Law 1/2019 of 20 February refers to business and trade secrets and establishes a clear and unequivocal definition of the unlawful actions and exclusions it contemplates. This law transposes Directive (EU) 2016/943 of 8 June 2016 into Spanish law.
Industrial Property grants two types of rights over particular immaterial creations: on the one hand the right to use the invention, design or distinctive sign, on the other hand the right to prohibit a third party to do so. In Spain there are several types of Industrial Property rights: industrial designs (protect the external appearance of the products), trademarks and trade names (protect the figurative and/or word mark combinations), patents and utility models (protect products and industrial processes) and semiconductor topographies.
Following the ruling of the European Union Court of Justice (C-223/15) on similar trademarks and the risk of confusion, supplemental petitions are expected to limit infringement zones, which will oblige judges to conduct detailed analysis before issuing extensive cessation orders covering the entire EU territory.
When applying for a European patent it is important that the initial drafting of the claim recognizes the purpose for which protection is sought. Once granted, fees will have to be paid and claims must be translated into the two other procedural languages.
The European Patent Organization established a centralized system for granting uniform patents in Europe. With the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) system, the process is initiated with a single application in more than 140 countries worldwide.
The grant procedure of a patent in Spain corresponds with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM). The grant involves the payment of some fees during the whole life of the patent (twenty years from the filing date of the application).
Utility models are privileges that, in the same way as patents, grant exclusive rights for the use and exploitation of an object. The grant procedure is simpler than for a patent and the right lasts for ten years.