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19 September 2011
With respect to the question of whether a party can claim usucapion against the economic rights in another's work pursuant to the Civil Code, the Intellectual Property Office stated recently that, according to the Copyright Act, a 'work' means a creation in the literary, scientific, artistic or other academic field, and the author of a work enjoyed copyright upon completion of the work. Therefore, if the content of a work is original, it is protected under the Copyright Act upon completion of the work.
According to the code, the term 'usucapion' means the acquisition of a right or title to another's property by means of possessing that property for a prolonged period of time. The concept is intended to protect the existing order of long-term possession. However, the Copyright Act was enacted to protect authors' rights and interests in their works for the common good of society and in order to promote cultural development. Therefore, under the code, usucapion is not applicable mutatis mutandis (ie, with the necessary changes) to the economic rights in a work.
The statement reflects the Intellectual Property Office's case law in relation to this issue.
For further information on this topic please contact Cathy Ting at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 2715 3300), fax (+886 2 2713 3966) or email (email@example.com).
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