Types of Intellectual Property Protection
The relevant legislation for the registration of intellectual property protection for Trade Marks and Service Marks is Cap 268 as amended by Law 63/62, l69/71, and L206/90 and also by Regulations of 1951 to 1992.Trade Marks and Service Marks protection can last for an initial period of seven (7) years subject to renewal through application for an extra of fourteen (14) years period, and subsequent to its registration, the mark can also be assigned by its registered proprietor and give its full effect and protection to another.
There are 34 categories for goods and 8 for services (i.e. 35-42) whereas there are Parts A and B, within which each mark is entered in accordance to their individual nature.We offer our clients the ability to apply for the grant of protection for their Trade Mark and Service Mark by the use of an application which we will lodge on behalf of our client in the Registry. For such an application the client will be required to provide details with regards to their full name, address and occupation and in addition the name and/or picture of the mark as well as its required class and its description.
Furthermore in the event the application is rejected, we offer our clients full legal support for requesting judicial review of the decision based on Article 146 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus.
We also offer our clients full relief in the event of infringement by applying for the grant of an injunction and claim for damages. Depending on the scale of the alleged infringement, we can request on behalf of our client the full grant of any profit that was a product of the alleged infringement by the use of the tortious act of passing off, which can offer relief to our client. Acts such as falsification of marks and/or any false trade description may bring about a fine or even imprisonment as punishment for the culprit.
Another form of intellectual property protection in the Republic of Cyprus is the law on the registration of Patents is regulated by Cap 266 and after April 1998, Law 16(I) 1998 (hereinafter referred to as the “Law of 1998”).
The Law of 1998 now provides for the ability to register a Patent in the Republic regardless whether there is a same registered Patent in the UK and hence a direct application in the Republic is now available. Therefore In effect both English Patents and patents granted under the European Patent Convention or under the International Corporation Treaty to be fully registered and recognized within the Republic of Cyprus subsequent to their registration.
After its registration, a Patent cannot be used by another in the manner that would essentially be considered as manufacturing, selling or importing or generally and commercially exploiting either the product or any product that was a result of the use of that patent protected product for the period of twenty (20) years as from the application, subject to the payment of an annual renewal fee. Any infringement shall entitle the innocent party to bring an action for the claim of injunction and/or damages.
The granting of a Patent comes with the requirement for compulsory licensing which can be applied for to the Registrar at any time after the period of four (4) years has passed, commencing from the point the Patent was granted. An additional Supplementary protection certificate is also available (usually used in the case of pharmaceutical products) which essentially provides the same rights as the basic Patent but cannot exceed its set period of protection which is five (5) years.
An application for registration of a Patent or a defense to an action for Patent infringement can be made on grounds such as:
(a) The Patent is not in fact an invention within the meaning of the law;
(b) The invention was obvious;
(c) Cannot comply with the requirements for industrial application;
(d) It falls within the definition of an excluded subject matter (i.e. treatment methods);
(e) It is not a novel invention;
(f) Claim of specification is unclear and/or ambiguous;
(g) All of the specification is not entirely explicit; and
(h) The application was not in order.
Our team of experts guarantees that the level of services we are to provide in order to assist our client to protect their intellectual property shall be up to the highest level of quality. Essentially the relevant legislation can provide intellectual property protection to any allegeable person that falls within one or a combination of the categories below:
1. A citizen or resident of the Republic; and/or
2. A legal entity established in the Republic; and/or
3. An EU citizen.
The relevant law in the Republic of Cyprus is the Right of Intellectual Property Law 59/76, as amended by Laws 63/77, 18/93, 54(I)/99, 12(I)/2001, 128(I)/2002, 128(I)/2004, 123(I)/2006 and 181(I)/2007 (hereinafter the “Relevant Law”), which provides that in the event of copyright infringement, depending on the facts of each case, the court may impose imprisonment on the guilty of up to three (3) years, the destruction of any copies of the work that may be in the possession of the guilty party. The innocent party may claim damages or destruction or delivery of infringing copies and in addition claim the obtainment of the equipment that was used for the reproduction of the copyrighted property, injunction and any profit that was gained though the infringement.
Generally speaking any creation is copyrighted property of its creator upon its creation as of right. The Relevant Law provides protection for any creation of a Cypriot national that is created anywhere in the world, and any foreign nationals for their works that where published in the Republic.
Copyright protection can protect creations for a period of seventy (70) years starting from the point of death of their creator or co-creator depending on the case.
Ideally the protection includes creations such as but not limited to:
1. Literary and scientific works (i.e. computer software, musical and artistic works, photographs and original database); and
2. Films for the period of seventy (70) year period starting from the death of the creator or of a co-creator (irrespective whether appointed or not) such as a producer, primary director, script writer, screenplay writer, and music composer.
Subsequent amendments to the Relevant Law now prohibit the reproduction of the Euro note, reproduction, on demand broadcasting, disclosure of information of illegally held product on a commercial stage and provides for a certain amount of imposed fines).
In order to provide intellectual property protection for Designs, a Design must be first registered in the United Kingdom. The UK registration of a Design provides the same rights and privileges as if the Design was registered in the Republic of Cyprus.
The protection level has similar points as that of Patents, i.e. it protects from the further use by manufacturer and importers that may be using a Design that has striking resemblance to the one that has received protection.
In the event of infringement, the guilty party may be subject to an injunction and/or damages, unless if they manage to establish innocent infringement (i.e. they were not aware or could not have been aware of the existence of such a registered Design) however even if such an allegation succeeds, the guilty party cannot escape the injunction action.
The protection period lasts for a five (5) year period from the date of application for the original, subject to an extension for two (2) five (5) year periods provided a fee is paid.
Registration of a Design provides the ability of the registered proprietor to further assign the said Design, and/or grant a license to another for a consideration.
Registration of Trade Names can be made through the Republic of Cyprus and the relevant legislation that provides intellectual property protection for such an option is Cap 116 (Partnerships and Trade Names Law) (hereinafter the “Law of 116”).
The Law of 116 provides that an application to the Registrar of Companies for the registration of a Trade Name can be made within a one month period as from the date the business in the Republic has commenced.
We can provide our clients with the full service of application lodging for the approval of a Trade Name and furthermore offer protection against its infringement and the full legal package for the request for damages and injunction in the event of any infringement.
What is important to note is that until an application for the removal of a Trade Name is filed by the person who applied for its registrar, a Trade Name shall remain within the Register. In the event however the business that registered the Trade Name has ceased to carry on business then they are under an obligation to notify the Registrar of Companies to this effect, thereupon the Registrar of Companies will remove the Trade Name from its register.