Intellectual property (IP) are legal property rights over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial, and the corresponding fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; ideas, discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets.
Trademarks in Malta are regulated by the Trademarks Act (XVI of 2000) which transposes the EU Council Directive 89/104 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks, and is in line with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS). The Act also makes provisions allowing for regulations to be made to extend the effect of the Community Trademark regime to Malta upon accession.
Malta is a member of:
- The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO);
- The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works;
- The Universal Copyright Convention (UCC); and
- The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement.
Malta has also implemented the pertinent provisions of the WTO Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the year 2000 and currently the necessary action is being taken to secure Malta`s accession to the:
- European Patent Convention (EPC);
- Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT);
- Protocol to the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Marks;
- Hague Agreement on the International Registration of Designs;
- WIPO Copyright Treaty; and
- WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.