Intellectual property in Estonia is protected by the national legislation but also by many international treaties. Among the national legislation protecting intellectual property in Estonia there are the Patents Act, the Utility Models Act, the Trade Marks Act, the Industrial Design Protection Act and the Geographical Indication Protection Act. As an EU member state, Estonia is also part of the Convention on Grant of European Patents Act. As the intellectual property legislation evolves, Estonia has also signed major international treaties. Among these the latest are the Trade Mark Law Treaty and the Geneva Act for the protection of Industrial Designs in 2003, the Patent Law Treaty in 2005 and in 2009 Estonia signed the Singapore Treaty for the protection of trademark. Estonia is also part of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The most notable document protecting intellectual property in Estonia is the Copyright Act, which grants authors with protection for their intellectual creations. Copyright protection in Estonia also enabled authors to benefit from moral and economic rights. Moral rights cannot be transferred, while the economic rights can be transferred for an amount of money or for free. Copyrights in Estonia are protected for the whole author’s life and seventy years after his or her passing.
Any graphical sign employed to differentiate a product or a service from other similar signs that was registered as a trademark will be protected by the Estonian Trade Marks Act. According to the Trade Marks Act there are several types of trademarks in Estonia:
The Patent Office in Estonia is part of the government falling under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. It mainly deals with the implementation of the legislation regarding the protection of industrial property. The Patent Office confers protection to trademarks, utility models, patents, geographical indications and industrial designs. The Estonian Patent Office is also in charge with maintaining the records of industrial property and the issuance of documents related to industrial property.
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