Intellectual Property Regulation in Spain

In Spain, intellectual property is governed by Royal Decree 1/1996 of 12 April, approving the Consolidated Copyright Act. In addition, for intellectual property issues, it should be noted that Spain is a part of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Members are subject to the copyright of all original literary, artistic, or scientific works such as books, musical compositions, audiovisual works, blueprints, drawings, graphs, computer programs and databases.

In Spain, intellectual property arises from the moment of creation, without requiring any registration, which means automatic protection. However, it is always possible to file the work in the Intellectual Property Registry to obtain stronger evidence in claims against third parties.

Protection for copyrights lasts for 70 years from the death of the author if he was a natural person. In cases where legal persons are recognised as the authors, the protection period lasts for 70 years from the 1st of January of the year following the lawful registration of the work or from its creation, if it has not been reported or filed.

Intellectual Property generates various types of rights, some economic, and others moral. The latter are indispensable and inalienable and allow the author, among other things, to determine whether to disclose or register his work, to demand recognition of his authorship. On the contrary, rights that are economic or of exploitation can be traded or transferred, so that they may be used by third parties.

In Spain, the ownership of rights corresponds always to the creator of the work, unless the work was created in the course of an occupation, where it would be treated as a collective work and/or transferred to third parties.

In addition, computer programs are protected by copyright along with documentary information that accompanies them, and are treated, except in rare exceptions, as literary works.

The aforementioned Copyright Act in addition to regulating copyright also recognizes the so-called neighbouring rights for performers, phonogram producers, producers of audiovisual recordings, and broadcasting organizations.

For additional information regarding intelectual property in Spain,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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