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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

Patents

Legal framework

Argentina

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.

Australia

Patents are governed by the Patents Act 1990 (Cth).

Australia is a party to the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure 1977, the TRIPS Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Austria

Patents in Austria are governed by the Austrian Patent Law 1970. Austria became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1979 and to the Paris Convention in 1908.

Belgium

Patents in Belgium are governed by Title 1 (Patents) of Book XI (Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets) of the Code of Economic Law.

There are several expected updates on EU level, including:

  • Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 17, 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection
  • Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of December 17, 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements
  • Agreement on the Unified Patent Court 16351/12 of January 11, 2013

Institute for Patent Attorneys on the way – the new law of July 8, 2018 regulates the profession of Patent Attorneys in Belgium. An Institute for Patent Attorneys will be established and everyone who is registered in the register of authorized representatives becomes a member of the institute and will have the right to speak in patent litigation before the Belgian courts. A Royal decree still needs to be issued prior to the law coming into effect.

Brazil

Patents are governed by the Federal Constitution (Article 5, XXIX) and Federal Law no. 9,279/96 (the Industrial Property Law). Brazil became party to Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and Paris Convention in 1884.

Canada

The Patent Act governs the protection of patents.

Canada became a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1990 and to the Paris Convention in 1923.

Chile

Patents are protected with the same legal framework as trademarks.

China

China enacted its patent system in 1985, and became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1994 and the Paris Convention in 1985. The relevant legal basis shall include the Patent Law, Implementation Regulations and various Judicial Interpretations issued by the Supreme People's Court.

Colombia

Patents are governed by Resolution 486 of 2000 issued by CAN. Moreover, Colombia became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1998 and to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of the Patent Procedure in 2016.

Czech Republic

Patents are governed by the Patents Act.

Denmark

Patents are governed by the Danish Patent Act (LBK 221 26/02/2017).

Denmark became party to the European Patent Convention in 1990 and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978.

Denmark signed the Paris Convention in 1894 and ratified the Patent Law Treaty in 2005.

Denmark has also signed the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Strasbourg Agreement and the Budapest Treaty.

Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 on implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of unitary patent protection makes a type of European patent called the unitary patent possible. The unitary patent is expected to enter into force in the first half of 2019.

Finland

Patents are regulated on both a national and an international level. The Finnish Patents Act and the Finnish Patents Decree govern the national patent system, while the European Patent Convention (EPC) pertains to the protection of European patents. Finland is a signatory of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and has ratified the Patent Law Treaty (PLT).

Finland has signed in January 2016 the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) which is part of the legislative package aiming to establish the European Patent with Unitary Effect. At the end of 2018, the process of establishing the European Patent with Unitary Effect is still pending. However, the start of the new Unitary Patent system is currently expected for the first half of 2019.

For inventions that do not meet the full criteria of a patenting "petty patents" can be registered as utility models. The registration of utility models is governed by the Act on Utility Model Rights.

The Finnish Penal Code governs also patent infringement crimes.

France

Patents are governed by Part VI of the French Intellectual Property Code (Articles L. 611-1 et seq. and R. 611-1 et seq.), the European Patent Convention (also referred to as the Munich Convention) and EU regulations Nos. 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 of December 17, 2012 regarding the unitary patent (not yet effective − they will only apply from the date of entry into force of the UPC Agreement).

Germany

The German Patent Act (Patentgesetz), the European Patent Convention (EPC),  the Regulations on the International Patent Convention (Gesetz zum Internationalen Patentübereinkommen) and German Act for Utility Models (Gebrauchsmustergesetz) govern patents.

Germany became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and the Paris Convention in 1903.

Hong Kong

Patents are governed by the Patents Ordinance (Cap.514). Hong Kong became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1981 and the Paris Convention in 1997.

There are two types of patents, standard and short-term. The grant of a standard patent in Hong Kong is based on the registration of a patent granted by one of three designated patent offices − the United Kingdom Patent Office, the European Patent Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of China. The Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department does not conduct substantive examination of patent applications. The short-term patent application involves formality examination only.

In 2016, the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed the Patents (Amendment) Bill 2015 (which has been enacted as the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016) to amend existing patent legislation in Hong Kong. A new "original grant" patent (OGP) system for standard patents will be introduced, while retaining the current "re-registration" system. Applicants will be able to file applications for standard patents without first obtaining a patent in a designated patent office outside Hong Kong. Further amendments include introducing substantive examination for short-term patents, increasing the maximum number of independent claims allowed in an application and introducing regulatory measures for patent agencies. The revised patent system is expected to enter into force in 2018.

Hungary

Act 33 of 1995 on the Patent Protection of Inventions. The relevant EU directives have been duly implemented.

India

India is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and Paris Convention. The federal legislation in India that grants statutory right to patents is the Patents Act. India is also party to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purpose of Patent Procedure (2001). The same is in force in India.

Indonesia

Law Number 13 of 2016 on Patents (Patent Law) is the governing statute for patents. Indonesia became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1997 and became party to the Paris Convention in 1950.

Ireland

The Patent Act 1992 (as amended) governs patents in Ireland. Ireland ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1992 and the Paris Convention entered into force in Ireland on December 4, 1925.

Israel

The Patents Law 1967 (Patent Law) governs patents in Israel.

Italy

The Industrial Property Code is the statute governing patents in Italy.

Italy is also party to the main international patent treaties and conventions, including the European Patent Convention. Italy also joined the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system, but it is not in force yet.

Japan

Inventions are protected by the Patent Act. (Act No. 121 of 1959).

Japan joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and Paris Convention in 1899.

Utility models are protected by the Utility Model Act (Act No. 123 of 1959).

Designs are protected by the Design Act (Act No. 125 of 1959).

Luxembourg

The Law of July 20, 1992 amending the System for Patents for Invention, as amended by the Law of May 24, 1998 and lastly by the Law of December 18, 2009 governs patents in Luxembourg.

 

Mexico

Second Title of the Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial).

Netherlands

Patent Act 1995 governs patents.

New Zealand

Patents are governed by the Patents Act 2013. New Zealand is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Paris Convention.

Norway

Patents are governed by the Norwegian Patent Act (No: patentloven).

Norway became party to the European Patent Convention on January 1, 2008 and ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty on October 1, 1979.

Norway is also a signatory of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, the London Agreement, Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification and Paris Convention Treaty.

Poland

The Industrial Property Law is the law applicable to both patents and utility models.

Portugal

Patents are governed by:

  • Title II, Chapter I, Subchapter I of the Industrial Property Code (Articles 50 to 118)
  • European Patent Convention, of 5 October 1973, as revised by the Act revising its Article 63 of 17 December 1991 and the Act revising the European Patent Convention of 29 November 2000

Portugal became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1992.

Portugal became party to the Paris Convention in 1884.

Romania

Patents are governed by Law no. 64 of October 11, 1991 regarding patents and Law no. 83 of June 26, 2014 regarding labor inventions (Labor Inventions Law). Romanian became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1970 and the Paris Convention in 1920.

Russia

Part IV of the Russian Civil Code governs patents.

Russia is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Paris Convention.

Saudi Arabia

The Law of Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs (promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 29/5/1425H (corresponding to 17 July 2004)), and its Implementing Regulations (Patents Law).

Singapore

The protection of patents in Singapore is regulated by the Patents Act (Cap 221). Under the Patents Act an application may be made to the Registry of Patents for the grant of a patent. Singapore acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty on February 23, 1995 and the Paris Convention on November 23, 1994, which came into force in Singapore on February 23, 1995.

Slovak Republic

Legal protection of patents is regulated by the Slovak Act No. 435/2001 Coll. on patents, as amended (Patent Act). Slovak Republic is signatory of several international agreements regarding patents:

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Paris Convention
  • Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
  • Patent Law Treaty
  • European Patent Convention
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

South Korea

The legislation governing registered patents is the PA.

Spain

In Spain, the Spanish Patents and Trade Marks Office (Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas) has the authority to grant patents and trademarks.

The new Spanish Patents Act 24/2015 (New Patents Act) entered into force on April 1, 2017. One of the most significant changes brought by the New Patents Act is related to the procedure for the granting of patents. The previous "à la carte" examination procedure (whereby applicants are free to choose whether or not their application should be submitted to substantive examination) will be substituted by the granting procedure involving a prior examination of the merits of the patent. Another important change is in the field of patent litigation. In accordance with the New Patents Act, the patent holder will be able to limit the scope of their patents by amending the claims at any time during the life of the patent. Finally, among other changes of the New Patents Act are provisions relating to Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs), which introduces protective letters and patent specialist judges.

In addition to the national patent application system, regional registration systems are also available. Such systems allow the applicant to obtain protection for the invention in one or more countries; however each country determines whether or not to protect the patent in its territory pursuant to the applicable legislation. Since Spain's ratification of the European Patent Convention (EPC) in 1973, Spain may be designated in a European patent application. The EPC system allows the registration of a bundle of national patents enforceable in the countries designated by the applicant.

Additionally, there have been significant developments with regard to the creation of a unitary patent protection within the European Union. Such a unitary patent protection is expected to be available in the coming years, although Spain has initially decided not to join these efforts due to linguistic issues.

Sweden

Patents are regulated under the following legislative acts:

  • Patents Act (1967:837) (Patentlagen) pertains to the protection of Swedish patents
  • The European Patent Convention (EPC) pertains to the protection of European patents

Sweden became a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 1978.

Sweden ratified the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) in 2007.

Sweden signed the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification in 1973.

Sweden has also signed the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the London Agreement.

Switzerland

The Federal Patents Act and the Federal Ordinance on Patents govern patents.

Taiwan

Patent is regulated by the Patent Act in Taiwan and is classified into three types, ie, invention patent, utility model patent and design patent (including derivative design patent).

The grant of a patent right in Taiwan is based on the registration of a patent with the Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

Ukraine

The legal framework with regard to patents for inventions and utility models in Ukraine includes Civil Code of Ukraine dated January 16, 2003 and the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of the Rights to Inventions and Utility Models" dated December 23, 1993. Further, Ukraine is a member to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Patent Law Treaty and Patent Cooperation Treaty as well as Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

United Arab Emirates

Federal Law No. 17 of 2002 on Patents (as amended) (Patent Law) governs patents. Patents may also be protected in the UAE through a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Patent (administered by the GCC Patent Office in Saudi Arabia, and governed by the GCC Patent Law).

The UAE is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970 (PCT) and WIPO Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and the Paris Convention in 1884.

The Patents Act 1977 governs patents.

United States

Patents are governed by Title 35 of the US Code. The US became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1970 and the Paris Convention in 1887.