Intellectual Property

Can I use more than one protection type to protect intellectual property?

Can I use more than one protection type to protect intellectual property?

Yes. This depends on the type of an object you seek protection for. For example, a brand name which is expressed in a logotype can be protected both as work of art by copyright and at the same time enjoy a protection of a registered trademark or a container may be entitled to both trademark and design protection.

The same commercial object may incorporate or reflect different intellectual property (IP) rights and the same intellectual endeavor may be protected by more than one IP right. This, however, does not justify the blurring of the differences between the different IP rights; each must be kept within its strict statutory limits. It was not the intention of the legislator, nor from a practical view is it desirable, that the patent law, the copyright law, or the law on the industrial designs should be interpreted so as to give overlapping protection.

Something suitable for industrial design cannot be registered for copyright, and something for which a patent is granted should not also be given double protection for an extended period of time by registering for copyright drawings from which the patented object was made, because it would unreasonably extend the time limits of protection as foreseen in the law (the maximum term of patent protection is 20 years and it cannot be extended).

Legal scholars (such as Teresa Scassa) points to the danger of weak rights. The expansion of intellectual property protection by means of the deliberate exercise of weak, uncertain or unfounded intellectual property claims causes chaos and disrupts the legally accepted IP conditions. The extension of intellectual property rights arises through the action of parties (when a party claims more rights that it really has), but there are also deficiencies in the legal regimes because legislators are giving an undefined list of objects protected by IP rights. Uncertain legal definitions contribute to the ability of parties to extend their rights in a broader manner. The legal deficiencies include uncertainty as to the scope of protection or the scope of legal defenses and systemic shortcomings in the granting of rights.

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