Recent studies have shown an increasing trend in the registration of intellectual property among both Maltese sole traders and companies. All computer programmers and engineers are encouraged to register their work with the Maltese Trademark Office. In light of the development of the gaming and software industries in Malta, more and more companies have started to register their work as intellectual property.
The most common ground for registering intellectual property rights these days, for Maltese companies particularly, is a better protection of their investment and resulted work. IT companies in Malta have set the trend in intellectual property registration. Sole traders, such as photographs, architects and artists also register their work as trademarks or copyright with the Malta Trademark Office.
The registration of intellectual property rights provides protection to the registrant by not allowing third parties to use the registrant’s work without their permission. In return of a fee, many Maltese companies and ordinary citizens apply for a license that grants them exclusive rights over the created work.
Considering Malta is an EU member state, companies and other parties interested in protecting their intellectual property may also apply for a license with the Community Trademark Office. This way, the registrant will have his or her rights recognized throughout the European Union.
Among the reasons for intellectual property registration is also taxation. The taxes levied for the use of intellectual property are called royalties and benefit from tax reduction or exemptions in Malta. Local companies may register their intellectual property rights in group assets through separate legal persons for enhanced protection and a favorable tax regime.
According to the Maltese legislation, one can register the following intellectual property rights:
- industrial designs,
- trade secrets.
Patents and industrial design registration is very popular among companies in the technological industry in Malta. Trademark registration is also used by marketing companies in order to protect their brand and reputation. Trade secrets have become popular in the last years due to the competition between companies that feel pressured to protect sensitive information.
For details about the legislation on the protection of intellectual property rights, you may contact our Maltese law firm.