Intellectual property

Intellectual property rights

Due to the constant expansion and development of new technologies in Malta, businesses need to protect and manage their Intellectual Property Rights.

Intellectual property is often a client’s most valuable asset.
The scope of intellectual property includes copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and often trade secrets.
In order to meet the EU intellectual property legislation, Malta has renewed its law regarding the protection of copyright, patents and trademark. In 2007, Malta became member of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty and, in 2009, it became a signatory member of WIPO Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Malta’s legislation for intellectual property protection comprises: the Trademarks Act, the Patents and Designs Act, the Copyright Act and the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act.
The owner is entitled to a royalty for the utilization of intellectual work. This includes, among other things, any compensation paid for the use or the right of use for literary, artistic and scientific works, the copyright of films, patents, software, trademarks, industrial samples and designs, and secret formulate.
Many countries compete with one another to provide as favourable tax rules as possible to support this area in.
Malta is fast becoming an attractive jurisdiction for the domiciliation of IPR, particularly patents, in view of the attractive fiscal regime that has been developed by the Government of Malta. Malta is also becoming an attractive hub for digital gaming, software developers and similar industries.
We can provide assistance for many companies and private persons in the international management of intellectual property as we work together with several renowned businesses who are international experts in utilizing intellectual property in an efficient way and in optimizing royalty payments.

 Patent Protection in Malta
An invention will be considered a patent in Malta if it brings novelty and if it can find applicability in the industrial sector. In Malta, biological inventions can be patented if certain moral requirements are met. Patents have a 20-year period of validity from the application date and a maintenance fee will be collected starting the third year.  The owner of a Maltese patent will use it exclusively and, only with his or her authorization, the patent will be used by third parties.

Trademark Protection in Malta
Maltese laws recognize a trademark as any graphic sign intended to distinguish products or services from others. Any letter, word or combination of words, numbers, colors or shapes can be considered a trademark. The author of a trademark has exclusive rights in using it. Usually, Maltese companies use trademarks for marketing purposes.

Copyright Protection in Malta
In Malta, any literary work and audio-visual work is considered intellectual property and falls under the legislation of the Copyright Act.  In Malta, artistic work receives copyright protection even if it was not previously registered, sufficing to be made public. Copyright offers its authors moral and economical rights. Copyrights are available for 70 years after the death of its author.

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