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What is industrial property and what can be protected?

Industrial property enables exclusive rights to be obtained over certain intangible creations that are protected as true property rights.

In Spain there are several types of industrial property right:

- Industrial Designs: these protect the external appearance of products

- Trademarks and Trade Names (Distinctive Signs): these protect the combination of graphic and/or denominative elements that help distinguish products and services on the market from other similar ones offered by other economic agents.

- Patents and utility models: these protect inventions consisting of products and procedures which are susceptible to reproduction and/or use for industrial purposes

- Topographies of semiconductors: these protect the (diagram of) pathways of the different layers and elements making up an integrated circuit, their three-dimensional arrangement and their interconnections, that is, what constitutes its "topography".

There are pieces of legislation that apply to each of these rights and these can be found in the “Regulations” section of the web page (http://www.oepm.es/es/propiedad_industrial/Normativa/)

Industrial property rights enable the holder to decide who can use them and how.

These rights are granted through a procedure carried out by the competent organisation (in Spain this is the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office) and the protection they provide covers the whole country.

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