A patent is a temporary, exclusive right of prohibition to an invention (usually for 20 years). This patent is announced and granted when three criteria are met: novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.


A trademark is a sign that can be used for a business, person, product or service to distinguish itself or him/herself on the market. A trademark is a right to which the first-to-file principle applies. The first applicant is the rights holder for clearly defined activities within a given region. A trademark can be extended indefinitely.


Design rights offer designers or owners the possibility to protect the distinctive design of a product for a defined period of time (usually 25 years). In this sense, aesthetics lead to exclusivity.


A work is protected by copyright on the condition that it is the result of a creative activity. The work must be expressed in a concrete form: a mere idea is not sufficient. The author has not followed an obvious route, with the result that the work displays originality. Copyright usually applies for 70 years after the author’s death.