Intellectual property rights may be secured in Denmark through either national protection, European protection or international protection.
In Denmark, patents, utility models, designs and trademarks are governed by separate legislation.
Whether your wish to protect the name of your business, an invention or a design, AVODAN recommends that you start by contacting an IPR lawyer. The lawyer will assist you in selecting the right protection from the outset and ensure that the paperwork is in order throughout the very technical and complicated processes IPR protection.
AVODAN is experienced in drafting the purchase agreements or licence agreements required when either assigning or licensing out intellectual property rights.
In order for your invention or product being granted a patent, your invention or product must be substantially distinguishable from those already known within its area of application. For this reason, patents are often sought for technological developments and inventions. A patent offers protection for 20 years and cannot be renewed.
Even the smallest error in a patent application may result in the application being rejected or in the granting of a patent, which does not offer you the intended protection.
A utility model is a protection reminiscent of a patent and for this reason the utility model is also known as the ”petty patent” or “small patent”. Being granted a utility model is easier than being granted a patent; however, there are certain differences between the two, which you should be aware of before deciding on whether to apply for a utility model or a patent.
The requirements for a utility model are stringent. It will only be granted for products which are new and are substantially distinguishable from existing products. However, the requirements are not nearly as stringent as for those applying to patents. The protection period offered by a utility model is merely 10 years, whereas a patent offers protection for up to 20 years.
Applying for a utility model is a complicated process, which places heavy demands on the paperwork.
A trademark may be protected in one of two ways in Denmark – either by registering it or by bringing it into use in Denmark.
Danish trademark legislation provides that if you register your trademark, your rights in relation to it are protected for a 10-year period. The registration may be renewed at the expiry of the 10-year period; however, retaining the protection of a trademark requires that the trademark is in use.
A trademark acquired through use is protected for as long as the trademark is actually in use.
If you create a literary or artistic work, you have the copyright to the work. Your copyright is not acquired through registration or use. The author or originator acquires the exclusive right to the work as soon as it is created, provided that the work is the result of the author’s or originator’s own intellectual creation.
The exclusive rights to a work lapse 70 years after the death of the author or originator.
Achieving exclusive use of a design requires registration of the design. The registration offers protection for a 5-year period, but it is possible to renew the registration. The registration may be renewed for up to 25 years. A design which has not been registered is automatically protected for a period of 3 years from the date the design was made public. This basic type of protection cannot be renewed nor extended.
You should be aware that there are differences in the level of protection offered to registered and non-registered designs, respectively. To achieve protection of your design rights, the design must be new and of individual character.
Infringement of rights
The purpose of trademarks, patents and utility models is to protect your business against others using your trademark or copying your product. If your rights are infringed, you may claim damages or compensation. As well as ensure end of illegal use.
However, if you have adequately protected your intellectual property rights and your rights have been infringed, you are also entitled to claim financial indemnification. The amount of compensation depends on the facts of the case.
The amount may be determined through litigation; however, in some cases you may reach a satisfactory solution through negotiations. Often, negotiation is the speedy solution.
AVODAN will assesses whether your rights have been infringed and, thus, whether you are liable to claim compensation. We may also assist you in handling a claim for compensation, whether you chose the path of negotiation or that of litigation.