Intellectual Property Rights to be Revised


CSB Group has recently learnt that the European Union is set to revise its intellectual property rights regime. It would seem that a complete overhaul of the legal framework is being proposed by the European Commission who is in the process of planning to change this framework relating to intellectual property rights. This will be particularly affecting patents and trademarks, piracy and copyright laws and aims at promoting creation, while protecting rights holders, Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said.

This leads us to ask: Which are the main areas that this strategy is tackling? The Commission will be tackling four main areas. The first of these is patent protection on a more cooperative, EU unitary level, in which Malta has already decided to participate.

The Commission is also looking at copyright, saying that it must be adapted to the digital economy. In August there will be a proposal that aims at creating more transparency and the facilitating of the delivery of multi-territorial licences. This would also affect broadcasting that aims to be addressed in a green paper later this year that will include the advances offered by broadband technology.

In 2001 there was a directive on harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. At the end of 2012, we are looking forward to seeing the report being published.

The trade mark system will also be revised this year to provide faster, more effective and more coherent registration triggered by the absence of uniform protection of business secrets and geographical indications on non-agricultural products.

One could easily say that the EU seems rather intent in fighting counterfeiting and piracy and is being given a great deal of importance. In order to help improve information on counterfeiting and piracy, the Commission plans include draft regulation for the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy and linking it to the European Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

Plans are also in hand for a revision of the directive on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the light of legal and technical changes. Cooperation by technical intermediaries, such as internet service providers is encouraged with the aim of eradicating piracy sites.

Whilst our intellectual property interests lie primarily in technology and software related issues, our IP practice is also geared to assist with the registration of trademarks, patents and industrial designs.

CSB Group’s IP practice covers the following services:

  • Software licensing contracts;
  • Software development agreements
  • Transfer of IP rights and internet domain-names;
  • IP escrow agreements;
  • Handling, processing and assignment of customer databases;
  • Registration of trademarks, patents and industrial designs in Malta and within the EU.