IP Glossary

2. Industrial Property Rights

Industrial Property Rights include trademarks, patents, industrial designs, geographical indications and others. These IP rights should basically be registered in order to be enforced. Relevant applications are filed with the national Industrial Property Office (IPO) or the office, department or ministry where industrial property is registered in a particular jurisdiction. An application is usually examined, published in the official gazette for public inspection upon acceptance, and then registered in case there were no objections or oppositions. Exclusive rights are obtained from the filing date or priority date if priority is claimed (refer to "Claiming Priority Rights").

a. Trademarks

A trademark is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks are applied for specific goods and services. All goods and services have been locally and internationally divided among classes. Thus, depending on the goods or services for which the applicant wishes to protect the proposed trademarks, applications are filed in respect of international classes or local classes and sub-classes. Some jurisdictions allow for the registration of multi-class applications, while in others only single-class applications may be filed. 

A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it in order to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment under a license agreement. The period of protection varies from one jurisdiction to another and is usually calculated from the filing date. A trademark can be renewed indefinitely for equal intervals of time.

b. Patents


A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

A patent that has already been published or disclosed loses novelty and, thus, may not be registered as a patent. In some jurisdictions, there are other forms of the registration of a disclosed patent.


c. Industrial Designs


Industrial design rights are intellectual property rights that protect the visual design of objects that are not totally functional. An industrial design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or color, or combination of pattern and color in three dimensional form containing artistic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional pattern used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft. In some jurisdictions one design application can incorporate many relevant designs. The number of designs that may be filed in the same application and whether proposed designs are registrable as one application is determined by the country law. To file a design application, photos of the design(s) from three perspectives along with brief illustrations of the design(s) are required.

An international design registration can be filed under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs. An applicant can file an international deposit, with WIPO or with the national office in a country party to the treaty, designating as many member countries of the treaty as desired. 

 d. Geographical Indications


A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products, which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (for example: a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.

In many countries the protection afforded to geographical indications by law is similar to the protection afforded to trademarks, and in particular, certification marks. Geographical indications law restricts the use of the GI for the purpose of identifying a particular type of product, unless the product or its constitute materials originate from a particular area or meet certain standards. There are usually prohibitions against registration of a trademark which constitutes a geographical indication. However, in countries that do not specifically recognize GIs, regional trade associations may implement them in terms of certification marks.


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