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Intellectual property rights – protecting intellectual property

Intellectual property law addresses and establishes the legal rights of several types of intellectual property – such as trademarks and artistic work. Here we’ve gathered the most important things companies need to know about Swedish intellectual property law, what it involves, and what is required to protect an intangible asset in all areas.

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Protect your company's intellectual property in all areas

When you register a trademark, design, or patent — or if you create something and automatically obtain copyright protection — straight away it becomes illegal for others to copy, promote, or otherwise exploit the protected asset. But, unfortunately, that doesn't stop malicious parties from trying anyway. To fully protect intellectual property, you will for example, secure with tools such as:

Immaterialret – beskyttelse af immateriel ejendom

DIFFERENT areas OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

What does intellectual property law consist of?

In the Swedish legal system, intellectual property law is divided into four different subcategories, which you can read about here.

Trademark rights

Protects specific characteristics unique to a particular product/service and that help customers identify and distinguish the product from others on the market. For example, a trademark can be a logo (figurative mark), a slogan (word mark), or a special signature sound (sound mark).

Copyright

Copyright protects artistic works such as music, books and other literary works, films, and paintings. Even source code for computer programs is covered by copyright laws.

Design protection

Design protection protect the specific appearance, shape, and design of an item – but not the product’s function and how it may be used. You can, for example, apply for design protection for furniture, lamps, or clothing.

Patent rights

You can apply for patent protection for various types of inventions and products (physical or digital) that offer a solution to a technical problem.

Fundamental intellectual property law – an introduction

Intellectual property law is called the legal field that regulates the rights and protection of various types of intangible assets – that is, non-physical assets. The purpose of intellectual property rights is to protect the holder's exclusive rights to his assets, for a limited period of time. For example, the rights make it illegal for others to copy or otherwise exploit another party’s protected asset for their own gain – or with the intent to sabotage.

The responsible authority for intellectual property rights in Sweden is the Swedish Intellectual Property Office, PRV.

How are intellectual property rights obtained for a product or service?

For all categories, apart from copyright protection, you must apply for registration with the intellectual property office in the country or market where you wish to protect your asset. Protection can also be obtained through so-called establishment, but it takes significantly longer and is more cumbersome.

In short, the following applies to each subcategory of intellectual property law:

  • Trademark protection
    Registration usually takes 4-6 months from the time the application is received until the protection is fully completed. Once granted, trademark protection is valid for 10 years at a time, after which it can be extended for another 10 years for an unlimited amount of times.
  • Patent
    The application and registration are announced after 18 months. The protection is then valid for a maximum of 20 years and cannot be extended other than for medicines and plant protection products.
  • Design protection
    Protection is granted upon application to PRV or the intellectual property office in another country and is then valid for five years. An extension can be made for a maximum of 20 more years.
  • Copyright
    Occurs as soon as a piece has been created and therefore does not need to be applied for. Copyright protection is then effective for 70 years after the owner's death.

 

The application process for intellectual property protection usually requires both time and a great deal of legal knowledge. The majority of companies choose to enlist the help of a representative with expertise in the field of intellectual property – like us at Abion, for example.

At Abion, we have all the skill, ability, and expertise required to help you ensure the most robust and advanced protection possible for your intellectual property.

Feel free to contact us and we’ll tell you more about our services and how we can be of help to your company!

SERVICES

Our range of legal services relating to intellectual property

FAQ about intellectual property rights

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How do you apply for trademark protection?

For protection within the EU, you apply at EUIPO, and for international protection, you apply at WIPO after applying for protection in your country or the EU.

Do you have to register your trademark?

No, but without trademark protection, you lack exclusive rights to the trademark. Anyone can therefore use your trademark and take advantage of what you've built.

Are there different types of trademark protection?

Yes, you can obtain trademark protection through registration or through established use. For established use, the trademark must be very well-known and have been in use for a long time. The burden of proof for this lies with you as the owner.

How long does trademark protection last?

Trademark protection is valid for ten years but can be renewed indefinitely. As long as the protection is renewed every ten years, it can effectively last indefinitely.

Want to know more?

Contact us and we will help you!

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