When it comes to entrepreneurship, you must bear in mind that, in an increasingly competitive environment, you have to make a creative effort to differentiate yourself in the market. Therefore, industrial property is definitely relevant for you.
What is industrial property?
It is a set of rights that a natural or legal person may possess over a distinctive sign, an invention, an industrial design, etc.
In Spain, there are several types of industrial property right:
How much do industrial property rights cost?
Industrial property rights are only granted by registering them at , and to do so you must file an application at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
An industrial design protects the appearance or ornamentation of a product or part of a product, which makes it visually different from another product, without taking into account its technical or functional characteristics.
The definition of product is very broad and covers both industrial and artisan products.
As a general rule, an industrial design can consist of:
You only have the right to the industrial design if you register it and to do so, you must file an application with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
An industrial design right protects only the appearance or aesthetic characteristics of a product, whereas a patent protects an invention that provides a new technical solution to a problem. In principle, an industrial design right does not protect the technical or functional characteristics of a product, which could, however, be protected by a patent.
Pursuant to article 4 of Law 24/2015 of 24 July on Patents, a computer program that is claimed "as such" is not a patentable invention.
However, if you have a computer-implemented invention, i.e. one that requires the use of a computer, computer network or other programmable device for its implementation, where one or more features are realised wholly or partly by means of a computer program, you may be able to protect it by patent.
Industrial property rights are territorial, i.e. if you apply for a trademark, patent or industrial design at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, you will only have the exclusive right to use it in Spain. Consequently, products protected in Spain cannot be exported with a guarantee to other countries if they have not been registered in those countries.
A trademark is a distinctive sign that serves to distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
A trade name does not represent a product or service and instead serves to identify the trade activity undertaken by a company and to differentiate it from all other companies in both the same and different sectors.
They should not be confused with domain names or company names, which fulfil other functions and are not registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
You only have the right to the trademark or trade name if you register it; to do so, you must file an application with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
You can protect your invention by patent or utility model.
A patent lasts for 20 years and protects an invention that is a device, a product or a process.
A utility model has a duration of 10 years and protects an invention that is a device or a product.
If you have a patent or utility model, you can prevent anyone else from copying, selling or importing your invention without your consent.
You are only entitled to a patent or utility model if you register it; to do so, you must file an application with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
Pursuant to article 4 of Law 24/2015, of 24 March, on Patents,
the following shall not be considered inventions:
Ideas, games, photos, illustrations, videos, musical creations, and literary and scientific works can be protected by intellectual property, such as copyright.
In Spain, there are different laws for industrial property and intellectual property and the bodies in charge of their management also differ. Industrial property rights are registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, and intellectual property rights are registered at the Intellectual Property Registry.
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) is not competent to file lawsuits or prosecute alleged offenders ex officio.
If you believe that your industrial property rights have been infringed and you want to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court, we recommend that you consult a specialist lawyer, both in your country and in neighbouring countries. We recommend that you contact the Official Association of Industrial Property Agents (COAPI) for more information.
In addition, before taking legal action, you can request mediation or arbitration. The SPTO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are working together to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution Métodos in Industrial Property matters through the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
We are the only official body for registering patents, trademarks and designs in Spain.
An autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Industry,
Trade and Tourism, which promotes research, development and technology transfer.
We offer both free and value-added products and services to citizens.
Find out the latest news about the SPTO, industrial property and related events.