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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

Mask works / topographies

Duration of right

Argentina

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Australia

The duration of protection is ten calendar years after the calendar year in which the circuit layout was made. If the circuit layout is first commercially exploited within that period, the term is ten calendar years after the year in which commercial exploitation first took place.

Austria

The duration of protection for semiconductors is 10 years from registration (ends at end of tenth calendar year). There must be a registration within 2 years of the first non-confidential commercial exploitation.

Belgium

The exclusive right related to the protection of topographies of semiconductor products shall come into existence when the topography is fixed or encoded for the first time and shall expire 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the topography was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world. The exclusive right shall expire where a topography has not been commercially exploited, anywhere in the world, within a period of 15 years from the date on which it was first fixed or encoded.

Brazil

Mask works are protectable for 10 years counted from the date of application for registration or the date of the first exploitation, whichever occurs first.

Canada

The duration of protection for integrated circuit topographies is up to ten years from the filing date of the application for registration. Registration terminates at the end of the tenth calendar year after the earlier of the year in which the topography is first commercially exploited and the calendar year of the filing date of the application. A registration must be filed within two years of first commercial exploitation.

Chile

Integrated circuits topography shall last 10 years as of filling, and it is nonrenewable.

China

The term of protection of the exclusive right of layout-design shall be 10 years from the date of filing an application for registration or from the date on which it was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world, whichever expires earlier.

However, whether or not it has been registered or commercially exploited, a layout-design shall not be protected for more than 15 years after the date of the completion of its creation.

Colombia

Layout-designs of integrated circuits have a term of protection of ten years beginning from the earliest to occur of the following:

  • last day of the year in which it was exploited for the first time in Colombia or abroad or
  • the date in which the registration request was made before the competent authority in Colombia

Protection is granted for ten years and can be renewed for equal periods, but the relevant authority may no longer protect the product when it does not comply with the specifications set forth in Resolution 486.

In any case, protection for the layout-design of an integrated circuit will not be enforceable for more than 15 years from the last day of the year in which it was created.

Nonetheless, the layout-design of an integrated circuit that has not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world may only be registered if the application is filed within a period of 15 years from the last day of the year in which the layout-design was created.

 

Czech Republic

10 years from registration (ends at end of 10th calendar year) or from the first open commercial exploitation.

Denmark

The right lasts for 10 years from the year following the creation of the right, Section 5(3).

Finland

Topographies can be registered for an exclusive term of 10 years.

France

Protection is granted as from the earlier of the following dates: the filing of the application or the first act of commercial exploitation. Protection is granted until the end of the 10th calendar year following this event.

Where a topography has not been commercially exploited within a period of 15 years from its first fixation or encoding, any exclusive right in existence shall come to an end.

Germany

Protection of semiconductor topographies have a duration of ten years from application with the Patent Office or commercial use of the topography (two years grace period after such disclosure to the public). Protection ends at the end of the tenth calendar year.

Hong Kong

The duration of protection is 10 years after the end of the year in which it was first commercially exploited or 15 years following the end of the year in which it was created if not commercially exploited.

Hungary

The protection lasts for 10 years either from the first day of commercial exploitation anywhere in the world or from the day of filing the application for registration with the competent authority.

Must register within 2 years of first commercial exploitation.

India

The registration of a layout-design continues for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of filing an application for registration or from the date of first commercial exploitation anywhere in India or in any country, whichever is earlier.

Indonesia

A right to layout design of integrated circuits is valid for ten years from the first commercial exploitation or the date of filing.

Ireland

The topography right will commence on the date when it is first encoded or fixed  (or in some cases, when first commercially exploited anywhere in the world). The topography right will expire 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first commercially exploited or, where it has not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world, 15 years after it is first encoded or fixed.

Israel

The right has a term equal to the earlier of:

  • The end of 10 years from the date on which the layout-design or an integrated circuit in which the layout-design is incorporated were first lawfully sold or distributed commercially in Israel or outside of Israel
  • At the end of 15 years from the date of creation of the layout-design

Italy

The protection is granted for ten years starting either from the filing date of the application or from the date when the semiconductor containing the topography is put on sale for the first time in any part of the world.

Japan

The duration of protection is 10 years from registration, and no renewal or extension of duration is provided. The layout-design must be registered within 2 years of first commercial exploitation.

Luxembourg

The exclusive right related to the protection of topographies of semiconductor products come into existence on the earlier of:

  • The date on which the topography was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world
  • The date on which the application for registration was filed in due form

This exclusive right expires after ten years, calculated from the end of the calendar year during which the exclusive right came into existence.

Exclusive rights will no longer be enjoyed or will expire if an application for registration has not been filed with public authority within two years of its first commercial exploitation.

Where a topography has not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world within a period of 15 years from its first fixation or encoding, the exclusive rights may no longer commence unless an application for registration has been filed within that period.

Mexico

The duration of mask work protection is ten years from the date the filing is presented before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial, or IMPI).

Netherlands

The exclusive right related to the protection of topographies of semiconductor products shall come into existence when the topography is fixed for the first time and expires ten years from the end of the calendar year in which the topography was filed or is first commercially exploited anywhere in the world, whichever comes first. The exclusive right expires where a topography has not been commercially exploited and if no application was made the right expires within a period of 15 years from the date on which it was first fixed.

New Zealand

The duration of protection is 15 years after the calendar year in which the layout design was made, or, if the layout design was first commercially exploited within 5 years after the calendar year it was made, then the protection lasts for 10 years after the calendar year in which the layout design was first commercially exploited.

Norway

The exclusive right to the layout commences with its creation, and expires 10 years after the circuit was used commercially for the first time. The exclusive right shall nevertheless come to an end 15 years after the creation of the lay out, regardless of whether it has been commercially utilized or not.

Poland

The protection of a topography ceases to have effect 10 years after the end of the calendar year in which the topography – or an integrated circuit incorporating the topography – was put on the market, or the end of the calendar year in which an application to register the topography was filed with the Patent Office, depending on which of these time limits expires first.

The registration right to a topography also lapses 15 years after its creation and establishment if this period expires earlier than the time limit for which a right in registration was granted (and the topography was not used within said time for commercial purposes).

Portugal

The duration of a registration is 10 years from the date of application or the date on which the topography was first exploited in any location, if earlier.

Romania

The duration of protection is ten years and as a general rule this term is calculated from registration. Registration must be filed within two years from the first commercial exploitation

Russia

The protection is granted for ten years starting from the earlier of either the filing date of the application or the date when the semi-conductor containing the topography was put on sale for the first time in any part of the world.

Saudi Arabia

Layout-design certificate protection is valid for ten years from the date of filing the application for registration or 10 years from the date on which it was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world (but in any case no longer than 15 years from the date of creation of the layout design).

Singapore

Any integrated circuit which is created after February 15, 1999 will be protected for 10 years if it is first used commercially within 5 years of creation. In other cases, it will be protected for 15 years from the date of its creation.

Slovak Republic

The duration of protection of topography shall exist as of the date:

  • the topography has commercially exploited if the application for the registration has been filed no later than two years after such commercial exploitation
  • the application for registration has been filed

Protection of the topography shall expire after 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the topography protection was granted.

However, the right to protection of the topography shall expire after 15 years as of the date of its first fixation or coding if the topography has not been exploited commercially or if an application for registration has not been submitted to the Industrial Property Office.

South Korea

The term is 10 years from the date of registration. However, the term shall not exceed 10 years from the date when the registered layout was first used for commercial purposes or 15 years from the date when the registered design was created.

Spain

The exclusive rights shall expire ten years from the earlier of the following two dates:

  • The end of the calendar year in which the topography was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world
  • The end of the calendar year in which the application for registration was filed in due form

However, any registration of a topography that has not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world within a period of 15 years from its first fixation or encoding shall lapse.

Sweden

The right lasts for ten years from the expiration of the year when the topographies or semiconductor was first commercially exploited in any part of the world.

If the topography or semiconductor has yet not been commercially exploited, the right expires fifteen years following the expiration of the year in which the topographies or semiconductor was created.

Switzerland

The duration of protection is 10 years, starting on the day of the valid application for the registration of the topography or the day the topography was first distributed, whichever is earlier. If the topography is not registered, protection ends 2 years after the day it was first distributed. In any case, the right ends 15 years after the development of the topography at the latest.

Taiwan

The duration of a circuit layout is 10 years commencing from:

  • The filing date of the circuit layout registration application or
  • The date of the first commercial exploitation (whichever is earlier)

Ukraine

The duration of protection is ten years from the date of filing of an application or the first use date. Registration must be filed within two years upon the first use of the topography.

United Arab Emirates

Not applicable.

United Kingdom

Provided the design qualifies for protection, protection arises automatically on creation of the design.

Protection expires 15 years from when the design was first recorded or an article made to it, or, if the design or an article made to the design is made available anywhere in the world during that 15-year period, it expires 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the design or an article made to the design was first made available anywhere in the world.

United States

The duration of protection is ten years from registration (terminating at the end of the tenth calendar year). Registration must be filed within two years of first commercial exploitation.