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Foreign investors seeking to start a business in Spain should keep in mind that carrying out economic activities in this country requires licensing. That, in particular, applies to obtaining IPR protection in Spain. 

Spain: Patent Protection

It is only possible to protect software by a patent in Spain if a piece of software qualifies for an invention. There’s no patent protection for regular software; however, it may be protected by copyright in Spain.

Patent protection can be provided for corporate methods or process only if they ensure implementation of inventions.

Trade Secrets & Know-Hows

Pursuant to Spanish laws, trade secrets are defined as any material or data or material included in a document. 

Trade secrets & know-hows may end up being publicly accessible upon expiration of license agreements.


Pursuant to Spanish law, all works of art, including scientific & literary works, are deemed to be under protection. As regards original works, they’re also under copyright protection, irrespective of their author’s citizenship or site of publication.

How Foreign Licensors are Taxed

All those interested in obtaining IPR licenses in Spain should keep in mind that non-Spanish licensors residing abroad are only taxed on income earned by them in Spain.

Associated companies’ fees are exempt from taxation if they’re paid to an EU-registered company or to that company’s permanent office situated in Europe.

Applicable Laws: Limitations

Spanish legislation makes it possible to select laws of other jurisdictions. However, in some cases only Spanish laws may be applicable, even though it may say otherwise in the agreement. Also, CPL may override any applicable laws, even if a clause for IPR dispute resolution is included in contracts concluded between business entities & their clients.

Spain: IPR Dispute Resolution 

Pursuant to Spanish legislation, parties can resort to arbitration instead of litigation, even if a trial is already underway. They can also select a jurisdiction & governing law when drawing up arbitration agreements. Arbitration in the Kingdom of Spain is considered international if parties permanently reside in different countries at the time of signing an agreement.

Arbitration is provided for in each and every law pertaining to the protection of IP in the Kingdom of Spain. Initiating collective arbitration in the Kingdom of Spain is only possible when consumer rights need to be protected.


Want to know more about Spanish IPR legislation? Need legal advice on licensing in Spain? Consider retaining the services of IQ Decision UK. Give us a call or drop us a line to arrange for an individual consultation on any legal matter you’re interested in.