The regulation of IP rights in Lithuania is based on universally recognised principles of IP law. Legislation throughout the Baltic countries distinguishes rights that must be duly registered from copyright and related rights (whereby works are immediately protection on their creation). Therefore, patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications require registration in order to receive legal protection.
The competent authority for trademarks is the State Patent Bureau. Under Lithuanian law, the term 'trademark' applies to a sign which is capable of:
- distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of other persons; and
- being represented graphically.
Natural and legal persons may obtain protection for a mark by registering it:
- in Lithuania's Register of Trademarks;
- with the International Register of the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation under the Madrid Protocol;or
- as a Community trademark.
In addition, a mark may also be protected by court recognition that it is well known in Lithuania.
The term of validity of a trademark is 10 years.
Patents are defined in Lithuanian law as a form of legal protection for an invention - that is, a technical solution to a technical problem.
Both natural and legal persons can apply for patent protection. However, authorship of the invention itself is intangible and can reside only with a natural person.
Patent protection applies:
- upon registration in Lithuania's Register of Patents; or
- upon registration with the European Patent Office and submission of a translation of the European patent claims into Lithuanian, together with payment of the prescribed fee for publication to the State Patent Bureau within three months of publication of notice that the European patent has been granted.
The term of validity of a patent is 20 years.
For further information on this topic please contact Edita Ivanauskienė at Lideika, Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai LAWIN by telephone (+370 5 268 1888), fax (+370 5 212 5591) or email ([email protected]).