Inheritance of copyright by law: concept, order and legal regulation

Everyone knows the standard material values, which include property, real estate, cash and more. However, keep in mind that you can inherit intangible things. For example, a relative or successor of a deceased person has the right to file an application to transfer to him copyright in a particular invention or work according to inheritance.

However, it is worth considering that due to the fact that this type of property is considered intangible, there are features of its receipt. This issue is regulated by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Inheritance of copyright implies that the other person, after the death of the main owner of the property, can use the invention or work and get financial benefits from it.

Signing of papers

First of all, it is worth noting that the design of this document is considered quite difficult. The one who is the heir to the deceased will have to spend a lot of time studying all the nuances. When it comes to inheritance, most often refers to apartments, cottages, houses, land and more. However, the inheritance of copyrights differs in that, in the first place, they are not tangible objects.

basic information

If we talk about the inheritance as a whole, then it is the property that the deceased owned until the time of his death. Accordingly, there are two forms according to which one or another of the benefits can be inherited: by law or testament.

In the first case, we are talking about those situations where the deceased did not have time to draw up an appropriate document in which he indicates to whom he would like to transfer the rights to his material or intellectual property. In this situation, the heirs who have the right to apply for these things will be determined by law. In this regard, serious features of inheritance of copyright and patent rights do not exist. The procedure is the same as when receiving standard movable or immovable property.

There is a certain concept called the sequence of inheritance. Accordingly, it is customary to attribute the closest people to the first stage. These include the spouse of the deceased. If there are none, then in this case the closest relatives are children or parents. The second, third and subsequent lines depend on the degree of relationship. In this case, those who have the smallest number of generations sharing them with the deceased are most likely to inherit copyright laws. Accordingly, the greater this value, the farther on the queue one or another person will be.

It is worth noting that some heirs to longer queues have the right to try to claim an inheritance. However, this is only possible in the situation if those people who are considered closer are not able to receive this inheritance, so they are deprived of it or voluntarily refused to draw up papers.

If we talk about the second form of inheritance of copyright or another type of property, then in this case there are much fewer procedural procedures. If we are talking about the existence of a will that was left by the deceased, then in it he clearly defines, during his lifetime, to whom exactly and how much of his property he plans to transfer after his death. In this case, the papers are certified by a notary and, accordingly, have full force. This means that heirs of other lines cannot appeal this decision. According to this order of inheritance of copyrights, no priority is considered at all. Only a drafted document will be taken into account.

What is copyright

This concept implies the creation of a certain object of intellectual property. For example, works of art, literature or scientific discoveries belong to this category. In this case, a person is assigned the right to how he will dispose of what he created.

Accordingly, a person has certain rights. First of all, this is his name, which is assigned either to a work or to an invention. Changing it or indicating that someone else owns this intellectual property is illegal.

Also, the right to this property has immunity. In addition, only the creator has the opportunity to publish his creation. It also retains copyright. This means that when using this work or invention by another person, he must indicate to whom it actually belongs.

If we talk about the peculiarities of copyright inheritance, then after the death of the author of this intellectual property, his heirs get only the opportunity to use this or that invention. This is because, by and large, non-property rights may belong exclusively to the author. In this case, other possibilities of using the present invention or work cannot be transmitted.

Shaking hands

If we talk about the process of inheriting copyright under the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, then, as a rule, in this case the standard procedure applies.

Registration of non-property inheritance

It is necessary to comply with the deadlines and contact the notary in a certain period after the death of a person. It is necessary to clarify whether the will was made or is missing. If it is not, then in this case the order of relatives is considered.

In that situation, if none of the heirs has expressed a desire to enter into the inheritance rights, or they are deprived of such an opportunity by law, this work or invention will be considered public domain.

If we talk about the exclusive right, then he has a certain period. This means that not only during the life of the author, but also for 70 years after his death, no one has the opportunity to use his works (unless such people were indicated in the will or clearly defined by law).

Patent law

In addition to the inheritance of copyright, in judicial practice there is such a concept. There are no big differences between them. Nevertheless, it is worth considering the main features. If we talk about patent law, then in this case we are talking about authors who create industrial designs, utility models and other inventions. At the same time, each of the developments is necessarily registered and becomes unique.

The author receives a certain patent. Accordingly, patent law is a concept that, by and large, includes authorship of a particular model of the invention, a valid model, and so on.

In this case, the inheritance transfer process is also carried out in the standard manner. However, there are some features that distinguish patent ownership from inheritance of copyright objects. In this case, it is worth noting that the exclusive rights of the heirs are limited to only 20 years. If we are talking about utility models, then the period is reduced to 10 years. It takes only 5 years to profit from the sale or use of samples.

Inheritance of copyright: procedure and legal regulation, how to apply

In this situation, everything also depends on whether a will was issued in the lifetime of the deceased or not. It should be noted that an official document can only be recognized if it was drafted in the presence of a notary public who was convinced that the person signing the papers was in his right mind and was well aware of his actions. After the death of the applicant, all of his heirs, who were indicated in the document, must contact the notary office and write the necessary application for the inheritance of copyright in works, inventions and other intellectual property.

Also, at the request of a lawyer, they will have to provide all the necessary documents. After this, the process of transferring rights from the deceased to his heirs begins.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that you can claim your inheritance only within 6 months from the date of death of the person after which this or that property remained. If during this time none of the relatives is declared, then in this case all his property is transferred to the state. After that, it will be very difficult to inherit.

Puts a stamp

However, of course, there are certain situations in life when a person misses the term of entry into the inheritance. For example, a relative of the deceased songwriter was in a foreign country for a long time. In this case, you can try to obtain copyright inheritance only if you go to court to restore your authority.

It is also possible to enter into the inheritance only if written permissions of all other heirs (if any) have been drawn up, which agree that this person will receive this or that property.

What kind of rights pass to the heirs

If we talk about copyright, then in this case we are talking about the powers that are granted to the heir. This means that he passes all the rights of the deceased. Accordingly, when operating a copyright object, the heir is considered to be its full owner. He gets the opportunity to use a work or invention as intellectual property. Accordingly, he can earn and receive intangible benefits.

For example, inheritance of copyright means that the new owner of intellectual property has the right to publish, run in circulation or distribute a work or invention. All income from this activity will go to the heir. For example, if a person made a film, then after his death it is his relative who can begin mass production of copies of this work. He can also run a film in rental. As a result, all the profits received will go to the heir.

In what situations can copyright be inherited?

In this case, it is worth considering the inheritance of copyright under the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. It should be borne in mind that, according to the law, there is only one right, which the heirs in no way can circumvent. It is about the possibility of making any changes to a work or invention.

In addition, after entering into the inheritance, a person to whom a certain object of intellectual property has passed cannot in any way change the name of the author. Accordingly, if we are talking about a book, film, song, etc., then in this case the heir does not have the right to rename the composition, change the words or other elements in it, or indicate that he himself is the creator.

Even in the event of death, a person will still be considered the author of his invention for life, because we are talking about mental or creative activity. Thus, the heirs have the opportunity only to use copyright to obtain one or another benefit from the replication, copies or other distribution of these objects.

In the courtroom

In the role of the author, the heir can be represented only if he bought the intellectual property during the life of the true creator.

The nuances of inheritance

You can also encounter significant problems if the testator did not list all the manipulations that are allowed to be done with his property when drawing up his will. In this case, the heir to the intellectual property object is, by and large, bound hands.

But more often than not, this list is compiled in some detail. Any notary will necessarily draw the attention of the testator to the fact that he must list all the powers of the heirs.

In addition, the creator, making up the paper, can indicate those manipulations that he categorically forbids to do with his property. For example, he has every right to completely prohibit copying, selling, or distributing his work or invention. Thus, if after inheriting copyright one or another person tries to release a book or a song in circulation, then in fact he will break the law.

Features of patent transfer

In this case, the standard procedure applies, as in the case of authorship. However, there is a slight nuance. The fact is that the creator can own a patent only for a limited time, respectively, this will also apply to his heirs. If it happens that by the time of death the document expires completely, then inheritance becomes impossible.

Gavel in court

In a situation where the patent is still valid, the heir has the opportunity to obtain rights to it and use the invention for the period while the official document is valid.

Special conditions

It is worth noting that the inheritance of copyright is associated with numerous subtleties and nuances. It is impossible to predict them all. However, it is worth considering some situations that occur most often.

For example, there are situations when not one but several people act as the heir. This is permissible, since the author of a work or invention can distribute his property in equal shares. In this case, those people who received the inheritance become co-owners. Accordingly, all profits and other benefits will be distributed between them in equal shares.

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that the heir does not have to be an individual. In some situations, the testator decides to transfer his work to a museum or gallery after his death.

Picture gallery

If all the author’s relatives refuse to receive his property, or they are simply absent, then in this case the state inherits copyright for a period of 70 years. During this time, the name of the author of the work and other details cannot be changed.

In all other situations, the transfer of intellectual property rights is not much different from the standard procedure. For example, if the heirs do not agree with the will, or they have a serious dispute, then they can appeal to the magistrate's court. The case will be considered in the same manner as when considering wills for movable or immovable property.

If the heir who owns the copyright also dies, then the intellectual property will also be transferred to his immediate family or to those whom he indicated in his will. Thus, the transfer of copyright can take place over a 70-year period.

It is also worth noting a few more interesting conditions. For example, if the creator of a work is a participant in the Second World War, then the duration of ownership of exclusive rights increases to 74 years.

If a work or invention was created not by one person, but as a result of collective activity, then in this case the rights of the heirs will be determined depending on which of the original authors made a greater contribution to the creation. In this case, a lot of controversy often arises, since it is very difficult to determine exactly who was the most active creator. Therefore, you will have to pick up all the archival records (if any), which indicates the chronology of the creation of a material or intellectual object.

What documents will be required

First of all, it is worth noting that heirs cannot share copyright as property acquired together. However, if the new owner of the intellectual property dies, then all rights to it are transferred to his wife or husband.

In order to draw up an inheritance of this type, it is necessary within six months after the death of a relative to contact a notary and provide him with a number of documents. First of all, you need a certificate confirming the registration of the program. Additionally, a patent is required, which was issued in Rospatent. You also need to prepare certificates from the Union of artists or writers and other documents that can be used as proof of authorship of the deceased.

Many documents

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that documents will not be considered immediately. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months. Therefore, you have to be patient. If we are talking about a patent, then there is a risk that during this time its validity will expire, so you can not get such an inheritance at all.

After the application review procedure is completed, the new copyright holder receives a special certificate, which confirms what kind of manipulation he has the ability to perform. After that, he receives the right to use a work or invention.


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