What different types of intellectual property rights exist to protect: (a) Inventions (e.g. patents, supplementary protection certificates, rights in trade secrets, confidential information and/or know-how); (b) Brands (e.g. trade marks, cause of action in passing off, rights to prevent unfair competition, association marks, certification marks, hallmarks, designations of origin, geographical indications, traditional speciality guarantees); (c) Other creations, technology and proprietary interests (e.g. copyright, design rights, semiconductor topography rights, plant varieties, database rights, rights in trade secrets, confidential information and/or know-how).

Intellectual Property (2nd edition)

Japan Small Flag Japan

(a) Inventions (e.g. patents, supplementary protection certificates, rights in trade secrets, confidential information and/or know-how);
Inventions: Highly advanced creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature are protected under the Patent Act.

Devices: Creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature relating to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles (minor inventions, so to speak), are protected by the Utility Model Act.

Trade secrets: Technical or operational information useful for business activities that is controlled as a secret and is not publicly known is protected by the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

(b) Brands (e.g. trade marks, cause of action in passing off, rights to prevent unfair competition, association marks, certification marks, hallmarks, designations of origin, geographical indications, traditional speciality guarantees);
Registered Trademarks: Any character, figure, sign or three-dimensional shape, or any combination thereof, or sounds, motions, holograms, colours, or positions that are used in connection with goods or services are registrable and protectable under the Trademark Act.

Unregistered Marks: Even if an indication of origin of goods or services is not registered as a trademark, it still can be protected under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act if the indication has acquired well-known or famous status.

Trade Names: No person may use, with a wrongful purpose, any name or trade name which makes it likely that the person may be mistaken for the other business entity under the Companies Act and the Commercial Code.

Geographical Indications: Name of agricultural products from which a specific geographical origin and established characteristics such as the quality that are linked to that origin are identified are registerable and protectable under the Act on Protection of the Name of Specific Agricultural, Forestry and Fisher Products and Foodstuffs.

(c) Other creations, technology and proprietary interests (e.g. copyright, design rights, semiconductor topography rights, plant varieties, database rights, rights in trade secrets, confidential information and/or know-how).
Copyrights: Literary, academic, artistic or musical productions in which thoughts or sentiments are creatively express can be protected automatically upon creation under the Copyright Act.

Registered Designs: The shape, patterns or colours, or any combination thereof, of an article (including a part of an article) of aesthetic nature is registrable and protectable under the Design Act.

Unregistered Designs: Configurations of goods (shape of goods and their associated patterns, colour, gloss, and texture) are protected against substantially identical imitations within three years from the day on which the original goods were first sold in Japan.

Layout-Designs of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits: Layouts of circuitry elements in semiconductor integrated circuits and the lead wires connecting such elements are registrable and protectable under the Act on the Circuit Layout of a Semiconductor Integrated Circuits.

Plant Varieties: Any plant groupings which can be distinguished from any other plant grouping by the expression of at least one of the important characteristics and which can be propagated while maintaining all its expressions of characteristics without change are registrable and protectable under the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act.

UAE Small Flag UAE

UAE laws recognise different types of intellectual property rights to protect

  • inventions:
    • Patents and utility certificates (where the invention lacks a sufficient degree of innovative activity). However, utility certificates do not grant exclusive rights. The UAE is a member of the PCT system, and so the UAE can be designated in PCT filings. Patent protection can also be obtained through GCC Patents.
  • brands:
    • Trademarks
  • other creations:
    • Copyrights, neighbouring rights granted to performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations, industrial design rights, plant varieties and plant breeders rights.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

See Q2.

India Small Flag India

(a) Inventions (e.g. patents, supplementary protection certificates, rights in confidential information and/or know-how);

  • Patents: In India, inventions can only be protected by Patents, which are governed by the Indian Patent Act, 1970.
  • Rights in confidential information and trade secrets (know-how): There is no separate legislation for the protection of confidential information and trade secrets in India, and the same is protected and governed under the contract law.
  • Supplementary protection certificates are not available in India

(b) Brands (e.g. trade marks, cause of action in passing off, rights to prevent unfair competition, association marks, certification marks, hallmarks, designations of origin, geographical indications, traditional speciality guarantees);

  • Trade marks
  • Cause of action in passing off
  • Right to prevent unfair competition (under competition laws)
  • Collective marks
  • Certification marks
  • Hallmarks
  • Geographical indications
  • Domain Name

(c) Other creations, technology and proprietary interests (e.g. copyright, design rights, semiconductor topography rights, plant varieties, database rights, rights in confidential information and/or know-how).

  • Copyrights
  • Designs
  • Semiconductors and integrated circuits
  • Plant varieties
  • Database rights

Updated: June 15, 2018