Intellectual property law is necessitated by modern sciences to protect innovation and originality of humankind and to encourage new and creative ideas.
In general, intellectual property rights fall into two main categories; first literary and artistic property and second industrial property.
Intellectual property rights encompass economic and moral rights. While economic rights are temporary and transferable, moral rights are non-transferable and depend on the individual personality of the author. In particular, industrial property is of vital importance due to its role in production, modern technology and economic growth of countries and literary rights are an important instrument to protect ideas and creativity which embolden the economic and capital significance of literary works.
Holders of intangible intellectual property are always concerned about using them as capital in foreign countries. Therefore, the protection afforded to such property in host countries is worthy of investigation. To make holders of such rights feel at ease and to ensure that their intellectual property is not subject to imitation or any other violation, countries have legislated protective laws which not only motivates innovators and inventors to create, but also it could encourage foreign investors which will ,in turn, facilitate transfer of technology and attraction of foreign investment.
Iran has attempted to maximize protection for intellectual property by enacting modern legislation and acceding to relevant treaties during recent years. As far as national registration is concerned, the Law on Patents, Industrial Designs and Trade Marks, 2007, is the main body of law in Iran in this field. The Executive Directive of this law provides further details as to the formalities required. There are some intellectual assets that will be explained below according to the mentioned law:
Inventions: As to “inventions”, according to the law, An invention is the outcome of an individual(s) mind that produces a certain product or a process for the first time and provides for a solution to a specific problem in a certain line of specialty, technique, technology, industry and the like.
Additionally, subject to the payment of annual fees, invention registration can remain valid for 20 years. The most important benefits arising from registration of invention are gaining the exclusive right to goods produced using the registered process and the right to take legal action against copycats. Moreover, since Iran has acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), by filing one international patent application under the PCT, Iranian applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in 148 countries throughout the world. Applicants could either submit their document to the National Patent Office or send their application directly to WAIPO. In any case, acceptance of an international patent registration depends on completion of certain formalities.
Industrial Designs: As to “Industrial Designs”, any composition of lines or colors or any three dimensional form, whether or not associated with lines or colors, is deemed to be an Industrial Design, provided that such composition or form gives a special appearance to a product of industry or handicraft. In an Industrial Design, the protection under this Act does not extend to solely achieving technical result without incorporating changes in the appearance.
Additionally, the design must be new and original. The validity of such registrations is initially five years which could be renewed for two more five-year terms, adding up to 15 cumulative years subject to the payment of relevant fees. There is a six month respite for payment of fees upon the end of each term.
Trademarks: Regarding “Trademarks”, they are graphic designs which are used to identify goods and services. Once registered, they remain valid for a period of ten years, which is infinitely renewable for successive ten-year periods subject to making payments required by law. Similar to industrial designs. There shall be a six –month respite for payment of fees. Up to 30 days after the publication of advertisement for a new trademark, interested third-parties may object if the registered trademark is very similar to a different company’s trademark or if it does not meet other legal requirement. Such objection must be submitted to the Industrial Property Office. However, after the lapse of this thirty-day period, objections could only be raised in competent courts. Furthermore, since Iran has acceded to Madrid Agreement of 1891 and Madrid Protocol of 1989, it is possible to use the Madrid trademark system for Iranians. As a pre-requisite to using this system, the trademark should first be registered with the Office of Industrial Property. The main advantage of using this system is that the applicant can register their trademark inexpensively in up to 85 countries all at once.
In summary, a number of principle legislation and treaties, which the country has ratified, are listed here:
Bayan Emrooz Law firm, benefiting from expert of patent lawyer, is prepared to offer consultation in different areas of intellectual property including patents, industrial designs, registration and protection of trademarks including international trademarks, copy rights and related rights for the protection of the rights of legal and natural persons. Besides, the law firm renders services regarding consultation and drafting different types of Transfer of Technology Contracts (TOT), dispute resolution in judicial and arbitration tribunals and expert panels on IP matters.
Bayan Emrooz Law Firm was founded in 2008 under the registration No. 23211 in Tehran, and renders legal consultation and attorneyship services to foreign or domestic legal and natural persons. Our approach and main purpose is to expand the culture of utilizing legal consultation in civil and commercial matters in order to prevent high personal or social costs spent on resolution of disputes before judicial and non judicial authorities.