Monday December 11, 2017
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Intellectual property in Tunisia

 

According to the Wipo (World Intellectual Property Organization), intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works.

Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works.

According to the Tunisian Copyright Law, the copyright shall be valid during the author's lifetime and shall continue for fifty calendar years after the author's death. The copyright with respect to photographic works is valid, for twenty-five calendar years as from the date of work completion.

A trademark is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Its origin dates back to ancient times, when craftsmen reproduced their signatures, or marks, on their artistic or utilitarian products. Over the years these marks evolved into the current system of trademark registration and protection.

Under the Tunisian trademarks Law, the ownership of a mark is acquired through registration. The registration offers an exclusive right to use the mark and protect it against counterfeiters and imitators. The protection is secured for an indefinitely renewable 10-years period.

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. The protection conferred by a patent shall last 20 years beginning from the filling date of the application.

Applicants residing outside Tunisia shall have a representative whose place of residence is in Tunisia and who holds a power of attorney signed by the applicant.

An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.

The period of protection conferred to an industrial design depends on the choice of the owner of the design (5year, 10years,15years).

At the end of 2008 INNORPI(National institute for standardization & industrial properties) was managing around: 62 900 trademarks, 5 550 patents and 3 150 industrial designs.

 
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