Our firm’s highly specialised IP practice offers the full range of IP and related services, and boasts an extensive list of high-calibre global clients, including top luxury brand owners, pharmaceutical companies, international franchise systems, and some of the world’s leading manufacturers for a wide range of products. With over 30 years experience in this field, our firm is widely acknowledged for maintaining one of Cyprus’ leading IP departments, and is consistently ranked highly in the major international legal directories. The Legal 500 (2011) refers to the practice as ‘excellent in all aspects’ and one of ‘significant gravitas’.
At Dr. K. Chrysostomides & Co LLC, we understand the challenges of IP protection and our dedicated team of IP specialists provides unique solutions for even the most complex intellectual property matters. Among the noteworthy cases successfully handled by our IP department, was the defence of an opposition action which had been lodged before the Registrar of Trade Marks by McDonald’s Corporation of U.S.A. (the world famous franchise chain of fast food restaurants), against the extension to Cyprus of International Trade Mark “MacCoffee & Eagle Device”, which belonged to our clients Future Enterprises PTE Ltd. The decision of the Registrar of Trade Marks was upheld by a single Judge of the Supreme Court.
Further, on the 20th July, 2012, the Supreme Court of Cyprus handed down its judgment in Administrative Recourse no. 275/2011 which had been filed by our Firm against the Registrar of Patents on behalf of its client, Bayer Schering Pharma AG (“Bayer”). In the legal proceedings in question, which touched upon some important issues in the processing of annuities at the Patent Registry, Bayer challenged the decision of our Registrar of Patents to remove one of its important patents from the Patent Register. Our Firm argued that the Registrar’s act of removing Bayer’s patent from the Register was arbitrary, illegal and contrary to established principles of Administrative Law, and was successful. The Registrar's act was therefore declared null and void and of no effect whatsoever. The Registrar of Patents has now filed an Appeal against this decision.
The "IP Box"
On 21 June 2012 the House of Parliament approved an amendment to the Income Tax Law, No. 118 of 2002 which relates to the tax regime of intellectual property assets. This development is of particular interest to IP owners. In accordance with the new article 9(1)(e), which is retrospectively effective from 1 January 2012, expenses for the acquisition or development of intellectual property assets (patents, trademarks, copyrights etc.) are tax allowable. The expense is allocated evenly in five years, starting from the year of acquisition or development of the intellectual property asset.
In addition, 80% of the profit from use of the asset (i.e. royalties) or from sale of the asset, after the deduction of the expenses to acquire or develop the asset, is deemed to be an expense and it is exempt from taxation. Therefore, only 20% of the royalties or proceeds from the sale of an intellectual property asset are taxable.
In order to make use of these new provisions, the intellectual property asset must be recognized as an asset in the balance sheet of the Cyprus company.
Trade Marks and Branding
Our team deals with brand management strategies, enforcement, prosecution and registrations in the Cyprus Trade Marks Registry, OHIM and WIPO. Our practice involves the regular handling of objections raised by the Cyprus Trade Marks Registry against international trade mark rights, extending to and designating Cyprus, and also in relation to objections raised against national trade mark filings. We also handle a significant amount of trade mark opposition work, including invalidity and cancellation actions for trade marks.
We advise on all commercial aspects involving brands, including licensing, franchising, and distribution agreements, as well as co-existence agreements. In addition, we provide all types of pre-registration and post-registration services, including trade mark searches and clearance reports, renewals and trade mark watch services.
Anti-counterfeit/ Parallel Imports
Our clients entrust us with the protection and enforcement of their IP rights in Cyprus, and appoint us as their Cyprus representatives for EU Community and national Customs’ anti-counterfeiting procedures. Our team regularly handles the seizure of counterfeit goods and illegal parallel imports. In the latter case, we work closely with the Cyprus Customs Authorities, with which we have excellent working relations. Our firm has recently joined a newly established coalition of EU leading law firms (CAPIP), aimed at assisting and supporting brand owners in protecting and enforcing their IP rights against counterfeit and pirated goods on a pan-European level.
We deal with the registration of Cyprus national patents and the validation of European Patents in Cyprus (including PCT (EP) patents and SPC applications), all forms of commercial exploitation of patents, patent litigation (including for the pharmaceutical and technology industries), renewals and payments of annuities of patents.
We provide a registration and renewal service for industrial designs, and regularly advise in respect of the protection of designs, as well as on all forms of commercial exploitation, licensing, distribution, and other commercial activities.
Our team advises and litigates in a wide range of copyright actions, and is highly experienced in complex cases in this area of IP. We have in the past represented successfully before the Cyprus Courts famous artists (painters, sculptors, actors) for violation of their moral rights and have also represented furniture designers for infringement of copyright in their furniture designs. We have also been involved in complex legal actions involving infringement of copyright in highly sophisticated software.
Our IP practice works closely with our firm’s highly skilled and experienced litigation department. Our litigation practice frequently advises and represents our clients before the Cyprus Courts in matters relating to the enforcement of their IP rights in Cyprus, including all necessary steps for obtaining interlocutory relief and other judicial remedies. The most frequent type of IP litigation with which our firm is involved is infringement of trade mark and passing off, infringement of copyright and allied rights and infringement of design rights.
Our members are active in professional Intellectual Property organizations, such as INTA and PTMG and frequently attend conferences and other meetings organized by the said organizations. The Department’s partners - Eleni Chrysostomides and Alexandros Georgiades – are among Cyprus’ leading IP lawyers, and are recognized for their outstanding work by the major international legal directories, such as PLCWhich Lawyer?, for example, which endorses both partners.
Our clients include:
Dreambox (Dream Property Gmbh)
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Kazantzakis Publications Ltd
La Chemise Lacoste SA
Make a Wish Foundation
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM studios).
Pernod Ricard (Chivas Brothers Ltd and Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd)
Philip Morris International S.A.
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
The Scotch Whisky Association
Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.