The main types of intellectual property creation are patents, trade marks, industrial designs and copyright.
While patents, trade marks and industrial designs are protected from the time they are registered at the appropriate office, either at national level (OSIM) or at European (EUIPO) or international level, copyright is protected from creation.
In the case of a violation of intellectual property rights, the holder has at his disposal a range of defense means:
- Cease and desist letter is the first and simplest procedure to follow which is used to approach the illegal user and to inform him that the use is illegal and if he does not stop doing the illegal activity, he will be sued in court.
- Customs action allows the right holder to request the customs authorities to stop the shipments of infringing goods at the borders of the European Union.
- The amicable settlement of the dispute.
- Civil action is the procedure to be followed when the precedents have proven to be ineffective. The right holder may request to stop the illegal activity, either in preliminary injunctions or in normal proceeding, as well as to allow a compensation through the award of damages. Another relief measures that can be obtained is confiscation and destruction of illegal goods.
- Certain type of illegal uses may be criminal offense and are punishable by either a criminal fine or imprisonment, including confiscation and destruction of illegal goods.