Industrial Property Lawyers
Criminal Defense Lawyers Specializing in Industrial Property Crimes
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Court: Court of Instruction
Complainant: Private Prosecution
Accusation: Industrial Property Crime
Industrial property crimes
Lawyers industrial property crime Barcelona
Industrial property is a person or company’s rights over an invention, creation, trademark, or design. Thanks to these rights, the owner can prohibit its use to others, control their interests and regulate its exploitation.
In other words, the owner of such an invention or trademark has the right to control everything about it, including its use by others.
The primary example of industrial property is patents, which are developed by one or several individuals, and they have the right to control its use and commercialization, being considered a crime, anything that infringes these rights.
Industrial property crime is typified in articles 273 to 277 of the Penal Code and included in the crimes against the patrimony and the socioeconomic order.
It consists of manufacturing, importing, possessing, using, or introducing in the market products protected by the rights of the holder and knowing that they have already been registered as a patent or utility model. Provided that these conducts are carried out without the holder’s authorization and for commercial or industrial purposes.
This is a fraudulent offense since one of the requirements for imputing this offense is that the person responsible is aware that the product has already been registered. Despite this, the active subject uses said product commercially, infringing the rights imposed.
It is an activity crime, so it is not necessary to cause damage to the victim. The consummation occurs at the moment in which the accused breaches the regulations of the product or patent.
Protected legal rights in the crime against industrial property
Explained by our Attorneys' specialized intellectual property lawyers.
As mentioned, industrial property is part of the crimes against patrimony and socioeconomic order, so the protected legal property must be material or economic. Specifically, it protects the right of exclusive use or exploitation of patents or registered products.
For this crime to occur, the following requirements must exist:
- That the product is legally registered.
- That there is no consent from the owner.
- That the active subject is aware of the registration of the product.
- That the crime is carried out for a commercial or industrial purpose.
In this crime, the role of the active subject can be played by any person, even by the patent holder himself, if he infringes on what he has registered. Any individual can illegitimately exploit a product already patented by another person.
The passive subject of this crime is more limited since it can only be a person who holds a title to an exclusive right of exploitation, i.e., who has registered a trademark, patent, or design, either as inventor, assignee, or successor in title.
A person who has not directly registered a product, but has inherited the title, may also be considered a taxable person.
The taxpayer may also be a group of individuals.
Aggravated offense against industrial property
This crime may be aggravated when any of the following circumstances are present:
- When minors under eighteen years of age are used to commit the crime.
- When the economic benefit obtained, or that could have been obtained, is of particular relevance.
- If the person responsible for the crime belongs to an association or criminal organization destined to carry out this type of illegal activity.
- When the criminal act is of particular importance due to the value of the illicitly produced, marketed, or distributed product. Also, when the damage caused to the victim is especially relevant.
In these cases, the penalty imposed will be from two to six years of imprisonment, a fine of eighteen to thirty-six months, and a special disqualification from the profession for two to five years.
Difference between Intellectual and Industrial Property
As Intellectual Property attorneys, we have a deep knowledge of the law.
Industrial property protects creations related to the industry, such as products or manufacturing processes, which must be registered or patented through trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, or patents. Without this registration, there can be no industrial property crime.
Examples of industrial property titles are domain names, appellations of origin, trade names, image rights, privacy rights, honor rights, and technology transfer.
Intellectual property protects unique creations, not mass-produced or industrially produced, such as books, plays, music, works of art, computer programs, computer software, multimedia material, etc. This registration is unnecessary in intellectual property since it is usually given by the author’s name, which is known as the author’s rights.
Industrial property titles subject to legal protection
We are expert industrial property lawyers in Barcelona
For this crime to exist, there must be an industrial property title, that is to say, that the victim has patented or inherited a product, trademark, or design. Below, we show you the most frequent titles.
Patents are original inventions that have been registered; therefore, the holder has all the rights surrounding the patent. The product is patented to regulate its distribution, production, and marketing since, otherwise, anyone could copy the product and market it independently. Patent registration is done at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, OEPM.
Protection of utility models
Utility models are inventions made on an already patented product. That is to say, it is not a new product but a modification or application given to it. There is no patent plagiarism in this case since it is simply a modification.
Industrial designs protect the external appearance of products to be mass-produced. Both purely ornamental and functional designs are registered when the appearance characteristics are novel and unique.
Trademarks and trade names
Trademarks and trade names are also registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office so the holder has complete control of all its rights. Any other person using such trademarks or trade names without the author’s consent will commit an industrial property crime.
The topography of a semiconductor refers to the different layers, structure, and arrangement of the elements that make up an integrated circuit and enable its operation.
Semiconductor topographies are becoming more and more frequent due to the tremendous technological advances of today. It is a mode of industrial protection of integrated electronic circuits, such as chips or microprocessors.
Industrial property is infringed in any of these cases since the rights imposed on a previously registered product, trademark, or design are violated.
Penalties for industrial property crime
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The primary type of this crime carries a penalty of one to four years of imprisonment and a fine of twelve to twenty-four months. However, the penalties will be considerably higher for the aggravated type.
If you are involved in an industrial property crime, contact the best criminal lawyers in Barcelona. Our lawyers are experts in industrial property law. Numerous cases of success in the courts of our country endorse our trajectory. We will fight to protect the interests of our clients and their companies.