Intellectual property is a creation of the human intellect and protected by law. The Government of the Republic of Estonia has passed most of the international IP (Intellectual property) treaties.
Intellectual property includes copyright and its accompanying rights, inventions, industrial design, trademarks, geographical indications, trade secrets, plant breeders’ rights, domain names, appellations, integrated circuit layout design, and unfair competition.
Copyright is a type of intellectual property that grants the authors of literature, art, music, and scientific work the right to forbid others to use their creative work without permission. In general, other people can only use a creative work with the author’s permission.
Copyright is applied to an author’s original creative work that is tangible, expressed in an objective form or manner, and can be reproduced either directly or via some technical means. No official registration or other procedures are required for the work to become eligible for copyright. Copyright applies to both unpublished and published (for the general public) works. For other types of IP, official registration of the creative work is required to become eligible for protection by law.
Copyright only protects the form of the creation; it does not cover ideas and the actual content of the work. Therefore, copyright protects the manner in which the creation is expressed, not what is expressed. Originality and creativity during the process of creation are important criteria to qualify for copyright.
After creating the work, the author has moral rights and economic rights, which constitute the content of copyright. The creator of the work or the person to whom the rights have been transferred to through either assignment or licencing has a right to use the work in any way and can allow or prevent the use of the work by third parties. These rights may only be limited in the cases specified in the Copyright Act.