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Gibraltar Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property law or IP law as it is more often referred to is the Legal entitlement in connection with creative ideas and works such as literary works, artistic works, designs and inventions.  The purpose of Intellectual Property law is ultimately to encourage innovation and creativity by protecting the works of the individual and giving commercial value.  Theft of a person’s idea or copying of a person’s work is not generally taken as seriously as theft of a person’s TV or phone, hence the need for IP law to protect this.

The World Intellectual Property Convention of 1968 defines IP as including;

- Literary, artistic and scientific works
- Performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts
- Inventions in all fields of human endeavour
- Scientific discoveries
- Industrial designs
- Trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations
- Protection against unfair competition, and
- All other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields

Gibraltar is a member of the Madrid Protocol, applications however are not made in Gibraltar these are registered in the UK under the Trade Marks Act 1994 through the UK Intellectual Property Office and are extended through the Gibraltar Companies House to have effect in Gibraltar.  This extension must be done within three years of the date of issue by the UK.  The register of Trade Marks in Gibraltar keeps a register of all trademarks, which are open to inspection by the public.  As Gibraltar is a member of the EU it also comes under the Council Regulation (EU) No40/94 on the community trademark where it is possible to obtain a single trademark registration which is effective throughout the territory of the EU.

The Supreme Court of Gibraltar deals with any patent infringement actions.  If an infringement has taken place then the following remedies can be taken by the Court;

- An injunction restraining the defendant from continuing the infringement
- An order for the defendant to hand over or destroy any infringing goods
- Damages to be paid
- An account of the profits arising from the infringement to be made
- A declaration from the defendant stating that the patent is valid and they are guilty of infringing it

Protection of trademarks lasts ten years, but this can be renewed every ten years subject to renewal fees.

Intellectual property has become a very profitable business indeed and it is important when making a profit in this field that your business is properly protected.  Certain legal entities that are active internationally will not allow Intellectual Property to be sold in countries that do not have adequate IP laws to protect the owner’s right, making it more important to consider and resolve these issues prior to commencing trade.  For further information on Gibraltar Intellectual Property laws and how this can affect you or any other Intellectual Property laws please follow the link below or call us on our offices Telephone Number: 44 20 7097 1385 or Contact Us

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