Monday, February 24, 2014

Foreign Investment and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Romania

Developing a solid business also involves some specific terms regarding the functions of the intellectual property apparatus. For every foreign investor coming to Romania becomes highly authoritative to understand the pertinence of such legal framework.

The importance of becoming fully aware of all direct effects of steady implementation of intellectual property regime, when developing any type of business, represents a key aspect for reaching optimal profits. Even if considered a secondary matter and generally seen as not such an important factor able to affect the overall coherent business development project, the protection of intellectual property rights is in fact strongly influencing the investment sector. As we are constantly providing legal assistance to investors in various fields we managed to technically grasp all subtle meanings of IPR area for sectors which directly rely on applying the intellectual property concepts (technology-active domains) but also for some different economic divisions such as brewing industry. Probably the most talked-about topic, at this level, relates to investors’ tendency to focus on projects involving distribution, ignoring the local production field if questions in connection to IPR functions are not properly handled and, most important, effectively answered. Our lawyers gathered the most significant law tools regulating this sector adding as well several factual cases exhibiting the relevance of accurately implementing the intellectual property notions.

In terms of copyrighting, the legal background regulating judicial principles in Romania is represented by Law 8/1996 which was constantly improved since present requirements for protective measures, in this respect, become more and more stringent as dictated by rapid development of various technological sectors. This particular legal framework covers issues related to scientific and artistic topics reaching as well notions particular for more specific areas such as the IT, architecture or audiovisual domain. Concepts regarding the trademarks registration and functions are handled by Law 84/1998. Protection of trademarks, in Romania, is regulated as well through the 1894 Madrid Agreement and stipulations within the Community Trademark System. Concepts regarding the registration of drawings and models and their protection are monitored through Law 129/1992. In our country, these are protected for a period of ten years and this term can be extended. Law 64/1991 covers matters concerning the registration procedures and functions of patents. The patent certificate is provided through the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM). All these legal frames of reference are frequently amended, as mentioned before, according to newly identified practicalities of this particular sector.

The legal background regulating matters of IPR becomes much more approachable when illustrated through common cases that explain the necessity for a solid juridical milieu. Quite a common situation is described by the importance of designing a highly functional legal basis for patent license agreements including different types of commercial agreements related to IPR concepts. Protection of trademarks and also infringement cases in this area are frequently encountered issues for a large range of domains considering the importance of a brand name and logo and the huge impact on the market. The fair use, the ownership of various technological products, the influence of internet capability on violating various intellectual property rights – all these are items which are repeatedly debated in legal matters. Another important fact concerning this sector regards certain vulnerabilities introduced by the disorientation of owners who fail to register their inventions, creations or other artistic approaches. For certain industries such as the IT area, pharmaceutical field, petroleum industry, etc, understating the proper use of the legal framework becomes fundamental, especially when involving research projects developed for identifying new technologies. Our main focus lies on the continuous effort to increase IPR awareness for our clients in order to request legal counseling whenever a situation requires such a fact. The IP department within our law firm is able to deliver solutions for an impressive variety of legal matters regarding intellectual property concepts. 

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