Intellectual property protection is comprised in the Common Law in Cyprus. The legislation is quite complex and contains the following legal frameworks:
As the United Kingdom Designs Law proves, the Cypriot intellectual property protection legislation is mainly based on the English laws protecting intellectual property. At international level, as part of the European Union, Cyprus has signed the Paris Convention for Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Universal Copyright Law and is also part of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Copyrights are protected by the Cypriot Right of Intellectual Property Law 59/76 that was amended during the years by the Laws 63/77 and 18/93. Copyright protection is enabled for residents, legal entities registered in Cyprus, foreigners that reside in the country and for offshore companies registered in the country. According to the international conventions on intellectual property Cyprus has signed, foreign creations are also recognized. Copyrights are protected during the author’s life and 50 years after his or her death also. However, certain intellectual works can be protected for lesser periods of time.
Patents fall under the regulations of the Cypriot Patents Law that was last amended in April 1998. The Law has established the existence of an independent authority patents can be registered with. Both national and international patents can be registered with the Register of Patents in Cyprus. The Register will publish the patents in the Official Gazette and will keep records of all patents registered with it. The new law also states that Cypriot patents must be renewed yearly. Patents are protected for 20 years in Cyprus but it depends on the payment of the renewal charge. The new law also enabled compulsory licensing for patents in Cyprus.
Trademarks fall under the regulations of the Trade Marks Law and according to it goods and services are separated into 34, respectively 8 classes. Cypriot trademarks can be registered only if they are genuine. Trademarks must be registered with the Trade Marks Registrar and the application can be submitted by a Cypriot lawyer only. Trademarks are protected for 7 years after the registration and then renewal is available every 14 years.
In 2012 Cyprus has enabled the IP box in order to create a competitive environment for the research and development industry. The new law provisions lower taxes. According to the Income Tax Act the new tax rate of 2% makes Cyprus one of the most attractive jurisdictions for intellectual property revenues. The new law allows for dividends distributed by a Cypriot company to foreign shareholders, dividends that resulted from intellectual property rights to be exempt from taxation.
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