Registro de la Propiedad Intelectual y Derechos de Autor

Registration of Intellectual Property and Copyrights

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This discipline is integrated by rights of a moral and proprietary nature, which attribute to the author the full exercise thereof and the exclusive right to the exploitation and dissemination of the work.

All original literary, artistic or scientific creations, expressed by any means or medium, tangible or intangible, currently known or to be invented in the future, are considered to be INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.


The rocketing implementation of New Technologies in everyday life has directly affected COPYRIGHTS (private copies, internet piracy, etc.), which subjects this discipline to constant legislative change, both in Spain and on a European and international level

It is therefore necessary to find a legal framework that can balance society’s needs for information and protection for creators and their intellectual works.


  • Advice, registration and protection of INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY rights: Inclusion in the Register (RPTI) and administrative and private procedures concerning your rights.
  • Comprehensive advice on COPYRIGHTS and related rights: moral and exploitation rights for: artists, writers, designers, producers, publishers, content creators in general and all types of technological companies.
  • Advice on the protection of Software, computer programs, apps, etc.
  • Advice on alternative protection strategies for multimedia, audiovisual, literary and graphic works.
  • Advice on the protection of content housed in blogs, digital magazines, websites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.


  • The protection of creations and advice to companies on the use of the works of others, performed by their own workforce.
  • The preparation of agreements for the transfer of the exploitation rights of works and licences.
  • The legal defence of intellectual property rights and similar (Copyrights, literary creations, musical compositions, software, photography, sculpture, architecture, etc.)
  • Legal proceedings, both criminal and civil, for the infringement of rights (piracy, Customs duties, etc.)
  • Proceedings and formalities to obtain LEGAL DEPOSITORY numbers.

FAQs on Intellectual Property

What rights does a copyright provide?

The original creators of works protected by copyright and their inheritors enjoy certain basic rights. They hold the exclusive right to use or to authorise third parties to use the work under conditions agreed by common agreement. The creator of a work can prohibit or authorise:

  • its reproduction in different ways, such as publishing in print or audio recording;
  • its public performance or interpretation, e.g. in a theatre play or musical;
  • its recording, e.g. on compact discs, cassettes or videotape;
  • its broadcasting by radio, cable or satellite;
  • Its translation into other languages, or its adaptation, as in the case of a novel adapted for a screenplay.

Many creative works protected by copyright require considerable distribution, communication and financial investment to be disseminated (for example, publications, audio recordings and movies); therefore, the creators usually sell the rights of their works to individuals or companies that are more able to market their works, for a sum of money. These sums usually depend on the real use to be made of the works, and are called royalties.

These proprietary rights have a duration, set out in the relevant Treaties of the WIPO, of 50 years subsequent to the death of the author. Different national legislations may establish longer terms. This term of protection enables both the creators and their inheritors to enjoy financial gain from the work for a reasonable period of time. Protection by copyright also includes moral rights corresponding to the right to claim authorship of a work and the right to oppose modifications thereto which might violate the creator’s reputation.

The creator, or the owner of the copyright of a work, can exercise his rights by administrative appeals and in court, for example demanding the search of a premises to prove that illicitly-produced, that is, plagiarised material related to the work protected is manufactured or stored therein. The owner of the copyright can obtain a court order to halt said activities and apply for compensation for loss of financial reward and recognition.

Does a copyright protect ideas, methods and concepts?

Copyright protection covers only the expressions, not the ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts in themselves. This principle is confirmed in the Trade-Related International Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty.

What are the related rights to a copyright?

Over the last 50 years, the scope of related rights to copyrights has increased rapidly. These related rights have been developed with regard to the works protected by copyright, and grant similar rights, although frequently more limited and with lesser duration, to:

  • the performing or interpreting artists (such as actors and musicians) with regard to their performances or interpretations;
  • the producers of audio recordings (e.g. recordings on cassettes and compact discs) with regard to their recordings;
  • the broadcasting bodies with regard to their radio and television programmes.

Why is a copyright protected?

The copyright and related rights are essential for human creativity, as they offer the authors incentives in the form of recognition and reasonable financial reward. This copyright system guarantees creators the dissemination of their works without fear of unauthorised copying or piracy. In turn, this contributes to facilitating access to, and intensifying the enjoyment of, culture, knowledge and entertainment throughout the world.

Is it necessary to register to be protected?

The copyright as such does not depend on any official procedure. It is considered that due to its mere existence, any work created is protected by copyright. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works lays down that literary and artistic works are protected without any formalities in the signatory countries of said Convention. Consequently, the WIPO does not provide any system for the registration of copyrights. However, many countries have a national copyright office and some national legislations allow the registration of works, for example, for the purpose of identifying and distinguishing the titles of the works. In some countries, registration can also act as indisputable proof before a court of law in the event of disputes concerning copyrights.

How are copyrights and related rights protected on the internet?

In 1996, two treaties were reached within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. One of these, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) concerns the protection of the authors of literary and artistic works such as manuscripts, computer programs, original databases, musical compositions, audiovisual works, works of art and photographs. The other, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), protects certain “related rights” (that is, rights related to the copyright), namely, according to the WPPT, the rights of performing or interpreting artists and of the phonogram producers. The aim of the two Treaties is to update and complete the main WIPO treaties on copyrights and related rights, mainly to adapt to new occurrences arising in the market and to the evolution of technologies. Since the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention were approved or were last revised, over a quarter of a century ago, new types of works, new markets and new methods of use and dissemination have arisen. Among other things, both the WCT and the WPPT respond to the challenges posed by current digital technologies, in particular the dissemination of protected material via digital networks such as the Internet. For this reason, they are frequently called the “Internet Treaties”. Both treaties require countries to provide a framework of basic rights that enable creators to control the different forms of use and enjoyment of their creations by third parties, or to receive compensation for the same. The most important part is that the Treaties assure the owners of said rights that they will continue to be suitably and effectively protected when their works are disseminated via new technologies and communication systems, such as the Internet. The Treaties therefore clarify that the existing rights continue to apply in the digital environment. They also create new rights that apply to the environment of the Web. To maintain a fair balance between the interests of the owners of the rights and those of the public in general, the Treaties also clarify that countries enjoy considerable flexibility when establishing exceptions or limits to the rights applicable in the digital environment. Should the appropriate circumstances arise, a country may allow exceptions for uses considered to be in the public interest, e.g. for educational or not-for-profit research purposes. The Treaties also require countries to provide not only the rights in themselves, but also two types of technological adjuncts to the rights. These are intended to ensure that right owners can effectively use technology to protect their rights and to license their works online. The first of these technological adjuncts, known as the “anti-circumvention” provision, tackles the problem of “hacking”, requiring countries to provide adequate legal protection and effective remedies against the circumvention of technological measures (such as encryption) used by copyright owners to protect their rights. The second type safeguards the reliability and integrity of the online marketplace by requiring countries to prohibit the deliberate alteration or deletion of “electronic rights management information”: that is, information which accompanies any protected material, and which identifies the work, its author, performer, or owner, and the terms and conditions for its use. The WCT entered into force on 6 March 2002. The date of entry into force of the WPPT was 20 May 2002. Several countries have applied the dispositions of the two Treaties to their national legislation. The WIPO database “Collection of Laws for Electronic Access” (CLEA) can be consulted to find out the legislation concerning copyrights in a large number of countries.

Which countries are signatories of the Internet Treaties (WIPO Copyright Treaty [WCT] and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty [WPPT])?

The list of Contracting Parties of the treaties administered by the WIPO is available at: /treaties/es/ip/index.html.

How can I get permission to use another person’s work and other protected material?

You can contact the copyright owner. For certain types of works and other protected subject matter, you can get permission from a collective management organisation. Collective management organisations license the use of works and other subject matter that are protected by copyright and related rights whenever it is impractical for copyright owners to act individually. There are several international non-governmental organisations that link together national collective management organisations.

To what extent can I use another person’s work without permission?

Most national legislations on copyrights allow the use of certain parts of a work, including quotes, for purposes such as journalistic information and private, personal use. For further information, you can consult the national information available from the “Collection of Laws for Electronic Access” (CLEA).

Are computer programs protected by copyright?

In the 1970s and 1980s there were considerable debates as to whether computer programs should be protected by the patent system, the copyright system or a sui generis system. As a result of these debates, a generally accepted principle was reached, whereby the computer programs would be protected by copyright, while the equipment using computer programs or inventions related to this type of program would be protected by patent. The copyright and the patent right offer different types of protection. Copyright protection covers only the expressions, not the ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts in themselves, while a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is the product or process that provides a new way to do something or a new technical solution to a problem. In the signatory countries of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention), protection by copyright does not require any formalities; this meaning that the protection does not depend on compliance with any formalities, such as registration or the deposition of copies. A patent is usually granted subsequent to a governmental body performing an entire examination procedure. The protection of computer programs by copyright exists in most countries and has been harmonised by international treaties to that effect. The law relating to the patentability of computer programs is still not harmonised internationally, although it has been recognised in some countries, while others have preferred approaches that recognise inventions assisted by computer software. In view of the complexity of these matters, we advise you to contact a practising lawyer who is specialised in intellectual property, or to contact the intellectual property offices in the countries where you desire protection. You can find a list of URLs and a directory of Spanish national and regional intellectual property offices on our website.

Are television formats protected by copyright?

Broadcasting companies are protected as owners of related rights by virtue of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (Rome Convention). The content of the broadcasts as such, as opposed to the signals that are broadcast, can also be protected by copyright and related rights, depending on the national legislation. Television formats, however, have not been discussed at the WIPO as being the object of a separate international protection.

Are characters protected by copyright?

A character might be protected by copyright if it is an original expression of the author thereof. The marketing of items such as toys, interactive games, books and clothing that portray characters can also be protected by intellectual property rights in certain circumstances, mainly copyright and trademarks, along with other areas of law. See the WIPO report on the merchandising of characters.

Are names, titles, slogans or logos protected by copyright?

Copyright protection can be granted to titles, slogans or logos, depending on the extent to which their authorship can be proven. In most cases, copyright does not protect names.

What is the rule concerning copyright and related rights in my country?

While in some countries treaties are applied automatically, meaning that their dispositions can be applied directly as part of the law, in general copyright and related rights are contemplated in the national legislation of each country. International treaties link different national laws by ensuring that at least a minimum level of rights will be granted to creators under each national law. The treaties in themselves do not grant rights, but rather require the signatory countries thereof to grant at least a series of specific rights on a non-discriminatory basis. The legislation concerning copyright in a large number of countries may be found in the WIPO database entitled “Collection of Laws for Electronic Access” (CLEA). For further information, the national copyright administrations can also be consulted.

I have a problem with my copyright. Can you give me legal advice?

WIPO is an intergovernmental organisation, which administers a number of international treaties in the field of intellectual property, and may, at the request thereof, advise the various governments. However, the mandate of WIPO does not include the giving of legal advice to private individuals or to non-governmental bodies or entities. For advice concerning specific matters, we recommend that you consult a practising lawyer who specialises in intellectual property.

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