Table – Characteristics, costs, benefits
In order to choose what intangible asset a company or individual wants or is allowed to protect he must be aware of the various differences between them and the advantages/disadvantages they each offer.
|Patent||Trademark||Industrial Design or sample||Copyright|
|Maximum Protection Period||20 years.
In the case of pharmaceutical or plant-protection products, protection can be extended up to 25 years. In the case of pediatric pharmaceutical products up to 25 years and 6 months
|Indefinite||25 years||Varies, and depends on the nature of the work. Up to 70 years from the creator’s date of death|
(Fees only represent costs and fees payable to the Cyprus Department of Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property. Other fees for professional advice or services may apply)
|€230 for a national patent (including the certificate’s issuance cost and excluding international search fee),
€100 euro for European Patent validation in the Republic of Cyprus, international patent registration cost varies per year.
€150 per class (including the certificate’s issuance cost)
|€85,43||Automatic protection and no registration cost.|
|Annually, beginning from the 3rd year||Every 10-year period||Every 5-year period||Automatic protection, no renewal cost.|
|What can you protect:
|Innovative inventions, new processes, and new modes of product operation.||The distinctive logo or name distinguishing your products, services, enterprise or business name.||Exterior design, the appearance of your product or part of it||A book, article, script, song, choreography, architectural works, software, database, painting, photograph, or other artwork you have created.|
|Who usually applies for protection:
|Inventors||Entrepreneurs, service providers, product owners.||Designers, product owners.||Writers, artists, architects, music composers, choreographers, programmers and other professionals of creative works.|
|Benefits of protection:
|Obtaining a patent secures exclusive exploitation rights of your invention for the entire certificate’s validity period
|Obtaining a trademark registration certificate enhances protection from infringements as well as the commercial and financial trademark exploitation||Registration of an industrial design or sample secures exclusive exploitation rights of the design for the entire registration’s validity period||Automatic protection right which enhances protection from infringements|
In this ‘fast economy’ era where plagiarism of content and copying of products and designs is widely spread, protecting Intellectual properties is vital as it protects and encourages new ideas and product creation. Cyprus offers unique tax benefits for holders of IP rights and can offer a wide variety of options for securing and protecting assets.
Constantinou & Co Ltd has extensive expertise and knowledge in all matters regarding intellectual properties, legislation, tax benefits and corporate structures, that can provide assurance and safeguard our client’s rights and assets in the Local (Cyprus) market, EU and internationally.