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Do we need to protect our copyright?

November 22, 2022

Intellectual property (Copyright), belongs to the author by the mere fact of the creation of a literary, artistic, or scientific work. Copyright grants the author rights of a personal and patrimonial nature (moral and exploitation rights), which translate into the complete disposal of the work and the exclusive right to exploit it, with no other limitations than those established by Law [1].

To deserve this protection, the work must be original and reflect the author’s creative effort. Unlike other types of rights, such as industrial property rights (trademarks, patents, utility models and designs), copyright arises at the moment of the creation of the work, so that the author does not need to carry out any registration procedures. However, there are several simple and very useful tools available to strengthen and facilitate the protection of our intellectual assets and creations against possible plagiarism or misuse.

How to strengthen copyright

First of all, copyright can be registered in the General Register of Intellectual Property [2]. This registration is merely declaratory and not constitutive of the right. It provides the author with competent proof that, in the event of controversy or conflict over authorship, will reinforce our position to prove who the author is, to whom the exploitation rights correspond and the content of the work. With the registration, a presumption of authorship is generated, reserving the burden of proof. That means that it will be the third party who intends to dispute it who will have to prove his better right.


The registration of copyright in the Register entails the fulfilment of the established formalities and requirements, as well as the presentation of the required documentation on the author, the owner of the rights (which do not always coincide) and on the work [3]. The main advantage is the guarantee of the public and official nature of the Register. The cost of the procedure is low [4] and once the registration has been made, there is no need for renewal or subsequent payments during the whole period of validity of the rights.

Another way to consider, depending on the intended internationality of the work, is the registration of the copyright with the United States Copyright Office, known as “USCO”.

Other options for protecting copyright

In parallel to these registers other tools serve the same purpose of accrediting the existence and ownership of our works and creations. The most traditional is the notarial deposit of the work, which can be accompanied by a Deed of Manifestations through which we can record the details about the authorship and the work that we deem appropriate. This option avoids the formalities and requirements of registration but, on the downside, the costs are higher and the deposit is granted for a specific period of time.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) launched the Wipo-Proof service in 2020, which, as we mentioned then, was created to act as a digital notary to certify the existence of any file on a specific date and time. This service is currently under review and is partially suspended in terms of issuing digital tokens. If you want to read more about it click here.

Finally, we also have several alternatives in the private sphere that allow the digital registration of any creation with international validity and on a permanent basis.

At Ponti & Partners, we will help you to know which option is best for you in each case. You can contact us by telephone on 934 87 49 36 or by email at ponti@ponti.pro

[1]  Articles 31 to 40a of the IPL

[2]  Articles 144 and 145 LPI and RD 281/2003, of 7 March 2003.

[3] In the case of the Registre de Catalunya, these requirements can be found at https://cultura.gencat.cat/ca/departament/estructura_i_adreces/organismes/rpi/serveis/procediment_per_fer_un_registre/.

[4] The fee does not exceed 14 euros

Article by Cristina Margalef

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