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Slovakia

Intellectual property

Updated 04. 2010

Legal requirements

Intellectual property rights

The protection of intellectual property includes:

The conditions for adopting measures against violations of intellectual property rights in the import, export and re-export of goods is governed by the Act on Measures Against Breaches of Intellectual Property Rights.

The professional requirements and working practices of patent attorneys, the duties of patent attorneys and the establishment, status and competence of the Slovak Chamber of Patent Attorneys is governed by the:

Industrial property rights

Industrial property rights protect technical or aesthetic inventions and trademarks. This mainly concerns patents for inventions, designs, industrial models, trademarks and geographical origin. Slovak legislation provides protection for the following:

  • patents for discoveries, and supplementary protection certificates - which are granted following the performance of formal/legal and factual research for discoveries which are new, which include inventive effort and which are industrially useful.
  • Patents apply for 20 years, with the payment of continuation fees.
  • designs - are understood to include the appearance of a product or parts thereof, consisting mainly of the characteristic lines, outlines, colours, shape, structure or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.
  • Registration of a design applies for 5 years from the date of submitting the design application. The validity period of a design registration may be extended up to four times on the basis of an application from the design owner, up to a maximum of 25 years.
  • trademarks - verbal, pictorial, spatial or combined markings, which make it possible to distinguish the goods or services or one person from the goods or services of another person.
  • The protection period of a trademark is 10 years from the date of submitting the trademark application. The owner may apply to extend the protection period of a trademark by renewing the registration for a further 10 years following payment of an administrative fee.
  • semi-conductor topographies - topographies which result from creative intellectual effort by the originator and which do not currently exist in semi-conductor products. The protection of a topography ends 10 years after the end of the calendar year in which it commenced.
  • utility models - if there is a new technical solution which is the result of inventive effort and is industrially useful. The protection lasts 4 years from the submission of the application for the utility model, and may be extended twice, for 3 years each time, on the basis of an application from the utility model owner.

Copyright

Copyrights and related rights (also known as literary and artistic rights) protect original literary and artistic works, and also musical compositions, television programmes, computer programmes, databases, advertisements and multimedia platforms.

Commercial strategies

According to the provisions of Section 17 of the Commercial Code, a piece of information must fulfil all of the following conditions in order to qualify as  a commercial secret:

  •  be of a commercial, manufacturing or technological nature, and connected with a business,
  •  be of real or potential value,
  •  be currently inaccessible in the relevant circles,
  •  the business must want to keep the information secret,
  •  and must ensure its secrecy in a responsible manner.

A trade name is the name under which a company is recorded in the Commercial Register. The name must not be interchangeable with the name of another business.

Intellectual protection bodies

The central government body for the field of intellectual property is the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic.  It keeps the central repository of patent and trademark documentation, which it makes available to the public, acting as a specialised centre for patent information in the Slovak Republic.

  •  World Intellectual Property Organization

The management of procedures on Community trademarks and registered designs which are valid in all Member States is carried out by:

Protecting intellectual rights abroad

Intellectual property is governed by several conventions introduced by two main organisations: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The majority of EU Member States have adopted these conventions, leading to better harmonisation of national regulations in this field.

Combating counterfeiting and piracy

The European Union has decided to combat growing piracy and counterfeiting. It has adopted a strategy of enforcing intellectual property rights in third countries. The action plan is aimed at the practical application of laws in the area of intellectual property rights. It proposes tackling the priority countries, where the enforcement of these rights will be more closely monitored. Emphasis will be place on technical cooperation and support to assist third countries in the fight against counterfeiting.

Property rights encourage investment in innovation and research.

Administrative procedures

Registration

The proceedings for each of the five categories of industrial property are described on the website of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic (ÚPV SR).

The registration of semi-conductor topographies is governed by ÚPV guidelines

Applications for supplementary certificates must include completed application forms and copies of permits. Applications are submitted by the owner of the basic patent or his legal representatives within a period of six months from the date of issue of the first permit to market a drug or product for protecting plants in Slovakia.

Utility model applications must include an application for entry in the Register of Utility Models, stating the name of the technical solution in two copies, a description of the technical solution and a drawing where appropriate, at least one claim for protection and an annotation in one main copy and two additional copies.

An application to register a trademark may cover only one trademark. The application must contain a request to register the trademark, the wording or depiction of the trademark and a list of the goods and services in respect of which the trademark is to be entered in the register as a protected trademark. More information for applicants.

Details of application to register a design:

Patent applications must include a request to grant the patent in two copies, a description of the invention, at least one patent claim, an annotation and where appropriate drawings, pictures or chemical samples of the compound in one main copy and two additional copies. Detailed information:

National patent applications   and utility models applications can also be filed electronically. This is the result of cooperation between the Industrial Property Office and the European Patent Office, of which the Slovak Republic is a member.

Resources

The European Patent Office   is a valuable source of information. If an applicant wishes to obtain patent protection in two or more states which are members of the European Patent Organisation, he can submit a European Patent Application to the ÚPV SR or directly to the European Patent Office, the head office of which is in Munich.

The Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic is the central government body for the field of industrial property. It manages a central patent fund as well as trademark documentation. The Office website contains links to application forms for items of industrial property, as well as information for applicants.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Slovak Chamber of Patent Attorneys is an association of patent attorneys who represent individuals and businesses in industrial property proceedings.

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

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