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  • Intellectual property framework

    Overview

    Intellectual property is a right protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Angola. The fundamental intellectual property framework in Angola is provided in 2 main acts: the Legal Regime for the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights and the Industrial Property Law.

  • Commercial contract framework

    Overview

    Angolan law lays down a general principle of contractual freedom, which means that parties are mostly free to establish the terms and conditions to be observed by the contracts they enter into (exceptions are made to mandatory rules legally imposed which will depend on the specific contractual relationship) and are entitled to enter into contracts provided for in the law, but also into contracts that are not provided for in the law.

    Angolan law does not establish a unitary act or set of rules applicable to all commercial contracts. Depending on the specific contractual relationship, commercial contracts may be subject to the provisions of the Civil Code, Commercial Code, Copyright and Related Rights Law, and the Industrial Property Law as well as other specific legislation.

    The aforementioned set of rules changes according to the specific contract in question.

  • Copyrights

    Nature of right

    Copyright covers original literary, scientific and artistic intellectual creations, or works. Registration is not required for the acquisition or maintenance of copyright rights; however, there are certain specific copyright-related acts subject to registration in order to be valid.

    In Angola, copyright comprises economic and moral rights.

    In the scope of economic rights, copyright owners have the exclusive right to use, enjoy and dispose of their work, or to authorize the use of the work, wholly or in part, by third parties.

    Moral rights consist in the right to claim authorship of the work, as well as the right to ensure its genuineness and integrity.

    Legal framework

    Copyrights are governed by Law No. 15/14 of July 31, which introduced the Legal Regime for the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights.

    Duration of right

    As general rule, moral copyrights are unlimited in time and, therefore, are inalienable and imprescriptible. With respect to economic copyrights, copyright protection lasts for a term of 70 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 works in collaboration, copyright expires 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. As per collective works or works originally assigned to a corporate person, copyright expires 70 years from the date of the first licit publication or disclosure, except if the individuals who create it were identified in the version of the work available to the public.

    For an anonymous work, or work that was legally published or disclosed without identifying the respective author, protection is for 70 years after publication or disclosure.

    Please note that, with respect to applied arts and photographic works, economic copyrights protection lasts for a term of 45 years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author.

    Economic copyrights related to a broadcaster last up to 35th calendar year after the broadcast.

    Ownership / licenses

    Moral rights are inalienable.

    The copyright owner, as well as their 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 rights.

    Authorization shall only be granted in writing, mandatorily including the parties involved, the title and type of the work, the rights concerned, the duration, place and price conditions.

    Please note that the assigns are only effective against third parties when registered.

    Remedies for infringement

    The copyright owner may request payment of compensation by the agent for damages and losses to repair the damage suffered as a result the infringement, as well as payment of expenses caused by that infringement, which may include legal expenses.

    The amount of the compensation is determined in accordance with the civil liability regime provided for by the Angolan Civil Code, taking into account the amount of material and moral damage suffered by the copyright owner, as well as the profit obtained by the offender.

    When it is proven that the infringing copies affect a right, the Court may order, ensuring that the penalty is proportionate to the seriousness of the offense and taking into account the legitimate interests of third parties, the destruction of those copies and their packaging or their elimination of trade channels by any other reasonable means, without compensation of any kind, in order to avoid any damage to the copyright owner.

  • Mask works / topographies

    Nature of right

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

    Legal framework

    Angolan has enacted no specific rules on protection of mask works or topographies. Although Angola is part of the WTO and has approved the TRIPS Agreement, it has not yet implemented any rules on mask works or topographies protection.

    Semiconductor technology, generally, and topographies, in particular, may be protected under the traditional intellectual property rules applicable to all types of technology, particularly 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

    Patent rights cover new inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.

    An invention shall be considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art, which comprises everything, inside or outside the country, made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filling of the patent application.

    An invention shall be considered involving an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

    An invention shall be considered susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture, fishing and handicraft.

    A national patent confers on its owner the exclusive right to exploit the patented invention in Angolan territory.

    Legal framework

    Patents are governed by the following:

    • Chapter II, the Industrial Property Law (Articles 2 to 14)
    • Membership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), approved by Resolution No. 9/84 of July 20
    • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19
    • Cooperation Treaty patent (PCT) approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19 and
    • Membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hence the TRIPS Agreement (Accession November 23, 1996).

    Duration of right

    Patent protection is granted up to a maximum period of 15 years from the date of filling of the patent application.

    Ownership / licenses

    Patents can be transferred in writing, by means of public deed, whether or not for financial reward.

    Patents may also be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses shall be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including patent rights, the court may, at request of the interested party, order the appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Infringement of the exclusive right granted by a patent may be also punishable as crime with imprisonment up to 6 months or a fine.

  • Trademarks

    Nature of right

    A trademark is a sign that distinguishes a company's goods or services, from the goods and services provided by other companies. There are 3 types of trademarks, namely:

    • Nominative: when constituted by letter(s) or word(s)
    • Figurative: consisting of figures or images and
    • Mixed: when it includes a combination of figures and words or letters in its constitution.

    The registered trademark confers to the owner, the right to prevent third parties that do not have their consent from using in the course of trade any sign which is identical or similar to the trademark in relation to goods and/or services which are identical or similar to those for which the trademark is registered.

    Legal framework

    Trademarks are governed by the following:

    • Chapter II, the Industrial Property Law (Articles 29 to 40)
    • Membership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), approved by Resolution No. 9/84 of July 20
    • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19 and
    • Membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hence the TRIPS Agreement (Accession November 23, 1996).

    Angola is not a party to either the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol. As such, International Registrations (IRs) cannot be extended to Angola. Angola's accession to the Madrid Agreement and/or the Madrid Protocol is currently the subject of consultation, but the position is unlikely to change for a number of years to come.

    Duration of right

    National trademark registrations remain valid for 10 years starting from the date of filing of the application and may be indefinitely renewed for equal periods.

    Ownership / licenses

    Trademarks can be transferred in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward. A transfer of the whole of the undertaking shall include the transfer of the trademark except where there is agreement to the contrary or circumstances clearly dictate otherwise.

    Trademarks may also be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses must be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including trademarks, the court may, at request of the interested party, order appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Trademark infringement is punishable as crime with imprisonment up to 3 months or a fine.

  • Trade secrets

    Nature of right

    Trade secrets are not protected as property in Angola. However, the Angolan Industrial Property Law, in the chapter related to Crimes of Unfair Competition, characterizes as crimes certain conducts involving the unauthorized use of trade secrets. As a result, there is legal protection against the violation of trade secrets.

    Legal framework

    Trade secrets are addressed in article 73 of the Angolan Industrial Property Law.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Remedies available for infringement of trade secrets can include criminal remedies (imprisonment and monetary fine) and civil remedies (injunction to prevent the continuation of infringements and damages).

    Trade secret violation is punishable with a fine, if a more serious sanction does not apply by applying the provisions of the penal code and Law No. 9/89 (Law on Crimes Against the Economy).

  • Other key IP rights

    Nature of right

    Design

    Industrial design means any new arrangement or set of lines or colors that, for industrial or commercial purposes, can be applied to the ornamentation of a product by any manual, mechanical, chemical, simple or combined process.

    The registered design confers to the owner the right to prevent third parties that do not have their consent from using it. The aforementioned use shall cover, in particular, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.

    Industrial designs

    Industrial designs

    Legal framework

    Design

    Designs are governed by Chapter III of the Industrial Property Law (Articles 15 to 28).

    Duration of right

    Design

    Designs registrations remain valid for 5 years starting from the date of filing of the application and may be renewed for 2 consecutive times of 5 years each.

    Ownership / licenses

    Design

    Designs may be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses must be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Design

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including designs, the court may, at request of the interested party, order appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Infringement of the exclusive right granted by a registered design may be punishable with a fine.

  • Intellectual property in employment context

    Employees

    As a general rule, the copyright over a work made under a labor agreement or in compliance with functional obligations is determined by agreement between the parties. In case no agreement exists, it is presumed that the ownership over the work belongs to the respective intellectual creator. In cases where there is a service provision contract, the property rights over the work are transferred to the contractor or entity represented by it.

    The right to patent shall belong to the inventor or their successors in title. Notwithstanding, if an invention was made during the performance of an employment contract in which inventive activity is provided for, the right to the patent belongs to the employer.

    Consultants / contractors

    In principle, consultants and contractors will retain ownership of the intellectual property developed by them, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or provided for in the law.

  • Key commercial contract considerations

    Registration of commercial agreements

    There are no general registration requirements for commercial contracts under Angolan law; however, certain exceptions may arise. Furthermore, Industrial Property Rights licenses are subject to registration within the Angolan Industrial Property Institute (IAPI) in order to be enforceable against third parties.

    Recognized language of commercial agreements

    There are no general requirements under Angolan law that provide that contracts must be written in Portuguese. However, in certain cases – for instance, contracts with consumers – the Portuguese language is mandatory, and, if the contract is to be used in specific situations – for example, for purposes of evidence in court or used with public authorities – translation to Portuguese is required.

    Country-specific issues for online content

    Electronic contracts are regulated under Presidential Decree No. 202/11 of July 22.

    Enforceability of online/clickwrap/shrinkwrap terms

    Contracts may be concluded electronically, provided that it does not affect its validity or effectiveness due to the use of this medium. Please note that general contractual clauses requiring electronic conclusion of consumer contracts are prohibited.

    The provider shall make available to the recipients, before the conclusion, unambiguous minimum information including (i) the contract conclusion process, (ii) whether or not the contract is stored by the service provider and accessibility by the recipient, (iii) the language or languages in which the contract may be concluded, (iv) the technical means which the provider makes available so that errors of introduction which may be contained in the order form may be identified and corrected, (v) the contractual terms and general clauses of the contract to be concluded, (vi) the codes of conduct subscribed and information on how to consult them electronically  and (vii) the effective technical means which allows the recipient to identify and correct inserted errors.

    Governing law

    The interpretation and enforceability of contracts is a matter of governing law. The choice of law by the parties is accepted as a general principle, except when otherwise provided for by law; please, however, note that, in certain cases, there are rules of mandatory application – for instance, in the scope of contracts concluded with consumers.

  • Key commercial contract terms

    Enforceability of warranty disclaimers

    This will depend on the specific warranty. Notwithstanding, the law may provide some restrictions on the enforceability of warranty disclaimers (eg, for reasons of consumer protection).

    Enforceability of exclusions/limitations of liability indemnification

    As general rule, the enforceability of exclusions or limitation of liability is limited under Angolan law. According to civil law, limitation of liability or exclusion of liability concerns the grounds of liability itself and the damages and losses. The law is not absolutely clear when dealing with the matter; therefore, some hold the opinion that the law does not prevent clauses limiting or excluding liability for acts of mere negligence, while others suggest that all clauses of exclusion or limitation are completely null and void.

    Indemnification

    Indemnification clauses in contracts are, in principle, enforceable, but may be subject to restrictions provided for in the law. It is relatively common to stipulate in commercial agreements that the indemnifying party will indemnify and hold harmless the other party against claims of third parties related to the subject matter of the agreement.

    Electronic signatures

    According to Angolan law, a qualified electronic signature is equivalent to an autographic signature in paper documents. An electronic document shall only be deemed to be signed for purposes of evidence where it meets the requirements set by the law on electronic signature and certification.

  • Key contacts
    Murillo Costa Sanches
    Murillo Costa Sanches
    Of Counsel DLA Piper [email protected] T +351 213 583 659 View bio
    Joni Garcia
    Joni Garcia
    Associate DLA Piper ADCA Angola [email protected] T +244 926 612 525

Other key IP rights

Nature of right

Angola

Design

Industrial design means any new arrangement or set of lines or colors that, for industrial or commercial purposes, can be applied to the ornamentation of a product by any manual, mechanical, chemical, simple or combined process.

The registered design confers to the owner the right to prevent third parties that do not have their consent from using it. The aforementioned use shall cover, in particular, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.

Industrial designs

Industrial designs

Argentina

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

Australia

Not applicable.

Austria

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Belgium

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Brazil

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Canada

Industrial designs

Protection for the aesthetic aspect of a functional object is available under the Industrial Designs Act.

Chile

Industrial designs and industrial drawings

Industrial designs are three-dimensional shapes associated or not with colors, and any industrial or handicraft article that serves as a pattern for manufacturing other units and that is distinguished from others, by its shape, geometric configuration, ornamentation or a combination thereof, provided that these characteristics give it a special appearance perceptible by sight, in such a way as to produce a new physiognomy. Industrial drawings include any arrangement, set or combination of figures, lines or colors that are developed in a plan for its incorporation into an industrial product for purposes of ornamentation and that gives the product a new appearance.

The designs or drawings must be new to be protected as such; they are considered new to the extent that they differ significantly of known industrial drawings or designs or combinations of characteristics of known industrial drawings or designs. Provided that this requirement is met, also packaging, prints on fabrics, cloth or any laminated material may be protected as industrial design. The law expressly excludes certain items that cannot be registered as industrial design and industrial drawings (for example, if their appearance is dictated entirely by technical or functional considerations, without any arbitrary input from the designer).

China

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Colombia

Industrial designs

According to Resolution 486, an industrial design grants the right to exclusively exploit the appearance of a specific product without changing its purpose. In this regard, an industrial design makes the product more attractive to customers. For this reason, rights over an the industrial design protects the aesthetic features of the product and not its technical aspects. Any legal or natural person has the right to prevent any third party from exploiting its design without prior consent.

The registry of industrial designs does not include:

  • Industrial designs that are contrary to public order or morals
  • Industrial designs that are related to technical features or technical functions without entailing any arbitrary involvement of the designer and
  • If industrial design is the only manner in which the product may be mechanically pieced or connected.

Czech Republic

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Denmark

Designs

The appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.

A design must fulfil the requirements of being "new" and having "individual character."

A design is "new" if no identical design has been made available to the public before the date of filing for registration or before the first launch of an unregistered design.

A design has "individual character" if the overall impression that the design produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public prior to the date of filing/or priority date for registered designs or prior to the date the design was made available to the public for unregistered designs. There is a grace period of 12 months meaning that if the design application is filed within 12 months after the design was first made available to the public, it is still considered new.

Finland

Not applicable.

France

Registered designs

An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design can consist of 3-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of 2-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colors.

To be protected, an industrial design must be non-functional.

The design must not consist of features solely determined by the object's technical function. This means that an industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature and any technical features of the article to which it is applied are not protected.

In order to be able to register a design, the design must:

  1. Be new if no identical design is known to have existed before. Designs must be considered identical if their features differ only in immaterial details
  2. Have an "individual character" (“caractère propre”) if the overall visual impression it produces on the informed observer differs from that produced by any design or model disclosed before the date of the filing of the application for registration or before the date of priority claimed.

Databases

A database is defined as a collection of independent works, data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means.

Databases can be protected through copyright and/or a sui generis right.

Additionally, copyright protection may be awarded to the structure of a database if fulfilling the criteria for such copyright protection (fixation in a material form and originality).

Sui generis rights apply to the benefit of the database producer is there were qualitatively and/or quantitatively substantial investments, whether related to the collection, verification or presentation of the content of the database.

The sui generis protection lies on an economic vision and does not include moral rights.

Germany

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Hong Kong, SAR

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Hungary

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

India

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Indonesia

Industrial design

Under Industrial Design Law, an industrial design is a creation on the shape, configuration, or the composition of lines or colors, or lines and colors, or the combination thereof in a two or three dimensional form which gives an aesthetic impression and can be realized in a two or three dimensional pattern and used to produce a product, goods or an industrial commodity and a handy craft. Industrial design right is a license issued by the government granted to a designer for his/her creation for a given period to exploit his or her creation or to give permission to another party to do so.

Ireland

Designs

Design rights protect the appearance of a product which may include any industrial or handicraft item, including parts to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographical type faces. Computer programs cannot be subject to design right protection.

A design must have a new and individual character in order to qualify for protection.

The registered proprietor of a design right has the exclusive right to use or authorise others to use the design including the rights of making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or use of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.

Infringement of a unregistered design right can only arise where there is intentional copying of the protected design.

Israel

Designs

The Designs Law grants protection to registered and unregistered designs. A design is eligible for registration if it is novel and unique (creates a different general impression among informed users in comparison with existing designs/products of any kind and of the same kind). An unregistered design which is eligible for registration is entitled to partial protection, mainly with regard to commercial manufacturing.

Italy

A product or a part of it may be registered as a design provided that they are new and that they have individual character.

A design is deemed to be new if no identical design has been widespread among the public before the application is filed (or, in case a priority is claimed, before the latter had been widespread among the public).

A design is deemed to have individual character if it generates a different impression in the informed user compared to other designs previously widespread. To assess the individual character, the margin of freedom in the realization process of the product should be taken into consideration.  

The registration of a design attributes to its owner the right to use it and to prevent others from using or exploiting it in any manner without their consent. Private and didactic use are allowed.

Some less extensive forms of protection are granted to unregistered EU designs (eg, the right to prevent third parties from using the design is limited to cases in which the latter are aware of the existence of that design).

Japan

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Luxembourg

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Mexico

Not applicable.

Netherlands

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

New Zealand

Passing off

The common law tort of passing off generally concerns the false or misleading representation that another trader's goods or services are, or are connected with, those of the plaintiff. The tort can also include misrepresentations as to quality and authority or endorsements.

The misrepresentation can be an express statement, but often arises from the defendant's use of a mark, trade name or "get-up" with which the goods or services the plaintiff are commonly associated, in the minds of the relevant customers or other traders.

There must be damage, to the plaintiff's business or goodwill or likely damage if the conduct continues.

Designs

A design is defined as the new or original features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process or means. However, this cannot be a solely functional element. The design must not be published prior to the filing date.

Design rights owners have the exclusive right in New Zealand to make or import for sale or for use for the purposes of trade, or to sell, hire or offer for sale, an article in respect of which the design is registered. Design rights can be assigned and licensed. In some cases a compulsory license in respect of a registered design can be granted by the Commissioner or a court.

Norway

Design

A design is defined as the looks or part of a product that is characterized by its lines, contours, colors, form, structure or material to the product or its decoration. The design has to be "new" and have "individual character" in order to be able to be protected.

The designer can protect his exclusive right to the design through registration with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. Registration of a design does not however limit the design's protection under other law, such as trademark, copyright or patent law.

Philippines

Not applicable in this jurisdiction.

Poland

Industrial design is the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation. An industrial design will be granted protection if it is new and has an individual character.

In Poland, there are 3 regimes of registered industrial designs:

  • National industrial designs (registered by the Polish Patent Office)
  • International industrial designs (registered through the World Intellectual Property Organization and approved by the Polish Patent Office)
  • Community designs (registered through the EU Intellectual Property Office)

In Poland, a person seeking protection of his or her design does not have to register the design through any office. This person may benefit from an unregistered community design right that lasts for three years from the date on which the design was first made available to the public within the community. Furthermore, an industrial design may be protected as a copyrighted work under the rules established in the Act on Copyrights and Related Rights (provided it meets the requirements described in the definition of a work). Additionally, the appearance of a product may be protected under unfair competition law (Act on Combating Unfair Competition) against its copying by industrial means, if such copying causes the likelihood of confusion.

The right of registration to an industrial design gives its owner the exclusive right to use the design in a commercial and professional way in Poland (or in the EU, in the case of registered community designs). The holder of the right to a registered industrial design may prohibit any third party from manufacturing, using, offering, marketing or importing and exporting and stocking for these purposes, products whose appearance does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression.

Portugal

Logo

A logo is a sign (or a combination of signs) capable of being represented graphically, in particular by word or figurative elements or by a combination of both, or a sign (or a combination of signs) which may be represented in a manner which enables to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor, provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing an entity.

The registered logo confers to the owner, the right to prevent third parties not having his or her consent, from using any identical or confusing sign which is designed to identify an identical or similar activity and where, because of its similarity, there is a likelihood of confusion or association on the part of the public.

Romania

Industrial designs

Industrial design holders are protected against infringement. The term industrial design is defined as the appearance of a product or a two or three dimensional part of it resulting from the combination of the main features (especially lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and/or ornamentation of the product itself).

Russia

Not applicable.

Saudi Arabia

Not applicable.

Singapore

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Slovak Republic

Utility models

Utility models shall mean a protection of new technical solutions that have been created through inventive activity in any field of technology. A technical solution is capable of being protected as an utility model if it is new, if it is a result of inventive activity and if it is industrially usable. Certain objects are not capable of being protected as utility models, such as:

  • discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods
  • aesthetic creations
  • plans, rules and methods of performing intellectual activity, games or business activity
  • computer programs
  • pure statement of information

Designs

Designs shall mean an external layout of a product or its part that consists of elements which are, predominantly, lines, contours, colors, shapes, structures or materials of the particular product or its decoration. A product shall mean any material thing made in an industrial or crafted way, together with package, layout, graphical symbols, topographical symbols or parts that are intended to be used for compilation of a composite product, apart from computer programs.

A design shall be capable of being protected if it is new and if it possesses a distinctive character.

South Korea

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Spain

Not applicable.

Sweden

Not applicable.

Switzerland

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Taiwan, China

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Ukraine

Patents to industrial designs

Designs in Ukraine are protected by patents. The patents to industrial designs protect the results of creative activity of an individual in the area of industrial designing. For industrial designs, Ukrainian laws contain the patentability requirement of novelty.

The rights to designs are subject to registration with the Ukrainian IP office in order to be protected in Ukraine. The owner of an industrial design patent has the exclusive right to prohibit third parties from producing the products based on the registered industrial design.

United Arab Emirates

Not applicable.

United Kingdom

Passing off

The tort (or delict in Scotland) of passing off relates to misrepresentations made by one trader that damages or may damage the goodwill of another. It can be used to protect unregistered business and product names, logos and "get-up."

The "classic form" of passing off is generally defined by reference to three requirements:

  • Goodwill  in the UK attached to goods or services
  • A misrepresentation by the defendant to the public (intentional or not) leading the public to believe its goods or services are those of (or connected with) the plaintiff
  • The plaintiff suffers or likely to suffer damage due to that misrepresentation

However, the misrepresentation may be as to other matters, such as:

  • That the plaintiff's goods are those of the defendant (reverse passing off)
  • Misrepresentations as to quality
  • False endorsement

The misrepresentation must be one which confuses or deceives the public or is likely to. Goodwill has been described as the "benefit and advantage of a good name or reputation..." or the "attractive force that brings in customers." Goodwill can be limited to certain areas/geographic locations.

An extended form of passing off requires:

  • A misrepresentation
  • Made by a trader in the course of trade
  • To prospective customers or ultimate consumers
  • Which is calculated to injure the business or goodwill of another, ie, such injury must be reasonably foreseeable
  • Which causes actual damage to a business or goodwill

Designs

There are four types of design rights in the UK: registered and unregistered UK design rights, and registered and unregistered European Community design rights.

A registered design and a Community unregistered design can be the whole or part of a product resulting from features of lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of a product or its ornamentation. This can include packaging, get up, graphics and typefaces parts of products, icons, maps, web design etc.

Registered designs and Community unregistered designs must be new (not previously disclosed or available to the public anywhere in the world) and have individual character (creating a different overall impression on the "informed user" taking into account design freedom). There are exceptions to this and features dictated by function (must fit and must match exceptions) cannot be protected.

To obtain registered design right protection, it is necessary to register either with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) or EUIPO (for a Community registration). The UK is a "first to file" system, although a registration may be refused or revoked if it conflicts with prior rights. Unregistered design rights arise automatically.

The proprietor of the design may prevent any use of the design or any design which does not produce a different overall impression on the informed user (taking into account design freedom). To infringe unregistered Community design right the defendant must have copied the design. Copying is not a requirement to infringe registered design rights.

The regime for subsistence and infringement of UK unregistered design right is different. The right subsists in the shape or configuration of the whole or part of an article that is original and not commonplace, recorded in a design document or the subject of an article made to the design and created by a qualifying person. A key difference is that UK unregistered design right does not protect surface decoration. The UK unregistered design right does not protect methods or principles of construction and is subject to an exception for use in relation to products which must fit or must match the protected design.

United States

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.