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Norway

Intellectual property

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

The protection of intellectual property is governed by the following Acts:

Intellectual property rights

Protecting intellectual property

In some cases, intellectual property may be a company's biggest asset. Many types of intellectual property can be protected by various registration schemes. Registration provides documentable ownership of the intellectual property. This covers patents, trade marks, designs, domain names, etc.

A patent gives exclusive rights to exploit an invention commercially for a limited period (up to 20 years). During this period, others can be prevented from producing, importing or selling the invention that is patented.

A trade mark registration confers exclusive rights to use the trade mark to identify goods and services. This exclusive right entitles you to stop others using similar marks for goods or services. The right covers the use of the mark on the goods themselves, in advertising, on documents, in oral statements or in any other way. Trade mark protection lasts for ten years from the date of registration. The registration can be renewed every ten years, any number of times.

Design refers to the appearance and shape of a product or part of a product. Design registration gives you the exclusive right to exploit the design commercially for a limited period. During this period, others can be prevented from producing, importing or selling the design that is protected. The registration can be renewed for several periods up to a total of 25 years.

Norid manages the .no domain and maintains the central database of all Norwegian domain names.

The right to an enterprise name is acquired from the date on which one starts to use the name in Norway or the date on which notification reaches the Register of Business Enterprises. The right means that nobody else can use or register an identical enterprise name.

Copyright

The Copyright Act defines a creative work as 'a literary, scientific or artistic work of any kind, irrespective of the manner or form of expression'. In order to use or copy the work, permission must be obtained from the author and the publisher. It is not permitted to copy the work itself even if it does not carry such a prohibition.

Commercial strategies

Before presenting an idea to potential partners, you should sign a non-disclosure agreement. This will limit the possibility of the idea being used unlawfully by the other party.

Institutions for protecting intellectual property

The Norwegian Industrial Property Office is a national body that helps Norwegian businesses to enhance their activities with knowledge of industrial property rights - helping them to safeguard their investments and competitive positions and create economic growth in Norwegian society.

The Nordic Patent Institute is a partnership between the patent authorities in Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Its main role is to provide various types of service in the patents field to other patent authorities and to individuals. The Nordic Patent Institute has the status of a PCT authority, i.e. an international authority for novelty analyses and preparatory assessment of patentability.

The main function of Kopinor is to act on behalf of copyright holders in Norway and abroad to sign and maintain agreements with all types of business in Norway on copying protected material.

Combating counterfeiting and piracy

Under the Customs Act, Norwegian Customs is empowered to block suspected pirate copies, warn the rights holder of this and seize the goods.

Property rights encourage investment in innovation and research.

Administrative procedures

Registration

The regulations for patent, design and trade mark protection are managed by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, which also processes applications.

There are various registration forms associated with patents, trade marks and designs, which can be found on the Norwegian Industrial Property Office web site.

To apply for a patent abroad, you can submit a patent application to the national authorities in the individual countries in which you are seeking patent protection, or you can make use of international or regional schemes that make it easier to apply for patents in several countries at once.

Trade mark registration abroad can be done through the Madrid Protocol or by applying for a Community trade mark.

Norid manages the .no domain and maintains the central database of all Norwegian domain names.

Resources

You can find more information here:

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

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