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  • Intellectual property framework

    Overview

    Protection of intellectual property rights is required by the Federal Constitution and by several multilateral treaties. The main statutes in this area are federal statutes. However, in case of litigation, some matters are subject to federal jurisdiction, and others to provincial jurisdiction.

  • Commercial contract framework

    Overview

    Commercial contracts are governed by the Civil and Commercial Code. This code came into effect in 2015 and it replaces the previous separate Civil Code and Commercial Code. It is part of the federal legislation, but jurisdiction regarding its implementation and litigation resulting thereunder corresponds primarily to the provincial courts.

    The Civil and Commercial Code includes general provisions on contracts, which are applicable to all contractual transactions. These provisions govern matters such as the formation of contracts, offer and acceptance, possible subject matter of contracts, legal formalities, the legal effects of contracts, contract termination and others.

    In addition, the Civil and Commercial Code includes provisions applicable to specific types of contracts, such as sale agreements, leases, franchise agreements and agency agreements. More than 30 types of agreements are subject to specific provisions of this kind. These specially regulated agreements are thus subject to the general rules applicable to contracts –described above – and to the special rules applicable to the relevant type of agreement. Agreements that are not subject to special rules are nevertheless valid, and they are governed primarily by the general contract rules and – to the degree possible – by the rules applicable to analogous specially regulated contracts.

    Other laws include provisions on specific types of commercial contracts. For instance, the Copyright Law includes certain provisions of contracts related to software and to publishing; the Patent Law includes rules on license agreements; and the Insurance Law includes rules on insurance contracts. However, in all these specially regulated contracts, the general contract law rules included in the Civil and Commercial Code are also applicable.

    Commercial contracts with the federal or provincial governments or with other governmental entities are also governed by administrative law. Special rules on contracts with state entities have been included in federal or provincial laws, or have been developed by case law.

  • Copyrights

    Nature of right

    Copyright protects intellectual creations in all fields of science, art and literature. Article 1 of the Copyright Law includes a non-exhaustive list of possible intellectual works protected by copyright. These include, among others, literary and artistic works, music, architectural works and software.

    Copyright protects intellectual expressions, but not ideas. For example, the contents of a book in terms of sentences and other literary expressions are protected by copyright, but the creative idea underlying the book as a whole is not.

    Copyright results from the creation of an intellectual work. Registration is not necessary for copyright to exist, although it is necessary for the exercise of some rights by local authors. Upon creation of a protected work, copyright belongs to the original author or authors, who then may transfer their right, by contract or by the operation of certain legal rules.

    Copyright includes economic and moral rights. Economic rights consist, basically, in the exclusive right to use and exploit the protected work. The Copyright Law lists some of the elements of this exclusive right, such as the right to reproduce the relevant work, to market copies, to prepare derivative works or to have the work performed publicly.

    Moral rights include the so call "integrity right" – that is, the right to preserve the text, title and other contents of the work, even if property rights on such work have been assigned; the "paternity right," the author’s right to be named and identified as such together with the work; the "publication right," the right to decide whether the right will be published; and the "alteration right," the right to modify the work, even after it has been published. Moral rights belong to the author and they are generally non-assignable.

    Legal framework

    Copyright law is included in Law 11, 723, as amended. In addition, multiple laws and regulations govern matters such as related rights, publishers' rights and collective management societies.

    Argentina is part of the main multilateral international copyright agreements, such as the Trips Agreement, the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention. The provisions of these agreements are actively enforced by the courts.

    Duration of right

    The general rule is that copyright protection lasts for a term of seventy years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author, as well as through the life of the author.

    In the case of work done through cooperation, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the last person who participated in the joint authorship of the work involved.

    In the case of posthumous works, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the author.

    The duration of protection of anonymous works whose copyright belongs to institutions, corporations or legal entities is 50 years from the date of publication of the work.

    Special rules on copyright duration apply to specific types of copyrightable works, such as photographs and cinematographic works.

    Ownership / licenses

    The basic rule is that ownership belongs to the author. Special rules have been developed in connection with special types of works, such as cinematographic works, derivative works and software.

    There are several types of joint ownership. It may apply to works done through cooperation, which imply a creative collaboration between different authors; to collective works, which are those created through the initiative or direction of one or more individuals, who coordinate or direct the efforts of several other individuals to achieve a joint result; and to composite works, which are the result of adding different separate works, each with a possible separate author and owner, into one final result.

    Works created by employees who have been hired for that purpose belong to the employer.

    Copyright may be subject to licenses, generally as part of broader contractual arrangements such as publishing agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Damages may be claimed before civil courts for all types of copyright violation. Registration of works is not necessary, except for local authors, whose rights may be suspended until registration takes place.

    It is also possible to file civil action to prevent further copyright violation, and to obtain preliminary remedies, such as injunction, in the course of civil procedures.

    Criminal remedies, particularly fines, are possible, but are not frequently applied.

  • Mask works / topographies

    Nature of right

    Mask works and topographies are not separately protected under Argentine law. They may be protected under patent law or by way of confidentiality.

    Legal framework

    Argentina has enacted no specific rules on chip protection. Although Argentina is part of the WTO and has approved the Trips Agreement, it has not yet implemented any rules on chip protection.

    The provisions on chip protection included in the Trips Agreement have not been deemed immediately applicable under Argentine law. In addition, Argentina has not ratified or implemented other multilateral treaties on chip protection, in particular the Treaty of Washington of 1989.

    Semiconductor technology, generally, and topographies, in particular, may be protected under the traditional intellectual property rules applicable to all types of technology, specially patent law and the rules on confidential information. Therefore, matters such as the duration of the relevant rights, ownership and remedies depend on the type of protection used in connection with each specific mask work or topography.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

     Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

  • Patents

    Nature of right

    Patents are a statutory right. The granting of patents is required by the Argentine Constitution and by different international documents, particularly the Trips Agreement. Patent rights imply an exclusive right to exploit a process or a product. The Argentine Patent Law defines the limits of these exclusive rights, on the basis of the provisions of the Trips Agreement.

    Legal framework

    Patents are governed by the Patent Law – Law 24,481, as amended. In addition, they are governed by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention. Argentina is not a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

    Duration of right

    The basic rule is that patents expire 20 years after the date in which the relevant patent application was filed. Argentina uses a "first to file" system, but it also applies the priority rules derived from the Paris Convention.

    Argentine law provides special rules on compulsory licenses and on patent termination due to lack of exploitation of the patented invention. Compulsory licenses may be granted in case of non-exploitation, competition law violations or sanitary emergencies, among other cases. Patent termination may result when, after a compulsory license was granted for lack of exploitation, no exploitation of the invention takes place for two years after the license was granted.

    Ownership / licenses

    Joint ownership is permissible. The Patent Law includes provisions on the exercise of patent rights by the joint owners. In addition the Civil and Commercial Code rules on joint property apply to patents.

    The Patent law includes rules on licenses. Licenses are not exclusive, unless the parties provide otherwise. Competition law rules are applicable to restrictive clauses included in license agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Patent law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the infringing activities.

    A complex system of rules for preliminary remedies in patent cases is included in the Patent law. Generally, suspension of an alleged infringer's exploitation requires a preliminary procedure, with the participation of expert witnesses.

    Criminal procedures and sanctions are rare.

  • Trademarks

    Nature of right

    A trademark may consist of one or more words, with or without conceptual content, drawings, commercial symbols, monograms, engravings, prints, seals, images, stripes, color combinations, letter and number combinations, the special graphics of letters and numbers, advertisement phrases, reliefs, and any other sign with distinctive capacity.

    A trademark is normally protected by means of its registration. However, de facto trademarks, that is those that are used but not registered, are also protected in a more limited way.

    Legal framework

    Trademarks are governed by the Trademark Law – Law 22,362, as amended.

    In addition, trademarks are protected by the rules included in Trips Agreement and in the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Registered trademarks are protected for a period of ten years, from the moment of registration. Trademark registration may be renewed indefinitely.

    Registration may be cancelled for lack of use during a period of five years. In addition, renewal of registration requires proof of the trademark's prior use.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership is acquired by means of registration. However, use of unregistered trademarks may result in certain rights for the user.

    Trademarks may be subject to joint ownership. The Trademark Law and the Civil and Commercial Code provide the rules applicable to these joint ownership relationships.

    Trademark licenses are possible. They are valid even if they are not registered with the trademark office.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Trademark Law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and the termination of the infringing activities.

    Special preliminary remedies are applicable in cases of trademark infringement. The trademark owner may obtain an injunction against the infringer, when the trademark is registered and its violation is immediately evident.

    Criminal law remedies are rarely used in practice.

  • Trade secrets

    Nature of right

    Argentine law provides protection for trade secrets and confidential information. A complex set of rules creates rights against conduct whereby access is gained illegally to confidential information, or which implies illegal use of trade secrets or confidential information or which results in the unauthorized and harmful disclosure of confidential or secret information.

    Confidential information is characterized by the fact that it is kept in a reserved manner and that it is not generally available for technicians working in the relevant technical field. Trade secrets receive a special degree of protection, particularly under criminal law.

    Legal framework

    Confidential information is governed and protected by Law 24,766. It is also protected by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention.

    In addition, multiple rules and statutes protect confidential information and trade secrets. Labor law protects the confidentiality and ownership of information used in employment relationships.

    Several criminal law rules apply to special types of violations of confidentiality. In particular, disclosure of trade secrets and unfair competition by means of the illegal use or appropriation of trade secrets are subject to criminal law penalties.

    Duration of right

    Confidential information and trade secrets is protected for as long as the relevant information is kept confidential. The degree of protection diminishes if the information ceases to be objectively a secret, due to its previous disclosure or because it has been obtained independently by other parties.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership results from the obtention of the information, accompanied by legal or practical measures aimed at restricting access to that information by third parties. No registration requirement is applicable.

    Joint ownership is possible.

    Trade secret or know-how licenses are common and enforceable.

    Remedies for infringement

    Argentine law provides civil and criminal law remedies for cases of trade secret infringement.

    Damages caused by these violations must be compensated. It is also possible to obtain court orders requiring termination of the violation.

    Preliminary remedies include injunctions against further exploitation or disclosure of trade secrets.

    Criminal remedies are applicable in cases of disclosure of trade secrets acquired in the course of employment and other professional relationship, as well as in cases in which the violation of the rights to confidential information or trade secrets results in unfair competition.

  • Other key IP rights

    Nature of right

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by special industrial property rights. An industrial model or design consists in the forms embodied in or the aspect applied to an industrial or artisan product, which confer an ornamental character to such product.

    Exclusive rights on industrial models and designs result from registration of the relevant model or design.

    Industrial designs

    Industrial designs

    Legal framework

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by Decree 6673/1963, as amended. They are also protected in accordance with the Trips Agreement and the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Industrial designs

    The rights derived from the registration of an industrial model or design last for a five-year period, counted from the date of filing of the relevant application. The registration may be renewed for two successive five-year period, if the owner requests such renewal.

    Ownership / licenses

    Industrial designs

    Ownership belongs to the author. There is a rebuttable presumption to the effect that the first applicant of an industrial model or design registration is the author of such industrial model or design. Joint ownership is possible, and is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code and by Decree 6673/1963 as amended.

    Industrial models or designs may be the subject matter of license agreements. No registration is necessary for the validity of these agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Industrial designs

    Civil and criminal law remedies are applicable in case of infringement. Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the violation.

    Preliminary injunctions and remedies are possible in accordance with general procedural rules.

    Criminal sanctions have been recently reinforced, but they are rarely applied.

  • Intellectual property in employment context

    Employees

    Special rules on employee inventions are included in the Patent Law and in the Labor Contract Law.

    There are basically three types of invention, from the perspective of employer-employee relationships. First, inventions made in technological areas for which the employee was hired as a researcher or developer belong to the employer. The employee may be entitled to a special compensation if he or she develops a patented invention which exceeds the normal scope of the employee's work. Second, inventions related to the employee's work or related to the employer's know-how or activities belong to the employee, but allow the employer to exercise an option to acquire rights over the invention. If the option is exercised, the employee is entitled to a payment reflecting the value of the invention. Third, inventions that do not fall into the two previous categories belong to the employee.

    Similar rules are applicable in the case of other types of technology or intellectual property rights. In the case of software, the law applies the “work for hire” doctrine, but allows the parties to agree to different contractual rules.

    Consultants / contractors

    The law is not explicit about the rights of consultants and contractors, who do not qualify as employees, with regard to technology and other intellectual property they develop. Generally, the parties may agree as to the rules which will apply to such rights. In the absence of a contractual framework, the technology or intellectual property generated by a consultant or contractor who was hired with the purpose of developing such items that will belong to the person paying for such work.

  • Key commercial contract considerations

    Registration of commercial agreements

    The general rule is that commercial agreements are not registered, and that their validity and effect is not subject to registration requirements. However, certain types of agreement must be registered to be effective or to have full effects against third parties. Agreements subject to registration include business association agreements, certain publishing agreements, certain chattel mortgages and certain agreements related to real estate. International transfer of technology agreements are subject to registration for tax purposes.

    Recognized language of commercial agreements

    Agreements are generally entered in Spanish. However, it is legally possible to enter agreements written in other languages. These agreements must be translated when presented in court. Spanish language may be necessary in consumer transactions.

    Country-specific issues for online content

    Argentina has ratified the WIPO conventions applicable online content and practices. However, enforcement of these conventions is weak.

    Enforceability of online/clickwrap/shrinkwrap terms

    The general rule is that acceptance of terms included in online, click wrap or shrink wrap elements is valid and effective, provided such acceptance is clearly stated and applies to terms that were known to the person giving the acceptance. However, several rules may limit the effects of agreements entered by these mechanisms, particularly consumer protection rules and rules on adhesion contracts.

    Governing law

    The basic rule is that the parties may agree as to the law that will govern their contractual rights and as to the applicable jurisdiction in case of dispute. This freedom of election is subject to several limitations. Non-Argentine law will not be enforced in Argentine courts if it  is contrary to Argentine public policy. Also, certain matters are necessarily governed by Argentine law. For example, if a business association is created in Argentina, its organization and other corporate aspects will be governed by Argentine law. Decisions made by non-Argentine courts or arbitration tribunals are enforceable in Argentina only after going through a special procedure before the Argentine courts, in the context of which the decision will only be enforced if it complies with certain rules, particularly not violating Argentine public policy. In addition, certain matters – ie, deciding the validity of a patent issued in Argentina – are necessarily subject to Argentine jurisdiction.

  • Key commercial contract terms

    Enforceability of warranty disclaimers

    Argentine law provides certain warranties, generally applicable to all types of contracts implying the transfer of rights. These warranties apply, in particular, to the validity of the rights being transferred and to the fitness of the goods regarding which rights are transferred.

    The general rule is that these warranties may be limited or eliminated by agreement between the parties. However, these disclaimers are totally or partially invalid in several types of cases: if the transferor had prior knowledge of the invalidity of the transferred rights or of the deficiency of the goods involved; if the transferor is a merchant and the parties waiving his or her rights are not; and if the warranty disclaimer is included in a consumer or adhesion contract.

    Enforceability of exclusions/limitations of liability indemnification

    Exclusions or limitations of liability indemnification are valid if they meet the general conditions applicable to contractual. However, they may be unenforceable in the following cases: when they extend to willful violations or defaults, or to violations or defaults resulting from gross negligence; when they are imposed in adhesion or consumer contracts; or when they result in the violation or annulment of rights that may not be removed or limited contractually.

    Indemnification

    The basic rule under Argentine law if full indemnification of economic or moral damages caused by illegal conduct, whether that conduct constitutes a contractual or a tort violation.

    The parties are free to include contractual rules as to the extent of their indemnification obligations.

    Penalty clauses and liquidated damages clauses are acceptable, but they may be limited or amended by the courts if their terms are deemed abusive.

    In the absence of contractual provisions, the indemnification's extent will depend on circumstances such as the willful or negligent nature of the violation, foreseeability of the damages caused and the comparative fault of the parties.

    Electronic signatures

    Electronic signatures are valid and effective under Argentine law. However, certain legal effects require that the signature comply with a special certification regime.

  • Key contacts
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Senior Partner DLA Piper (Argentina) [email protected] T +5411 41145500 View bio

Copyrights

Ownership / licenses

Argentina

The basic rule is that ownership belongs to the author. Special rules have been developed in connection with special types of works, such as cinematographic works, derivative works and software.

There are several types of joint ownership. It may apply to works done through cooperation, which imply a creative collaboration between different authors; to collective works, which are those created through the initiative or direction of one or more individuals, who coordinate or direct the efforts of several other individuals to achieve a joint result; and to composite works, which are the result of adding different separate works, each with a possible separate author and owner, into one final result.

Works created by employees who have been hired for that purpose belong to the employer.

Copyright may be subject to licenses, generally as part of broader contractual arrangements such as publishing agreements.

Australia

Co-ownership of an original work is recognized where the work has been produced by the collaboration of two or more authors and in which the contribution of each author is not separate from the contribution of the other author(s). Subject to a written agreement to the contrary, all co-owners of copyright must consent to the licensing of the copyright by any other joint owner.

An owner of a copyright may grant a license over some or all of the owner's rights. Statutory licensing schemes operate to allow certain copyrights to be used without the permission of the copyright owner, but this is conditional on the payment of equitable remuneration for that use. An owner can also assign their copyright or future copyright to another person.

Austria

The owner of a copyright can only be a natural person or his or her successor; a legal entity may only be a licensee. The right as such is not transferable (except in case of universal succession, ie, inheritance), the author may license only one, more, or all exploitation rights (eg, right to reproduce, right to distribute, right to make the work available, right to emit); personality rights (eg, right to be named as author) are in principle not transferable or limitable.

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized.

Belgium

Only natural persons (individuals) who have created a work may enjoy the status of an author, even where an author is an employee. In this latter case, the economic rights may be assigned to the employer on the condition that such assignment is expressly agreed in writing and that the creation of the work falls within the scope of the employment agreement. However, there are some statutory presumptions, such as those regarding the assignment of economic rights in computer programs, that automatically favor employers (unless provided otherwise).

Title 5 (Copyrights and Neighboring Rights) also includes a rebuttable presumption of authorship; the author is presumed to be the person shown as such on the work by virtue of the mention of his or her name or the appearance of another sign that enables his or her identification.

Persons collaborating directly towards the creation of a work become co-authors.  Their copyright is indivisible. In these situations, the exercise of the right of co-authors is governed by agreement. Failing such agreement, no author may exercise this right in isolation, unless a court decision provides otherwise in case of a dispute. In situations in which the contributions of the authors may be individually identified, those authors may not, unless they agree otherwise, market their work in conjunction with new collaborators. However, they do share the right to exploit their contribution in isolation provided that such exploitation does not harm the joint work.

Contrary to the author's moral rights, which are, in principle and as a whole, non-transferable and inalienable, the economic rights are freely assignable, transferable and licensable (on an ordinary or exclusive basis), in whole or in part, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code and the Code of Economic Law.

Brazil

An author is, as a rule, the individual who has created the work. Corporate entities may be considered authors in case of collective works and if they are editors or producers of audiovisual works. Joint authorship of works is recognized.

Assignment and licenses of rights should always be made in writing. Definitive assignments must be in writing. If not made in writing and differently foreseen, the term of assignment/license will be of five years. The assignment is valid only for the specified country; assignment and license agreements will always be interpreted restrictively and may be granted only for existing media.

Assignment of rights of authorship in and to works created in the future may be granted for a maximum of five years.

Canada

Ownership of copyright can be assigned or licensed. A valid assignment of rights must be in writing and signed by the owner. Licenses may be implied.

Subject to certain exceptions, the author of a work, maker of a sound recording, performer of a performer's performance, or broadcaster of a communication signal is the first owner of copyright. Exceptions include where the work is made in the course of employment, in which case the first owner of copyright is the person by whom the author was employed, or where the work was prepared by or under the direction of the Crown, in which case copyright belongs to the Crown.

Joint ownership is recognized where the work is jointly authored.

Chile

Author can grant the right to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works, publicly perform and publicly display the work, either free of charge or onerously.

China

As a general principle, the author who creates the work owns the copyright in the work. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the citizen, legal person or other organization that puts their name to a work is the author of the work.

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized.

The copyright in a commissioned work shall be vested in the commissioned party unless it is agreed otherwise in writing.

Colombia

The ownership of the work and the corresponding rights come into existence upon creation. Registration is not required to validate the copyright, nevertheless it fulfills the publicity requirements and constitute a suitable means of evidence of the right. However, if the economic right has been transferred, such transfer will only be enforceable against third parties once it is registered by the National Right Office, otherwise the rights will remain of the author or the previous registered assignee (Oficina Nacional de Derechos de Autor).

Law 1450 of 2011 states that the transfer of copyrights can be limited regarding the methods of exploitation, the time and the territory as provided in the corresponding agreement. If the agreement does not determine the time and the territory regarding which the transfer is made, the law assumes that it is limited to five years and to the country where the transfer is consummated. Moreover, this kind of agreement shall be executed in writing and any clause that transfers copyrights in whole or in such way that future production is not determinable or compels to restrict it, will not be enforceable.

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized when the contributions of each author is significant and cannot be determined. Contribution of separate ideas does not constitute a collaborative work. Joint ownership implies that the right of repentance and the right to modify the work must be exercised jointly by the authors. Thus, authors must agree on the changes that will be introduced to the work.

Czech Republic

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized; the co-author's share of the profit can be modified by an agreement between the co-authors. Statutory and implied licenses are recognized.

Denmark

The author owns the work. Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized. The copyright of the author can be transferred via license.

Ideal rights, the right to compensation in relation to commercial transfer of works and the right to compensation in relation to commercial rental of recordings of sound or video, cannot be transferred.

Finland

Copyright is considered to consist of moral and economical rights to the work, of which the latter can be freely transferred or licensed, wholly or partially. Moral rights such as authorship cannot be transferred. Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized.

France

There are no formal requirements for copyright protection.

Copyright cannot be registered in France, but a work can be filed (in an enveloppe soleau) at the French Intellectual Property Office (INPI) to secure the date of the creation (and to a lesser extent, proof of existence and authorship).

Under French law, copyright is, by principle, vested in the author upon creation of the work.

Only economic rights are assignable. Moral rights are inalienable and belong to the author perpetually.

Assignment of copyright by the author must comply with the stringent requirements of Article L. 131-3 of the French Intellectual Property Code, which provides that the assignment agreement must expressly mention all and any rights assigned (eg, right of reproduction, right of representation and communication, adaptation or translation) together with their associated scope and span.

Germany

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized.

As a general rule, copyright is not transferable, unless in execution of a testamentary disposition or to co-heirs as part of the partition of an estate. However, the author may grant a right to use the work in a particular manner or in any manner (exploitation right). An exploitation right may be granted as a non-exclusive right or as an exclusive right. A transfer or termination of an exploitation right does not affect the effectiveness of a thereof derived exploitation right. In joint ownership, exploitation rights may be granted only with the consent of other rights holders.

An exploitation right may be transferred only with the author's consent. The author may not unreasonably refuse his consent.

Hong Kong

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized. A license of copyright is a contractual right or permission from the copyright owner to do certain acts otherwise prohibited under the Copyright Ordinance. The license can be exclusive or non-exclusive and does not have to be in writing.

Hungary

According to the Hungarian Copyright Act, a work protected by copyright may have several authors. There are three categories for joint works:

  • Joint works (when the parts of such work cannot be used independently)
  • Connected works (if the parts of a joint work can be used independently)
  • Jointly created works (the right holder of such work is a natural person or legal entity who initiated and coordinated the creative process of a work where the authors' contribution to the work and their rights respectively cannot be separated from each other)

India

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized where a work has been produced by the collaboration of two or more authors and where the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author(s).

Implied licenses are usually not recognized in India, since the Copyright Act clearly requires that a license be granted in writing, by the owner of the copyrighted work or his duly authorized agent. Further, where the term and geographical extent of the license is not clearly specified, the Copyright Act creates an assumption that the license has a term of 5 years and is applicable only within the territory of India.

Indonesia

Copyright law regulates provision regarding collective management institutions. Collective management institutions must obtain operational license from the government. Copyright law regulates the copyright can become the object of fiduciary security.

A copyright holder has the right to give a license to a third party based on a licensing agreement to publish and/or reproduce the creation subject to the copyright, and to grant permission for third parties to publish and/or reproduce that creation. Based on Minister Regulation No. 8, copyright license agreement can be duly recorded and the application for recording can be made electronically or in paper format. The recording is valid for a duration of 5 years and can be renewed. Minister Regulation No. 8 requires that copy of the copyright license agreement, proof of ownership of copyright, original of special power of attorney and proof of payment to be submitted. Applicant is also required to provide a statement letter stating that the object of the license agreement is still valid, will not cause any losses to the national economy interest, will not inhibit the development of technology and not in conflict with the laws and regulations, morality and public order.

Ireland

Under Irish law, copyright may be held jointly between two or more authors or creators.

There are no restrictions on assignment (transfer) or licensing of copyright works under Irish law. However there are a number of formalities set out in copyright law which must be adhered to.

Israel

The author of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or the producer of a sound recording, is the first owner of copyright in the work or sound recording, respectively. The employer is the first owner of copyright in a work created by an employee during and as a result of his or her employment. 

Licenses can be granted by the copyright owners and by licensees authorized to grant sub-licenses. There is no need to record such licenses with any authority. An exclusive license or a transfer of copyright must be in writing but this does not apply to non-exclusive licenses.

As for moral rights, these are personal and cannot be transferred (although it is generally accepted that they can be inherited), nor do they belong to the employer in an employer/employee relationship. There is no moral right in software.

Italy

Joint ownership of copyright is recognized with regards to joint works and collective works.

Transfer of the ownership is allowed and must be in writing. In general, the transfer of one or more copies of a copyrighted work does not imply the transfer of the copyright, unless differently agreed. It is considered, however, that the transfer of a mold or of any other means capable of reproducing the work implies the transfer of the copyright over the work, unless differently agreed.

Japan

Exercise of a jointly owned copyright requires consent from the other joint owner(s) of the copyright. However, each joint owner cannot withhold consent without reasonable grounds.

Exclusive and non-exclusive licenses, as well as transfer of copyright are recognized. Moral rights are not transferrable and not waivable.

Luxembourg

Only natural persons (individuals) who have created works may enjoy the status of an author, even where an author is an employee. However, there are some presumptions, such as those regarding the assignment of economic rights in computer programs, that automatically favor employers.

The Copyright Law includes a rebuttable presumption of authorship; the author is presumed to be the person under whose name the work is being disclosed.

Persons collaborating directly on the creation of a work become co-authors. Their copyright is indivisible. In these situations, the exercise of the right of co-authors is governed by agreement. Failing such agreement, no author may exercise this right in isolation, unless a court decision provides otherwise in case of a dispute. In situations in which the contributions of the authors may be individually identified, those authors share the right to exploit their contribution in isolation provided that such exploitation is not done together with the contribution of another co-author and does not harm the joint work.

The economic rights of the author shall be freely assignable and transferable, in whole or in part, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code. In particular, they may be the subject of alienation or of an ordinary or exclusive license.

A specificity of Luxembourg copyright law is that it also allows the author to assign or transfer, in whole or in part, his or her moral rights to the extent that it is not prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation.

Mexico

In order to perfect ownership of a copyright, the author must register his work with the National Institute of Author Rights (Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor).

Titleholder of the economic rights of the copyright may grant exclusive or non-exclusive licenses to third parties, as well as, transfer his rights.

All transfers shall be conducted against valid consideration and on a non-perpetual basis.

Licenses and transfer of copyrights shall be evidenced in writing and shall be registered with the National Institute of Author Rights.

The copyrights related to broadcasting work are limited by the signal retransmission obligation for broadcasting concessionaires set forth in the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law.

Netherlands

The Copyrights Act of 1912 provides a rebuttable presumption of authorship: the author is presumed (unless proven otherwise) to be the person identified by name on the work by virtue of the mention of his company name or the appearance of another sign that enables his identification.

Persons collaborating directly in the creation of a work become co-authors. The right of exploitation belongs to the authors together. In these situations, the exercise of the right of co-authors is governed by the rules regarding community (which is regulated in the Dutch Civil Code).

While an author's moral rights are in principle non-transferable and inalienable, an author's economic rights can be assignable and transferable, in whole or in part. The assignment of the copyrighted work and the grant of an exclusive license requires a written deed. The assignment or license will comprise only such rights as are recorded in such deed or necessarily derive from the nature or purpose of the title. The works transferred must be sufficiently determinable. If the author is a natural person they have the right to terminate the assignment agreement or a license if the work is not sufficiently exploited within a reasonable time by the assignor or the licensee. The assignment or license of a copyright of a not yet existing work is possible but voidable if the author of the work is a natural person.

The author (natural person) who grants a license is entitled to a fair remuneration. If the work is exploited in a way that was unforeseen at the moment the license was granted, the author (natural person) is entitled to an additional remuneration. These rights can be invoked against third parties – such as third-party assignees.

Authorization given by the author of a work protected by copyright to a third party to file a design in which that work is incorporated, must imply the assignment of the copyright attached to that work insofar as it is incorporated in the design. The party filing a design will be presumed also to be the owner of the copyright relating thereto; this presumption does not, however, apply in respect of the actual author of the copyrighted work or his beneficiary. The assignment of the copyright relating to a design will result in the assignment of the right in the design and vice versa.

New Zealand

The copyright owner can assign or license some or all of their copyright rights to another person. Moral rights may not be assigned, but these can be waived in certain circumstances.

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized and arises automatically where a work has been produced by more than one owner. In general, licensing jointly owned copyright works requires consent from all joint owners.

Norway

The author owns the work. Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized, and the economic rights to the work can be transferred or licensed, in whole or in part. Moral rights may not be transferred and can only be waived (except from the right to be referred to as the author, which cannot be transferred or waived) . There are no formal requirements for licenses. However, through the Copyright Act of 2018 the original author or artist has an invariable right to get a reasonable remuneration when transferring his or her rights to commercial parties. This provision is meant to protect the artists from being taken advantage of when negotiating transfers.  

Poland

As a general rule, copyrights are owned by the author of the work. However, the author's economic copyrights may be assigned to third parties (natural or legal persons), and also to heirs after the author's death.

An employer acquires the copyrights to the works created by an employee in the course of the performance of his/her employment duties, upon the acceptance of the work, within the scope resulting from the aim of the employment contract and the agreed will of the parties; however, copyrights to computer programs created by an employee in the course of the performance of his/her employment duties are vested in the employer (unless the employment agreement provides otherwise).

As a rule, a copyright assignment agreement must be concluded in writing (otherwise being null and void) and should list the fields of exploitation to which the assignment relates. Joint ownership of copyrights is also recognized under Polish law. The author's moral rights are non-transferrable.

Moreover, the author (or the owner of the author's economic copyrights) may grant consent for the use of the works to third parties by concluding a license agreement, which may be exclusive or non-exclusive. An exclusive license needs to be concluded in writing. As a rule, licenses are limited in terms of the time, place and manner of using the copyrights.

Portugal

Moral rights are inalienable.

The copyright owner (as well as his or her successors or assignees) may authorize the use of the work by third parties or assign economic rights, wholly or partially.

Granting an authorization to third parties in order for them to divulge, publish, use or explore the work does not imply the transfer of copyright.

Authorization shall only be granted in writing (mandatorily including the duration, place and price conditions) and it is presumed to be onerous and non-exclusive.

The total and final transmission of copyright patrimonial rights shall only be valid if concluded by public deed.

Partial transmission shall be concluded in writing with notarized signatures and shall include the rights object of transmission and the conditions of execution – notably, the duration, place and price (if applicable). In case no duration is established, it is presumed that the maximum duration is 25 years (in general) and 10 years in cases of photographs or applied art.

Romania

Joint authorship is recognized in collective and common works. In case of collective works, the co-authors' personal contributions may not be differentiated when taking into account the nature of the work and in such cases the copyrights are jointly exercised. Conversely, in case of works created in common, the personal contribution of each of the co-authors may be separated and utilized independently provided that such use does not harm the rights of the other co-authors. Except otherwise agreed, the co-authors of a common work may not utilize the work without having the joint consent of all co-authors.

Copyrights may be transferred by way of an assignment contract which must contain clauses referring to the patrimonial rights transmitted and must indicate each right transferred, the modalities of use, the duration and extent of the assignment, and the remuneration of the copyright holder. The absence of any of these provisions entitles the interested party to request the termination of the contract. Licenses are possible as well and their duration is limited to 49 years.

Russia

Joint ownership of copyright is recognized with regard to joint works.

Transfer of copyright ownership (exclusive rights to a work) is allowed and must be in writing for most types of use. In general, the transfer of one or more copies of a copyrighted work does not imply the transfer of the copyright, unless differently agreed.

Saudi Arabia

Joint ownership of copyright is recognized. Any transfer of copyright must be recorded in writing and must express any limits to the scope of the transferred right with respect to both time and place.

Singapore

Generally, the creator owns the copyright. However, if an employee creates a work according to the terms of his or her employment contract, the employer will own the copyright; in the case of a journalist working for a newspaper or magazine, the owner of the newspaper or magazine owns the copyright of the publication in any newspaper or magazine but the employee owns the remaining rights that make up the copyright bundle of exclusive rights. If a portrait/photograph/engraved work is commissioned, the person who has commissioned the work will own the copyright. If any other sort of work is commissioned, the commissioned party shall hold the copyright unless agreed otherwise in writing.

Copyright owners may transfer their rights to other parties either partially or wholly. They may also license their copyrights either partially or wholly. Future copyrights for a work that has yet to be produced can also be licensed. The license can be exclusive or non-exclusive.

Slovak Republic

The author as licensor may grant to a licensee the permission to use the work upon the license agreement. The license agreement contains, in particular, the way of using the work, scope of the license, duration of the license and remuneration. However, the author may agree to grant a free license to a licensee.

South Korea

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized. To exercise copyright in a jointly owned work, consent from all joint owners is required. Non-exclusive licenses are available. An exclusive right against third parties is recognized only for the right of publication (including publication rights for computer programs).

Spain

The Legislative Royal Decree 1/1996 on Intellectual Property provides that copyrights in a work belong to the author, who is the person or group of persons who creates the work.

Economic rights of copyright owners may be transferred to third parties. All transfers must be formalized in writing. The transfer of rights is limited to the specific rights, use, term and geographic scope stated in the contract/license. Transfers of rights can be either exclusive or non-exclusive. Moral rights are protected and are not assignable.

Sweden

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized and the right can be transferred partly. Moral rights may not be transferred and can only be waived in specified circumstances. No formal requirements for licenses.

Switzerland

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized. Switzerland follows a system of legal licenses, which means that the law itself authorizes the private use of published works under certain circumstances. A system of mandatory licenses also exists concerning the creation of phonograms. Furthermore, for certain areas, collective rights management by approved collecting societies is compulsory. 

Taiwan

A copyright can be freely assigned, licensed, pledged or inherited in whole or in part. Joint authorship of a copyright is permissible, provided that any assignment, grant of license or creation of pledge thereof can only be made with the unanimous consent of all joint owners. If a joint owner abandons his or her share of a joint authorship copyright, the abandoned share shall be allocated to the other joint owners according to the percentage of their respective shares in such joint authorship copyright.

Ukraine

Under Ukrainian law, the author of a work is the initial copyright holder. Unless proven to the contrary, the person indicated as an author of the original or a specimen of a work is deemed to be the author of such work. Only natural persons may be recognized as authors in Ukraine.

Persons who created a work jointly are considered co-authors under Ukrainian law. Copyright with respect to a work created in co-authorship is vested with all co-authors irrespective of the fact whether the work represents one inseparable item or is composed of parts each having independent significance. Relations between co-authors are regulated by an agreement between them. The right to publish the work or use the work in another way may be exercised by all co-authors jointly. If a work created in co-authorship is composed of parts each having independent significance, each co-author has a right to use his or her independent part of the work without consent of the rest of co-authors unless otherwise provided in the agreement concluded between them.

Copyright owners may grant the right to use or assign their rights to other parties either partially or wholly through a license or an assignment agreement. Licensing of a copyright to the works which have not been created yet (ie, future works) is prohibited. Any licensing arrangements shall be executed in writing. The rights which are not specifically listed as licensed or assigned in the agreement are regarded as not licensed or assigned respectively.

The relations on collective management of rights have been regulated in the recently adopted law "On the Effective Management by the Tangible Rights of Rightsholders in the sphere of Copyright and (or) Related Rights" as of May 15, 2018 which is aimed to make the system of collective management more effective and transparent in Ukraine.

United Arab Emirates

Assignments and licenses are both described under the Copyright Law as "transfers." For a transfer to be valid, it must be in writing and while there is no requirement for the transfer to be notarized and legalized, in practice, government authorities in the UAE may not accept a document that has not been formalized in this way. Similarly, the document should be in Arabic and if it is not, it should have an official Arabic translation. The right that is the subject of the transfer must be specified together with the purpose of the transfer. There is a requirement for the period of exploitation to be identified for all licenses, together with the geographical area in which the right will subsist.

United Kingdom

Joint ownership of copyright is recognized, and arises automatically where a work has more than one author. Joint ownership can create limitations on the ability of a joint owner to independently exploit the relevant work.

United States

Joint ownership of copyrights is recognized, with each owner holding an independent right to use or license the use of the copyright in the work without the need to obtain the consent of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of a copyright has an obligation to account to the other co-owner(s), but the duty to account can be waived by contract. Implied licenses are also recognized.