The Intellectual Property Review Malta

Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi authors the Malta Chapter of the Intellectual Property Review

Dr. Maria Chetcuti Cauchi | Published on 12 Sep 2016

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Chetcuti Cauchi authored the Malta Chapter of the Intellectual Property Review, 5th Edition. The Intellectual Property Review was published in the UK by Law Business Research Ltd in May 2016 by publisher Gideon Roberton.

Our senior Partner Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi, an intellectual property specialist who heads the Intellectual Property and eGaming & Technology Practice groups of the firm, has prepared Malta’s chapter for this edition.

The Intellectual Property Review draws expertise from leading practitioners from different countries in order to create a comprehensive guide which outlines the various modes of protection available for Intellectual property (IP) under the legislative framework of each respective jurisdiction, as well as significant recent developments which took place in the sphere of IP law, a sphere which Robert L. Baechtold, the Editor of the review, referred to as ‘the lifeblood of all businesses’.

The Review is divided into five main sections which are further subdivided, thus offering a highly meticulous manual on all current IP legislation and issues.

Forms of Intellectual Property

The chapter begins by outlining the general background of IP Law in Malta and the various International conventions and agreements which Malta is a party to. Delving into the forms of IP which are available in Malta, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi outlines four main forms of IP; patents, designs, copyright and trademark.

Recent Developments

In the past years, Malta has seen a number of developments in the IP field. After a quick legislative background and historical analysis, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi outlines a number of developments.

  • The Industrial Property Registration Directive – confers regional or international protection, as well as national protection.
  • Intellectual Property Rights (Cross-Border Measures) Act – this act provides for the importation into Malta and the exportation and re-exportation from Malta, of goods in contravention of IP rights.
  • The Patents Tribunal – following a major revamp of the Patents and Designs Act, a Patents Tribunal was established which has the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine claims relating to patent infringement and revocation and actions related thereto.
  • ‘Making Malta an IP hub’ project – as the name implies, this project is aimed at tackling certain matters in order to explore Malta’s potential as a leading IP centre. The project, which is still ongoing, proposes the consolidation of Malta’s various IP laws into one code.

Obtaining Protection

In this section, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi explores what is patentable under Maltese IP laws and the requirements which one needs to be aware of, such as special disclosure and filing requirements. Moreover, this section outlines the duration of Malta’s patent protection and the duration of the grace period for renewal.

Enforcement of Rights

In cases where a party feels that his or her IP rights have been breached, this section covers the course of action to be taken by the IP right holder. Dr Chetcuti Cauchi delineates the possible venues for enforcement, the requirements for jurisdiction and venue, the obtainment of relevant evidence of infringement, the trial decision maker, the structure of the trial, infringement, time to first-level decision, remedies, appellate review, alternatives to litigation and legal costs.

Trends and Outlooks

Focusing on the ‘Making Malta an IP hub’ project, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi emphasises that this project, which will bring together all IP laws applicable in Malta under one solid legislative framework, will attract more investors to our shores as it provides proprietors with more inventive ways on how to best exploit their IP rights, thus raising capita, and give them further certainty and peace of mind in relation to the property rights of intangible assets.

Dr Chetcuti Cauchi also highlightes Malta’s special relationship with China in the field of IP through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in 2015, promoting an exchange of information and good practices on IP.

Finally, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi predicts that in view of Malta’s efforts to strengthen its laws for the creative industries and the initiatives which are being proposed, along with sound corporate and tax laws, Malta will not only continue to reinforce its position as a centre for excellence for creative industries, but aims to take on a more developed leading role. 

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