Protect your intangible assets when trading with other countries

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Information about how to protect your intellectual property by means of patent, trademark protection, design protection and copyright.

An international patent application (PCT application) can give you protection in about 150 countries, including Sweden. 

If your market is in Europe, you can apply for a patent through the European Patent Office, (EPO). They can grant patents in more than 30 countries. 

If you know that your market only consists of a small number of countries, you can apply directly to the patent authorities in those countries. 

You can protect your trademark across the EU by submitting a trademark application to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). 

You can register an international trademark via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). You can then choose to protect your trademark in 97 countries and intergovernmental organisations (such as the EU and Benelux). Your international application is based on your application to PRV or EUIPO. You must therefore start by submitting your application to one of them. 

You can apply for international design protection in the following ways: 

You can also obtain limited design protection via the EU’s Community Design Regulation. Protection takes effect without you having to do anything other than publish your design, and it is only valid for three years. 

Copyright arises automatically when you create a piece of work, such as a text, piece of music or a film. 

Piracy can affect any company that produces and sells goods. If you as an entrepreneur have registered intellectual property rights, you should, for preventative purposes, submit an application for action to Swedish Customs. Using the information you submit, customs can more easily identify and stop suspected pirate copies being imported, exported or passing through the country. 

If you have previously applied for a patent, trademark or design in Sweden, you can request priority if you apply in another country within a certain time. You will then receive the same application date on your international application as on your Swedish one. For patents, your international application must have been received within 12 months, and for trademarks and designs within six months. 

Priority for patents at PRV 
International trade mark application at PRV 
International application for design at PRV 

The European Commission’s IPR Helpdesk initiative can give you advice about how best to protect and monitor your intellectual property rights in different markets around the world. The advice is free of charge for small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU. 

PRV is Sweden’s government agency for intellectual property matters. You can contact Customer Support at PRV if you have questions about trade marks, patents, designs and copyright. 

Phone: 08-782 28 00 

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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