Trade and Service Marks
– Law No. 506/2009 on Trademarks, in force since January 1, 2010, last amendment in force since January 14, 2019.
– Decree No. 567/2009 implementing the above Act No. 506/2009, in force since January 1, 2010.
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.
– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, Stockholm Act 1967, since January 1, 1993.
– Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods, Stockholm Act, since January 1, 1993.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, Geneva Act, since January 1, 1993.
– Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, Stockholm Act, since January 1, 1993.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Trademark Law Treaty, since July 9, 1997.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since September 13, 1997.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since February 18, 2002.
– European Union Trade Mark Regulation.
– Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, since May 16, 2010.
Applicants: nationals or foreigners.
Applicants not living in the country: must appoint a representative for any proceedings brought before the Patent Office.
Trademarks of foreigners: foreigners have the same rights as Slovak citizens.
Kinds of protection: trademarks comprising a word or device or a combination of both, personal names, numerals, two- and three-dimensional designations, shape of product and package. As of January 1, 2019 it is possible to register unconventional trademarks such as position, pattern, motion, audio visual or sound marks, holograms.
Marks for services: registrable.
Novelty: as of January 14, 2019, the Patent Office no longer conducts examination as to identical prior registered or pending trademarks for the same goods/services.
Not registrable: mark which (1) is not capable of being represented in a manner to enable the competent authorities and the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to the proprietor; (2) is devoid of the ability to distinguish goods or services; (3) consists exclusively of signs or indications serving in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value or other characteristics of the goods or services, or indications of geographic origin or the time of production of the goods or of rendering of the service; (4) consists exclusively of signs or indications which have become customary in the current language or in established practices of the trade. Marks (2) to (4) may be registered if the applicant proves that the mark has become distinctive in the Slovak Republic or in relation to the territory of the Slovak Republic for goods and services applied for before the filing of the trademark application; (5) consists exclusively of the shape or another characteristic of the goods which results from the nature of the goods themselves or which is necessary to obtain a technical result or which gives substantial value to the goods; (6) is at variance with public order or morality; (7) is capable of deceiving the public, viz. as to the nature, quality or geographic origin of the goods or services; (8) contains signs registered in accordance with an international convention, without the consent of a competent authority; (9) is, in its use or registration, at variance with special regulation or obligations of the Slovak Republic or European Union resulting from international treaties, providing for protection of designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms for wine and of traditional specialities guaranteed; (10) contains a mark of higher values, particularly a religious symbol; (11) includes badges, emblems or escutcheons or other than those covered by an international convention without the consent of the competent authority; (12) is evidently subject of an application not filed in a good faith; (13) consists of, or reproduces in its essential elements, an earlier plant variety denomination registered in accordance with special regulation, or international agreement to which the Slovak Republic or the European Union is party, providing protection for plant variety rights, and which is in respect of plant varieties of the same or closely related species.
National flags: not registrable.
Collective marks: registrable.
Priorities: convention application must be filed within six months of the date of the basic application. The date and the country of the basic application must be claimed in the Slovak application and cannot be supplemented later.
Classification: International Classification of the Nice Agreement (9th Edition).
Multi-class applications: possible.
Territory covered: the Slovak Republic.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (signed by applicant without legalization);
2. Name and address of the applicant;
3. List of goods and/or services (in English, German or French);
4. 1 photocopy of the mark (min. size 8 x 8 cm), not required for marks in block letters;
5. Priority document (if any), the priority date must be mentioned in the application. Legal term for filing: three months after application.
For renewal: no document is required.
1. Assignment deed (original or notarized copy);
2. Power of attorney signed by the assignee (without legalization).
Electronic filing: available.
Electronic signatures: are accepted for PoAs, however, in case of assignment/transfer documents, a wet signature is required.
Amendment of application: permissible only where the amendment concerns only the trade name, given name or surname, the headquarters or place of residence of the applicant shown on the trademark, without affecting the general nature of the trademark. Limitation of the goods/services is possible.
Examination: as to general registrability. In case of problems with the application the Office communicates with the representative.
Appeal: can be made against any decision of the Patent Office. Possible further judicial review of lawfulness before the court.
Letters of consent: are accepted.
Publication: registered and renewed trademarks are advertised in the electronic monthly-published Slovak Patent Office Bulletin. Applications are laid open to public inspection.
Opposition: may be filed within three months from the date of publication in the Bulletin. The opposition period for international trademarks begins the first day of the next month after the date of publication in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks.
Delivery of document: after registration of the trademark. The registration certificate is issued in paper format only.
Beginning of protection: as from the date of the application.
Duration – extension: ten years; always renewable for further periods of ten years.
User rights: registration confers property rights.
Obligation to use: use is obligatory within any five-year period. The public offer for use of the trademark through the press has the validity of usage.
Marking of registered goods: not compulsory.
Text of marking: “Ochranná známka”, or the symbol ® is usually used.
Renewal: possible indefinitely for periods of ten years. The application must be filed during the last year of the pending period of protection.
Latest term for renewal: within six months following the expiry of the protection period.
Changes in the list of goods: extension not possible.
Assignment: possible, must be registered.
Licenses: possible, must be registered to be effective against third parties.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Opposition to registered marks: the owner of a trademark has the right to request the Patent Office to cancel the registration of another trademark, registered at a later date and covering the same or similar products or services, if such a trademark is identical or so similar as to be confused with it. The opposition may be filed on the basis of one or more earlier rights, provided that they all belong to the same proprietor, and on the basis of part or the totality of the goods or services in respect of which the earlier right is protected or applied for, and may be directed against part or the totality of the goods or services in respect of which the contested mark is applied for. At the request of the applicant, the owner of the earlier trademark, who has given notice of opposition, shall furnish proof that the earlier trademark has been put to genuine use during the five-year period preceding the filing date, or date of priority of the later trademark, or that proper reasons for non-use existed. In the absence of proof to this effect, the opposition shall be rejected. Such request of the applicant has to be filed with the IPO within two months. The proof of the use of trademark shall be provided within four months from the delivery of the request from the IPO.
Observations: any third party may file observations against registration of a mark until its registration. Observations may be based on general registrability bars.
Nullification: (1) a trademark can be nullified upon a petition of cancellation by the owner of an older mark (see above “Opposition to registered marks”); (2) the Patent Office can revoke a registration if it is ascertained that the conditions for registration have not been fulfilled (if the sign is not registrable as a trademark); (3) the mark has not been used during five years; (4) the mark infringes the personal rights, the right to a good reputation or use of such mark is an act of unfair competition. Such mark shall be cancelled on the basis of a court decision if the entitled person asks for cancellation within six months of the validity of the court decision.
Registration of invalidated marks: two years after expiry of the prior mark if filed in the name of a different applicant than former owner.
Penalties for infringements: court injunction to cease infringement, to suppress the unlawful situation or order to pay damages (civil prosecution), fine or imprisonment (criminal prosecution). Litigation shall be settled by a specialized IP district court in Banská Bystrica.
European Union Trademark (EUTM) Conversion
Filing requirements for the conversion of an EUTM application into a national application in the Slovak Republic:
1. Original conversion application;
2. Translation of the conversion application and attachments into Slovak;
3. Reference to an address of delivery in the Slovak Republic;
4. Wording of a trademark, if not a word mark – 5 copies;
5. Payment of the official fees.
Time limit: two months from the invitation of the Industrial Property Office to submit the requested documents.
Note: filing date or priority date of the converted application is granted.
Conversion of registered EUTMs: requires the same formalities. Conversions are then recorded in the Bulletin.