Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Laws in Cyprus

Depending on the exact structuring and business model intellectual property is often anywhere in between one of the most important to the single most important asset of a corporation. It is also the frontier most prone to attacks and violations. Given the immense scope of profitability and growth via intellectual property in the modern world, it becomes important to find the exact fit for your needs in order to make the most of your assets.

Some of the most important things when dealing with intellectual property are the structuring of the company, the business model, then ownership formalities for the assets and the jurisdiction where the ownership of the intellectual property resides.

What Cyprus Offers

There are several advantages of incorporating any company in Cyprus but it offers even better opportunities for corporations transacting in intellectual property.

Lowest of the Low Tax Rates

• The total income from intellectual property enjoys enormous tax benefits. 80% of the total global income for a Cypriot company accrued from intellectual property owned by the firm is tax-exempt.
• Only 20% of the income is taxed making the effective tax rate to be around 2-3% and even lower when expenses are deducted. This is applicable both to royalties or sale of the said property.
• If one wants to save even more, they can just dispose the shares of the company holding the IP rights and thereby qualify for a full tax exemption at 0 tax rate.
• Cyprus also has more than 55 Double Tax treaties with almost all of the biggest economies of the world, thus, offering protection from double taxation.
• The double tax treaties along with the EU Interest & Royalties Directive aid in simplifying the process to enter in licensing agreements in different jurisdictions.
• Cyprus is conveniently located at the tri-junction of the proximity between Europe, Asia, and Africa.
• Cyprus has some of the lowest tax rates in the world along with also being a reputed EU member and in the OECD Whitelist.
• The skilled workforce is highly productive in the development and creation of newer intellectual property and also in protecting the already existing property legally.

Legal Basis of IP Protection

Cyprus IP regime is carefully crafted to offer complete protection to rightful owners or creators of intellectual property. The laws in Cyprus are strict and the courts enforce them earnestly. Action for violation of IP rights can be brought under the ample number of specific statutes dealing with intellectual property rights or under the common law, like under torts as passing off, misrepresentation, breach of confidence etc.

Cyprus has passed several legislations for protection of both copyrighted and industrial intellectual property. The laws cover all aspects and dimensions of intellectual property including but not limited to trademarks, geographical indications, patents, service marks, logos, brand names etc.

Some of these laws, which have amended and updated several times since their inception to keep up with the changing needs, are –

• The Trademarks Law Cap 268, amended by Laws 63/62, 69/71, 206/90
• The Copyright Law, Law Number of 1976 amended several times and most recently in 2017.
• The Patents Law, Law Number 16(I)/1998 amended several times
• The Partnerships and Trade Names Law, Cap 116

Cyprus is also a signatory to almost all of the biggest intellectual property treaties and conventions in the world along with being a member of the WIPO since its inception.

Some of the conventions are –

• The European Patent Convention 1973
• The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1983
• The Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and Protocol to the Madrid Agreement
• European Agreement Concerning Program Exchanges by means of Television Films 1969
• The Geneva Trade Marks Law Treaty 1994

Patents

A patent is granted for an invention which can have industrial application. In order to get the protection under the Patent law, 2006 an invention must satisfy the criteria of being novel, involving an inventive step, and having an industrial application. An application is to be made to the Cyprus Patent Office with the details of the invention, like its design, utility, and purpose. On satisfying all the required conditions a certificate of registration is granted formalising protection.

Trademarks

A trademark is used to distinguish a product or service being offered by a company or business and usually consists of a word, phrase, logo, symbol etc. The application is made to the registration office under the Trademark Law, Cap. 268, 2006. Just like the patenting process trademarks entitle the person to restrict any violation of their distinct identity as businesses. Even unregistered trademarks enjoy protection under tort law.

Copyrights

Copyrights are much broader an involve any creative work from a creator which involves significant labor. These include songs, scripts, books, blogs, videos, films, photographs, paintings, and other such forms of art. These are governed primarily under the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law, Cap 59.

We can help

Copyrights may seem fairly simple but there are plenty of ways to exploit all the opportunities offered by the various jurisdictions; like selling copyrights via the sale of shares of the company holding the copyrights thereby escaping all tax liability. These techniques require extensive knowledge and experience in the field, something which Simon Zenios & Co prides itself on.

Here at Simon Zenios & Co, we ensure that you get the most out of the situation and we employ our best resources and skilled personnel to the ultimate extent to make this possible. We not only help with negotiating licensing deals but also in curbing any misuse and violation of your intellectual property.

Some of the specialized services provided by us are –

• Registering, renewing, and assigning national, European, and international industrial designs, patents, and trademarks;
• Restrictive trade practices;
• Services regarding trademark monitoring and infringement, as well as counterfeiting actions;
• Franchising and Licensing of all intellectual property including negotiations;
• Tax matters related to intellectual property;
• Assisting and advising with regard to domain names, as well as actuating IP transfer agreements and validation of IPs;
• Litigation;
• Passing off action;
For any queries regarding intellectual property or any other legal matter under the sun contact us here.