Copyright and Neighboring Rights were once limited to the protection of literary and artistic works according to The Bern Convention of 1886.

Most national systems and formalities to obtain Copyright protection were made obsolete by this convention.  The principle of applying the law of the protecting country (where acts take place against which protection is sought) leads to divergent approaches to copyright issues and may cause conflicts between laws.  The "subject matter" (GB: "subjects" of protection), may be artistic works in the traditional sense, industrial and computer-related designs, integrated circuits, computer software and related documentation or even business methods.  Furthermore, national laws of unfair competition can protect a work or other products from being copied.  So called "minimal originality" or "minimal requirement of creativity" or "individuality" are criteria to obtain enforceable Copyright protection.  Such criteria vary considerably with the national policies and culture of a country.

To avoid misinterpretation, we always clarify specific questions using our network of international Associates prior to giving legal advice concerning Copyright in foreign countries.

The exclusivity of Copyright extends for the life of the creator and then 70 years after his death. This demands a high degree of originality and has to limit the scope of protection to serve public interest.
Copyright 2003 by PPS Polyvalent Patent Services Ltd., Geroldswil/Switzerland
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