Intellectual property falls under the regulations of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Justice in Latvia. The Ministry of Justice regulates the Copyright Law and neighboring rights. The Ministry of Justice supervises the Patent Office in Latvia. The Administrative Code and Criminal Law in Latvia have been updated and now include penalties for intellectual property violations.
The copyright law in Latvia
The Copyright Law in Latvia was renewed in 2000 and establishes the rules that define what copyrights are and who may benefit from copyright protection. The Copyright Law encompasses regulations in accordance to the Berne Convention, the Rome Convention for Protection of Performers and EU Directives.
Copyright is defined for artistic work, such as literature and also for scientific work. The copyright protection is valid for 70 years in Latvia. According to the Copyright Law, in Latvia there is no necessity to register any proof of proprietorship of copyright or any other evidence.
Copyright in Latvia provides moral and economic rights to its owner. The moral rights give credit to the author as a creator of the work and the right of having the author’s name or pseudonym on copies or in public appearances of the work.
The economic rights confer the author the right to receive remuneration in case his or her work was created while exerting his or her duties during an employment relation, but if the author created the work as an assignment, the economic rights will belong to the employer, unless stipulated differently in a contract. However, the name of the author must appear in the work.
When used in educational purposes, copyright does not apply to certain works.
The Patent Law in Latvia
The Patent Law in Latvia was renewed in 2007 and leveled with the EU Directives. The new law now allows for international applications for patent to be filed in Latvia according to the EU regulations. The Patent Law grants the author moral rights that imply his recognition as an inventor of the patent and the right to renounce the ownership of the patent.
Another Latvian law on intellectual property is the law on scientific activity that was enabled in 2005 and grants intellectual property rights to an author that created a scientific work, unless the author waives his or her rights by contract.
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