Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property rights are divided into four categories: copyright, patent rights, trademark rights and design rights.

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) is the competent authority for these rights in Sweden. All rights except copyright must be applied for and registered. These intellectual property rights give the rights holder exclusive rights to their assets for a specific period of time. For example, they might give exclusive rights to make copies, exploit an invention commercial or use a trademark or a design. A company should have an intellectual property rights strategy for its intellectual property rights.

These intellectual property rights are: 

Copyright, which protects music, films, literature and other creative works, as well as source code for computer programs. Copyright applies for 70 years after the death of the copyright holder.

Patents, which provide protection for novel technical solutions to problems. Patent applications are published after 18 months. A patent applies for a maximum of 20 years.

Trademark protection, which is protection for a symbol for a company, a product or a service. It could for example consist of words, figures, letters/digits, personal names or slogans. It could also be a specific formulation of the product itself, known as packaging. The trademark must be considered unique and be distinguishable from other similar products or services. Trademark protection applies for a period of ten years and can then be extended indefinitely by ten years at a time.

Design protection protects the appearance and shape of a product, but not the actual function or the underlying idea. Design protection applies for a maximum of 25 years

Find out more about intellectual property rights in the PRV School online

PRV School online

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