Patents of Invention
– Law No. 435/2001 of October 4, 2001, on Patents, Supplementary Protection Certificates and on Amendment of other Acts (The Patent Act), in force since November 1, 2001.
– Law No. 402/2002 Coll., which amends Law No. 435/2001 Coll. (The Patent Act) and Decree No. 223/2002 of March 13, 2002. Further amendments of Law No. 435/2001: Laws Nos. 84/2007 Coll., 517/2007 Coll., and 202/2009. Last amendment in force since January 14, 2019.
– Decree No. 223/2002 Coll. implementing Act No. 435/2001 (The Patent Act).
– Law No. 84/2007 Coll. implementing EC Directive No. 2004/48/EC on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, effective from March 1, 2007.
Membership in International Conventions
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since January 1, 1993.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since January 1, 1993.
– Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification, since January 1, 1993.
– Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms, since January 1, 1993.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since January 1, 1993.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since February 18, 2002.
– European Patent Convention, since July 1, 2002. (Note: the London Agreement has not yet been ratified).
– Patent Law Treaty, since April 28, 2005.
Kind of protection: patent.
Applicant: inventor or his successor in title, or his employer.
Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a representative for any proceedings brought before the Patent Office.
Protection of foreigners: subject to reciprocity, foreigners have the same rights and duties as Slovak citizens.
Naming of the inventor: inventor must be named in the application. Upon the request of the inventor, the Office shall not state the inventor’s name when publishing the application and the announcement concerning the grant of the patent.
Patentability of inventions: patents are granted for inventions in all fields of technology which are new, which involve an inventive step and which are capable of industrial application. Programs for computers are not regarded as inventions; nor are discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods, mere external appearance of products, schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, or mere presentation of information.
Novelty: an invention is considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art. The state of the art comprises everything disclosed to the public in the Slovak Republic or abroad prior to the date from which the right of priority was claimed.
Protection of products obtained by a patented method: a patent granted for a manufacturing method also covers the product directly manufactured by using the method. Identical products shall be considered to have been obtained by the protected method, unless the opposite can be proved.
Exclusion of protection: patents are not granted in respect of (a) plant or animal varieties; (b) essentially biological processes for production of plants or animals; (c) methods of surgical or therapeutic treatment of the human and animal body and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. (This shall not apply to products, in particular substances or compositions for use in any of the above-mentioned methods of treatment or diagnostics.); (d) inventions which concern human body in various stages of its formation or development or concern simple discovery of some elements of human body, including the sequence or partial sequence of the gene; (e) inventions whose commercial exploitation would be in contradiction with public order or morality. The following, in particular, shall not be considered patentable: (a) processes for cloning human beings; (b) processes for modifying the germ line genetic identity of human beings; (c) use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes; (d) processes for modifying the genetic identity of animals which are likely to cause suffering to the animals while not having substantial medical benefit for people or animals, or for animals which result from such processes.
Priorities: multiple or partial priorities may be claimed in one and the same application. The priority of a patent application filed in a country having adhered to the Paris Convention or World Trade Organization can be claimed.
Territory covered: the Slovak Republic.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Name and address of the applicant; if the applicant is a legal person, it is a business name and a registered office;
2. Name and address of the inventor, unless he is the applicant;
3. Name and address or business name and registered office of the authorized representative of the applicant, as well as a power of attorney (signed by the applicant without legalization) if the applicant is represented (PoA can be filed after the filing of the application);
4. Data for claiming priority (date, number, state);
5. The name of the patent;
6. Specification (in English, German or French, to be translated), 2 copies. Abstract;
7. Drawings: 1 original, 3 copies, size A4;
8. At least one applied patent claim;
9. Priority document (if any), to be filed only on request of the Patent Office;
10. Evidence of the right to a solution, if the applicant is not the inventor, or an indication that the subject of the application is an employee's invention;
11. Assignment of priority right, if the applicant in the Slovak application is not the same as the first applicant (notarization of the signature of the first applicant is required), to be filed only on request of the Patent Office;
12. For divisional patent applications the number and date of filing of the original patent application;
13. For converted patent applications (application with the reference to the first application), filing date of the previously filed utility model application;
14. When EP application is changed, the date of filing and the number of the EP application;
15. Signature of the applicant or person authorized to act on his behalf.
Electronic filing: available.
Electronic signatures: are accepted for PoAs, however, in case of assignment/transfer documents, a wet signature is required.
PCT applications: time limit for entry into the national phase under both Chapters I and II (deadline for filing the translation of the specification): 31 months from the priority date (valid from August 1, 2002).
Examination: an application is subject to a preliminary and a full examination. At the request of the applicant, the Slovak IP Office shall allow the International Examination Authority - a branch of the Vysegrad Patent Institute, to perform an international examination for the subject matter of the application.
Publication: the Patent Office publishes the application on the expiration of eighteen months as from the priority date and announces the publication in the Official Bulletin. An application may be published before the expiration of the term of eighteen months, if a demand to this effect is filed by the applicant within twelve months from the priority date at the latest. The Office shall publish any application before the expiration of eighteen months provided that the patent has already been granted; in absence of the applicant’s consent however the Office shall not publish the application before the expiration of twelve months as from the priority date. Together with the application, the Office may publish the report on the state of the art.
Opposition to application filed: after the publication, any person may file observations regarding the patentability of the application’s object.
Full examination: the Office carries out a full examination of the application in order to ensure that it complies with the requirements for the grant of a patent. A full examination is carried out upon the applicant’s or another person’s request, or ex officio. The request must be filed within thirty-six months as from the date of filing of the application. It cannot be withdrawn. If the request has not been filed within the time limit, the Office shall terminate the procedure.
Granting: if the subject of the application complies with the fixed requirements and provided that the granting fee was paid by the applicant, the Office shall grant a patent to the applicant; thereby the applicant becomes the patentee. The Office delivers to the patentee a Letters Patent. The grant of the patent is announced in the Official Bulletin.
Right of prior user: a patent shall have no effect against any person, who prior to the beginning of the priority right had already worked the invention independently of the inventor or patentee or had made arrangements that can be proved, for so doing.
Duration: the duration of validity of the patent is twenty years from the filing date of the application.
Annuities: are to be paid after the grant of a patent. Their payment may be delayed for six months with a fine of 100%.
Assignment: a patent must be assigned by a written contract, taking effect in respect of third parties as from the latter’s entry in the Register of Patents.
License: the consent (license) to work an invention protected by a patent must be given by a written contract. A license contract shall take effect in respect of third parties as from entry in the Register of Patents.
Compulsory license: if a patent is not worked within four years from the date of filing or three years from the date of grant, whichever period expires last, and the person who proposes the granting of a compulsory license before filing the proposal has made the patent owner a proper offer for concluding a license agreement, where this offer has not been accepted by the patent owner, and if the patentee cannot justify his inaction, the Office may grant a compulsory license. A compulsory license may also be granted because of endangering an important public interest. The grant of a compulsory license shall not affect the right of the patentee to obtain compensation of the license value.
Cancellation of the patent: the Office shall cancel the patent, wholly or in part, if it has ascertained that the conditions stipulated for granting the same have not been complied with. The revocation shall be effective as from the commencement of the validity of the patent.
Appeals: possible before the Patent Office. A deposit is required, which is returned if the appeal succeeds. Further judicial review of lawfulness is possible before the District Court in Banská Bystrica.
Infringement: any one whose right has been infringed is entitled to demand legal protection and to pursue the remedy of the infringement. Reparation of damage can be claimed. Litigation shall be settled by one of the three district courts. Litigation shall be settled by a specialized IP district court in Banská Bystrica.
Supplementary Protection Certificates for Medicinal Products and Plant Protection Products
Legal basis: this chapter of the Patent Act No. 435/2001 came into force on July 1, 2002 and was cancelled as of March 1, 2007. Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1768/92 of June 18, 1992 concerning the creation of a Supplementary Protection Certificate for medicinal products and Regulation (EC) No. 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 23, 1996 concerning the creation of a Supplementary Protection Certificate for plant protection products are directly valid in the Slovak Republic. At present, it is the Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 6, 2009 concerning the creation of a Supplementary Protection Certificate for medicinal products.
Duration: the certificate is valid during the time corresponding to the period starting from the filing date of the application for the basic patent until the date of the first registration of the medicine (or preparation for plant protection pursuant to separate regulations), reduced by five years. However, the duration of the certificate may not exceed five years from the day on which it takes effect. The rules concerning their validity are identical with those concerning “patents“. The request for granting the certificate has to be filed within six months from the day of validity of the decision on the registration of the medicine or of the preparation for plant protection.
Retroactivity: where the time limit lapsed before July 1, 2002, it was possible to file the request on granting the certificate until December 31, 2002, provided that the decision on medicine registration or on plant protection products registration became valid after January 1, 2000.
Paediatric extension: available.
Rights derived from a European Patent
(Valid from July 1, 2002) Slovakia can be a designated country in a European patent. The granting of a European patent in which Slovakia is designated confers the same rights as the granting of a Slovak patent. A Slovak translation must be filed within three months from the publication date of the issue of the European patent. Rights resulting from a European patent application may be used in Slovakia against an alleged infringer starting from the publication date. Such rights exist only from the publication date of a Slovak translation of the claim(s), or from the sending of the translation as a notification to the alleged infringer. When the applicant has filed both a Slovak and a European patent application designating Slovakia for the same invention and having the same application or priority date, the Slovak patent automatically becomes ineffective for the elements which are common to both patents (Slovak and European) at the end of the opposition period for the European patent. The initially filed Slovak patent remains in force if the European patent is not granted or if, after the granting of the European patent, Slovakia is not confirmed by the applicant as a designated country.