Iceland IP Development

Intellectual property rights and the protection of intellectual property is substantially dependent on international co-operation. Iceland is a party to a number of international agreements: IP International agreements in the field of intellectual property rights to which Iceland is party : The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs European Patent Convention (EPC) WTO, TRIPS and EU Moreover, Iceland, as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has adapted Icelandic legislation to the provisions of TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Furthermore, the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), together with additions, has led to several legislative amendments in Iceland to accord with the Directives and Regulations of the European Union.
Patents National Patents in Iceland Patents protect the technical realisation of an idea, such as equipment and products, as well as methods or applications. A basic requirement for granting a patent for an invention is that it is new, inventive and capable of industrial application.
Novelty: The invention must be new, not only in Iceland but world-wide.
The invention may not have been publicised in speech or in writing before an application for a patent is filed.
Inventive: The invention must differ essentially from prior art, i.e. the solution to the problem it resolves may not be obvious to a person skilled in the art.
Capable of industrial application: The invention must be of practical economic use, i.e. it must be possible to manufacture and sell it.
Patents granted by the Icelandic Patent Office protect inventions for up to 20 years in Iceland. The exclusive rights established in patent legislation (see Patents Act No 17/1991, as amended) entitle the proprietor to prohibit others from manufacturing, importing and selling an invention protected by a patent.
An applicant who is not domiciled in Iceland must have an agent residing in the European Economic Area, in a member state of the European Free Trade Association Treaty, or in the Faeroe Islands who can represent the applicant in all matters concerning the application.
Right of Priority
Iceland is a party to the Paris Convention. If an application has been filed in a country party to the Convention, the applicant may, within 12 months from the date of application, file an application relating to the same matter in another country, including Iceland, and claim right of priority with reference to the initial application.
The later application is then regarded as having been filed on the same date as the earlier application (the date of priority).
Applications for patents in Iceland shall be submitted to the Icelandic Patent Office. An application form must be filled in and filed together with a detailed description of the invention, as provided for in the Patents Act No 17/1991.
Application documentation may be in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English. In the event that the description, patent claims, abstract, and text on drawings is not in Icelandic, the patent claims, abstract, and the text on the drawing to be published therewith shall be made available in Icelandic translation before the application is made accessible to the public. The description shall be available translated into Icelandic or into English before the patent is granted.
Trademarks are used to label goods and services. Trademarks may be any type of visible sign used to differentiate the goods or services of one party from the goods or services of other parties. Moreover, trademarks are often used as company names and domain names. By registering a trademark with the Icelandic Patent Office, it is possible, subject to certain conditions, to protect goods and services identifiers for 10 years at a time and to renew such protection regularly for as long as the trademark owner desires.
The rights established by trademarks legislation (see Trademarks Act as amended) entitle a trademark proprietor to exclusive rights to use the trademark in Iceland and, as a result, the right to prohibit others from using, for commercial purposes, marks that are identical or similar to its own trademark. Furthermore, it is important to register a trademark if it needs to be protected from outside exploitation.
On Design in General From the viewpoint of intellectual property, the term "design" applies to the appearance of a product. The appearance of a product depends first and foremost on its form, although other aspects may have an effect, such as color and materials.
Design is defined by the visible appearance of a product. Even if a product has a technical function, only its appearance is protected by design protection. The goods can be both handmade and mass-produced. Examples of goods that can enjoy design protection include furniture, clothing, packaging, machinery, tools, foodstuffs and jewelry. A product need not be in three-dimensional form to enjoy protection. It can be two-dimensional, such as a screen display on a computer, a graphic symbol, or a decoration on another product, such as wallpaper. The more original and innovative the design is, the greater protection.
Applications submitted to the Icelandic Patent Office apply in Iceland. However, it is also possible to apply for an international registration of a design (Hague system) where, for example, the European Union may be designated. Designs must be new and individual in character when the application is submitted.
Registering a design grants the owner of the registration exclusive rights to utilize that design and the right to ban others from utilising the design in question.
By registering a design with the Icelandic Patent Office, it is possible, subject to certain conditions, to protect the design for 25 years.
Copyright has become increasingly of immediate interest due to the new digital technology which has resulted in especially films and music being distributed differently than before.
Customs Control Pirate copying of goods and illegal parallel import is an increasing challenge.
IP attorneys assist with solutions to prevent import and sale of such goods, among other things by the assistance of custom control and handling legal conflicts. There exists international network which makes it possible to meet such problems abroad.
Provided by ólafur Ragnarsson CEO of Patice-IP Legal, Attorney at Law, European Patent Attorney

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