The term “copyright” refers to the intellectual ownership of a literary or artistic work. For example a piece of music, a book, a painting, hand made products, or a film.

You get copyright automatically when you create an original work. If an invention, design, or trademark is new and original, or it is the result of a creative effort, it is automatically protected by the Copyright Act.

However, copyright cannot be registered and must be determined by the courts. If you want an exclusive right to exploit your invention, your design or your trademark, you should apply for a patent, design or trademark with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office.

In some cases, the Copyright Act will provide adequate protection, but it is often an advantage to register your rights and acquire solid documentation, thereby avoiding an expensive court case. You must assess yourself what is the right path for you.

You can inherit and "sell" copyright by entering into an agreement for use.

More information on copyright

The Ministry of Culture is the department that governs copyright legislation. There are also a number of copyright organisations you can contact.

You can find the answer to many of your questions at, an information portal for copyright. Unfortunately this site is in Norwegian only.

What do the symbols mean?

You may perhaps have seen the symbols ®, © and TM and wondered what they mean? Read more about these symbols

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