Protect Your Original Works By Filing a Copyright

If you don’t file a copyright registration application, your creative work is at risk of being duplicated without your permission.

Intellectual property rights
Protect your business ideas!
If you have a great, innovative idea you should consider protecting it as your intellectual property (IP) before announcing it to the world! Great ideas are only of value if you can legally claim them as your own.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property consists of products, work or processes that you have created and which give you a competitive advantage.

There are 3 subcategories:
• Industrial property: inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, new varieties of plants and geographic indications of origin
• Artistic work protected by copyright: original literary and artistic works, music, television broadcasting, software, databases, architectural designs, advertising creations and multimedia.
• Commercial strategies: trade secrets, know-how, confidentiality agreements, or rapid production.

How can I protect my IP?

You can protect your intellectual property by means of the intellectual property rights (IPR) laid down by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The form of protection depends on the type of IP:

• Patents allow you to stop third parties from making, using or selling your invention for a certain period depending on the type of invention
• Trademarks protect the name of your product by preventing other business from selling a product under the same name
• Copyright informs others that you (as the author) intend to control the production, distribution, display or performance of your work. Copyright is granted automatically, with no need for formal registration. You can start using the copyright symbol immediately.
IPRs are still chiefly protected by national rather than EU laws. Defending them in each individual EU country can be complicated and costly. You can save time and money by protecting your intellectual property at EU level.
If you do business in more than one EU country, a European Union trade mark  and a registered Community design  give you protection in the 28 Member States of the EU in one single registration. You can register your trade mark or design in any of 23 EU languages with a single application at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
An online application costs € 850 for a trade mark and € 350 for a Community design.
You can apply for a national patent at a patent office in an EU country or for a European patent through the European Patent Office (EPO). However, a European patent needs to be validated by the national patent office in each country where protection is required. Depending on the country’s law, you may have to provide translations or pay fees by a certain date. More information on costs and procedures from IP Offices in 30 European countries available here.

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