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Patents seek to protect inventions which are:

  • a novelty;
  • involve an inventive step; and
  • are susceptible to industrial application.

Discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, aesthetic creations, presentation of information and inventions the exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality are not considered to be inventions and as such cannot be patented.

Rights offered by a Patent

A patent empowers the holder to prevent third parties from, without his/her authorisation;

  • making use of the intellectual property which is the subject-matter of the patent;
  • reselling the intellectual property which is the subject-matter of the patent or other products of an obvious similar characteristic; and
  • inducing third parties to perform any of these acts.

Transfers of Patents

Any change in the ownership of a patent shall be recorded in the patent register on payment of the prescribed fee. The new proprietor of the application or patent shall be entitled to institute any legal proceedings concerning the patent only if he has been recorded in the patent register as the new proprietor.

Taxation Matters Specific to Patents

Transfers of Patents are considered to be a capital transfer and as such if a capital gain is realised this is taxable in full. In addition, costs of a capital nature on a patent can be deducted for tax purposes over the useful life of the patent. In Malta, the term of a patent shall be 20 years from the filing date of the application.

Validity of patents in Malta

A European patent shall be equivalent to a Malta registered application in Malta and as a result be granted the same rights by the Maltese IP Office.