Patent law is a branch of industrial property law, which regulates patents as exclusive rights protecting inventions. This exclusive right is granted by the state to inventors in exchange for the disclosure of a specific technical solution which is beneficial for the society as a whole.
IPI advises its clients in relation to possibilities of patent protection. Furthermore, IPI offers advice regarding the selection of domestic and foreign experts, who can help drafting patent claims on an individual field of science, on which the invention was discovered. For more information, write us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patent is an industrial property right of a natural or legal person in relation to an invention. The criteria for patentability is listed in Article 10 of the Industrial Property Act, namely the invention has to be new, involve an inventive step and be susceptible of industrial application. An invention shall be considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art. The state of the art comprises everything made available to the public by means of an oral or written description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the patent application. An invention shall be considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. An invention shall be considered as susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.
It is not possible to patent discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, and other rules, schemes, methods and processes for performing mental acts. Non-patentable are also inventions, the exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality as well as inventions of surgical or diagnostic methods or methods of treatment practised directly on the living human or animal body, with the exception of inventions relating to products, in particular substances or compositions for use in any of these methods.
According to Article 18 of the Industrial Property Act, where the subject-matter of a patent is a product, patent protection ensures its holder the exclusive right to prevent third parties not having the owner’s consent from the acts of making, using, offering for sale, selling, or importing for these purposes that product. This applies mutatis mutandis to situations, where the subject-matter of a patent is a process.
Similar to trademarks and designs, also patents have a territorial effect, which means that the innovation has to be patented in every country, where the applicant seeks protection. In principle, patent protection lasts for 20 years from the filing of the application, while a short-term patent lasts for 10 years from the filing. After the expiry of the term of the patent, the patent can be exceptionally prolonged or a supplementary protection certificate may be granted, in both cases not for more than 5 years.
In Slovenia patents are obtained before the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), while to register a patent abroad, there are 3 possibilities: the European registration at the European Patent Office (EPO), the international registration at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a national registration at foreign intellectual property offices.