Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

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The IPR in Latvia - Overview
The specificity of IPR in Latvia
Services
Institutions
Non-governmental organizations
Additional Information

The IPR in Latvia - Overview

The new "Copyright Law" (2000) clearly states the principles of copyrights, which is basis of the protection of copyrights. The law also defines who is the owner of copyrights, what copyrights refer to and the character of copyrights. The "Copyright Law" covers the bundle of rights defined in the Berne Convention, Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms, TRIPS Treaty, WIPO Treaties, and EU Directives. Copyrights refer to literary, scientific and artistic works; also to unfinished works, insignificant of the goal and value of the work or nature of its expression. It is important that there is no special registration or any other formality needed to verify copyrights. The term of protection of copyrights is being extended to 70 years.

The new “Patent Law” (2007) was harmonized the national patent provisions with EU Directives. The provisions of the law were also brought into compliance with the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (1973, with the revisions of 2000), that regulates filing of international applications and the extension of European patents, as well as harmonizes procedural provisions on patent applications. In order to provide wider range of means against infringers of IPR, amendments to all the Latvian special laws on IPR, as well as to the Civil Procedure Law, entered into force on 2007, resulting in the improvement of the procedural provisions on adjudication of intellectual property disputes.

Latvian Administrative Code and Criminal Law were amended and regulations on mechanism of penal sanctions in case of IPR infringement were implemented.

The specificity of IPR in Latvia

According to “Law on Scientific Activity” (2005):

A scientist has exclusive rights to the intellectual property that has been created as a result of his or her scientific activity, unless otherwise stated in a contract (Section 8, Paragraph 3);

If a scientist has been working on the basis of a contract, the contract shall determine his or her rights to the property created as a result of scientific activity. Property that has been created as a result of scientific activity financed from the State budget shall be the property of the State (Section 8, Paragraph 4);

According to „Copyright Law” (2000):

Proof of copyright ownership shall not require registration, special documentation for the work or observance of any other formalities (Section 2, Paragraph 3);

Authors or their successors in title may indicate their rights to a work by means of a copyright protection symbol, which shall be affixed in such a manner and in such a place so that it is clearly visible. Such a sign shall include three elements: the letter “C” within a circle, the name (designation) of the rightholder; and the year of first publication of the work (Section 2, Paragraph 4);

Copyright has the nature of moral and economic rights (Section 2, Paragraph 5);

The following shall not be protected by copyright ... ideas, methods, processes and mathematical concepts (Section 6, Clause 5);

If an author has created a work performing his or her duties in an employment relationship, the moral and economic rights to the work shall belong to the author, except in the case specified in Paragraph two of this Section. The economic rights of the author may be transferred, in accordance with a contract, to the employer (Section 12, Paragraph 1);

If a computer program has been created by an employee while performing a work assignment, all economic rights to the computer program so created shall belong to the employer, unless specified otherwise by contract (Section 12, Paragraph 2);

The author of a work has the inalienable moral rights of an author to the following:

        1) authorship – the right to be recognised as the author;
        4) name – the right to require his or her name to be appropriately indicated on all copies and at any public event associated with his or her work, or to require the use of a pseudonym or anonymity;

(excerpt from Section 14, Paragraph 1);

The economic rights of an author is different to computer program, a database and other types of the objects of copyright (section 15, Paragraphs 1-3) !

It being mandatory that the title and name of the author of the work are indicated ... , it is permitted to use communicated or published works or fragments of them in textbooks which are in conformity with educational standards, in radio and television broadcasts, in audio-visual works, in visual aids and the like, which are specially created and used in the face-to-face teaching and research process in educational and research institutions for non-commercial purposes to the extent justified by the purpose of their activity (section 21, Paragraphs 1).  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to computer programs (section 21, Paragraphs 2);

Copyright shall be in effect for the entire lifetime of an author and for 70 years after the death of an author, except for the cases predicted bu law (Section 36, Paragraphs 1);

According to „Patent Law” (2007):

The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor or his successor in title (Section 12, Paragraphs 1); 
If the invention has been jointly created by several persons, the rights to the patent shall belong to all of them, jointly (Section 12, Paragraphs 2);

The inventor shall have the entailed moral rights, whatever he is the applicant or the owner of a patent, to authorship – the right to be recognized as the inventor; to the author name - the right to be designated as the inventor in the patent application and in all documents and publications concerning the patenting of the invention or the right to waive these rights, asking in written form the Patent Office not to indicate his name (Section 14).

The right to a patent shall belong to the employer, if the invention, for which the patent application has been filed, has been devised by the employee, whose work-related duties involve: inventive activity; research activity, projecting, designing or arrangement of technological development (Section 15, Paragraphs 1);

If the work-related duties of the employee do not involve the conditions envisaged by Section 15, Paragraph 1, but relate to the field of professional activity of the employer, the rights to a patent shall belong to the inventor. In this case, the right to utilize the invention in the form of nonexclusive licenses shall belong to the employer without the right to transfer these licenses to other persons (Section 15, Paragraphs 2).

Services

Patent and Technology Library (http://www.patbib.gov.lv/).

The patent database of the European Patent Office - esp@cenet (http://ep.espacenet.com/) - the free of charge database, include information also about the Latvian patents.

Professional Patent Attorneys - list prepared by the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia - http://www.lrpv.lv/index.php?lang=EN&id=69.

Institutions

Ministry of Culture (http://www.km.gov.lv/) is the responsible institution for copyright and neighbouring rights in Latvia. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Division was established and acts since 2000 (http://www.km.gov.lv/en/sector/copyright.html). The main responsibilities are: drafting legislation and resolutions in the sphere of copyright and neighbouring rights, policy making, co-ordinating the activities of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations. Also Copyright Law provides that Ministry of Culture supervises collecting societies of Latvia.

Ministry of Interior (http://www.iem.gov.lv/) is responsible for inland activities regarding enforcement and Economic Police Bureau is responsible for actions which should be taken to enforce intellectual property rights.

Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia (under supervision of the Ministry of Justice) (http://www.lrpv.lv/) shall admit and examine applications for the legal protections of inventions, industrial designs and trademarks, grant patents and certificates of trademark registration. The Patent Office shall adopt regulations, advise legal entities and natural persons, compile and publish its official publication and cooperate with foreign and international organizations involved in the legal protection of industrial property. The Patent Office keeps the State Registers of Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks and Licence contracts, performs examination and keeps the Register of Professional Patent Attorneys. Industrial property information is open to access in the Official gazette "Patenti un preču zīmes" ("Patents and Trademarks"). The Official bulletin has been published since 1992.

Non-governmental organizations

Copyright and Communication Consultations Agency/ Latvian Copyright Agency (AKKA/LAA) (in Latvian !, http://www.akka-laa.lv/) is the largest collecting society in Latvia and represents more than 2000 Latvian authors, as well as the authors of foreign organizations mentioned above.

Business Software Alliance (BSA) Latvian committee (in Latvian !, http://www.bsa.lv/) is approved public organization, which aims are protection of legal software and fight against illegal use of software in Latvia

Additional Information

autornet - Latvian authors and its works (in Latvian !, http://www.autornet.lv/) - specalized portal for authors about copyright issues (in Latvian);

Inventions and Inventors of Latvia (http://izgudrojumi.lza.lv/) - Internet page about the most important inventions created in Latvia, the most outstanding inventors and about the patent system of Latvia;

Short History of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.lrpv.lv/index.php?lang=EN&id=11) - Internet page prepared by the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia.


If you need additional information or need personal assistance for particular case regarding the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), please use our HelpDesk or contact the EURAXESS Latvia Services Centre.

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Page last updated:26.09.2012