What is copyright?

Copyright is the right which initially belongs to a creator of an original work. Copyright gives the creator of such a work exclusive rights to it.

What does copyright protect?

Copyright protects the following works:

Scientific works
They are works of scientific nature irrespective of their value or standard as scientific works.

Literary works
Irrespective of its literary value or standard literary works include fiction, novels, poems, plays, stage directions, scenarios for cinematography films, broadcasts, treatises, historical works, biographies, essays, articles, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, correspondence, memoranda, lectures, speeches, computer software.

Musical works
Copyright protects a musical work irrespective of its musical value or standard.

Artistic works
Irrespective of their artistic value or standard artistic works are paintings, drawings, works of metallography, lithographs, wood engravings, engravings, printing works, geographical maps, sketches, graphs, sculptural works, photographs, works of architecture.

Cinematography films, audiovisual productions, motion pictures, with or no sound.

Databases are organized collections of works, data or independent elements. They are arranged systematically or in a methodological way, today in digital form, and they are accessible by means of electronic devices or other ways or means.

Sound recordings

Radio and television broadcasts

Publishing of previously unpublished works
When copyright expires the individual that published legally a previously unpublished work becomes holder of the copyright and is thus entitled to all the intellectual property rights and benefits of the creator.

How is copyright protected in Cyprus?

Copyright is created automatically. In Cyprus as well as in the European Union and in most countries there is no process of registering and certifying copyright. In case of infringement of copyright, however, many are the ways which can witness and evidence in court the ownership of copyright.

How a work is protected by copyright?

A work to be copyrighted must be original and produced in tangible and fixed form. Concepts, ideas, principles and theories that have not been set down in tangible and fixed form cannot be copyrighted. In Cyprus according to the existing legislation a work to be considered as original must be the exclusive spiritual outcome of the creator himself produced in tangible and fixed form.

What are the rights of a copyright holder?

The copyright holder has the exclusive rights of reproducing, advertising, selling, leasing, lending, transmitting, translating, revising and presenting to the public domain the whole of the work or part of it of which he/she owns the copyright.

When does copyright expire?

Though copyright has a variety of lengths in different jurisdictions in most countries and in Cyprus copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death.

How is copyright transferred?

Transfers of copyright, or of aspects of it, are always recorded in writing the copyright being considered as movable property. A copyright holder may not transfer all rights completely. Transfers of copyright of a work as a whole or of a part of it from one party to another may be for a specified period of time and/or for a particular region.


What is a trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive sign consisting of words and/or pictures used to identify the products or services of a particular producer or enterprise from those of others.

What are the rights of a trademark holder?

Upon registration of a trademark the holder in favour of whom the trademark has been registered has the right to forbid a third party from using an identical trademark for goods or services similar to those for which the trademark in question has been registered. Furthermore, the holder has the right to forbid a third party from using both a trademark that due to its strong similarity with the registered trademark is likely to confuse or deceive the public, and every trademark that takes advantage of the distinctive character or the fame of the registered trademark.

What is the process of a trademark registration in Cyprus?

First, the would-be holder of a trademark should authorize a lawyer to work towards the obtaining of the trademark, and second all required applications should be filled-in. Each application refers only to a specific class of products or services.

How can I know the classes of products and services which I intend to protect under the trademark of which I will be the holder?

Cyprus follows the existing international practice implementing the Nice classification. In case you do not know and/or you are not entirely sure about what class or classes of products or services you want to apply for, we put ourselves at your disposal so as to be of the greatest help towards achieving what you have defined as your goal.

Which is the most important element a trademark should own?

A trademark to be registered should have a distinctive character. Thus two given principles are maintained:

  • A trademark to be registered must bear no similarity to any trademark that has already been registered,  and
  • It should not be descriptive of either the products or the services designed to be protected by this trademark.

Is there a way by which I can detect whether the trademark I intend to apply for registering is similar to and/or is identical with an already registered trademark?

We suggest that you always check via your lawyer whether the trademark you want to apply for registering is either similar to and/or identical with an already registered trademark. If you want to carry out the procedure by yourself you will find out that electronic means such as the Internet can be very useful to your search; however, we suggest that you first make an inquiry at the Office of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.

Is a trademark registered in Cyprus protected in other jurisdictions?

A trademark registered in Cyprus is protected in Cyprus jurisdiction only. Anyone that holds a trademark registered in Cyprus can apply for registration of this very trademark to all country members of the Madrid Union (more than 60 countries) as Cyprus is a member of the Madrid Agreement and The Madrid Protocol.

How can the trademark of which I am the holder be registered in other countries?

There are two procedures to have a trademark registered in other countries:

  • First, an application for registration of a trademark is filed with the Trademarks Office of the European Union, and if granted, the trademark is valid in all the member states of the European Union. This procedure lasts 6 (six) months.  It is not necessary to have the trademark registered in Cyprus. There is a risk, however, in this procedure.  If an application for a trademark to be registered in one member state of the EU fails, then this failure is applicable in all member states of the EU.
  • Application for the registration of a trademark can be filed with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) through the system of international registration of marks administered by WIPO. An international application, however, must be filed first with the appropriate national trademark office. If registration procedure is either not accepted or registration not granted by a country an international application can proceed with the remaining countries selected in the application.

How long does it take the registration procedure of a trademark in Cyprus?

If there are no problems involved during the consideration of an application for the registration of a trademark, the overall procedure lasts 8-10 months from the date the application has been filed until the final stage of the issue of the registration certificate.

What is the duration of protection of a trademark in Cyprus and internationally?

The registration of a trademark in Cyprus lasts 7 years from the date of filing of the application and can be renewed for uninterrupted periods of 14 years.

The registration of a Community and an international trademark (Madrid procedure) lasts 10 years from the date of filing of the application and can be renewed for uninterrupted periods of 10 years.

Is there a possibility to change trademark ownership in Cyprus?

Even after an application for registering a trademark has been filed it is still possible to file a new application for changing ownership.

In what ways a registered trademark is infringed?

Usually a registered trademark is infringed when an identical trademark is used. Moreover, a registered trademark is infringed when the products and/or services identified by a trademark under consideration are either identical with or similar to the products and/or services of a registered trademark.

As a general principle a trademark filed with a national or international trademarks office  for registration must be distinctive so that consumers distinguish it as identifying a particular product, as well as from other trademarks identifying other products.


What is a patent?

A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made (IPO).

According to Cyprus law an invention to be granted a patent must be new, involve inventive step and must be susceptible of industrial application.

An invention to be new must not be part of prior technique.

An invention to involve inventive step must not be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject.

An invention to be susceptible of industrial application must be capable of being made or used in any sector of industry.

What are the steps for applying for a patent in Cyprus?

An application for a patent is made on a specific form which when filled in is filed with the Registrar of Copyright, Patents and Trademarks. An application for a patent should include applicant’s request to be granted a patent, description of the invention (including any drawings), a set of claims defining the invention and an abstract summarizing the technical features of the invention.

If you still have a question or if you feel you want further clarification on specific issues, please contact us on info@ipcyprus.com