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Before filing a patent application

Before filing a patent application, you should check whether your invention qualifies for a patent. The following five questions will help you determine this:

In order to be patentable, an invention must generally meet three basic conditions:

  1. Novelty - The invention should not be in any way publicly known anywhere in the world. Invention applicants should be careful to keep the invention secret until a successful patent application is filed. If the invention has already been publicly discussed, commercially exploited, advertised or demonstrated in any way, the novelty requirement will not be satisfied.
  2. Inventive activity - The invention must represent a solution to a technical problem, the solution not being obvious to a person skilled in the art from what is already known in the art.
  3. Industrial application - The invention must be useful and have some form of practical application. It must be capable of being made or used in some field of industry or agriculture.

Discoveries, scientific theories, computer programs, plant varieties, animal breeds, surgical and therapeutic methods of treating humans and animals, and the like cannot be protected by patent because these items are not considered inventions under patent law or are excluded from patentability.

An invention that is generally expected to promote offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour will not be disclosed or granted a patent.

Premature disclosure of information about your invention may jeopardize the novelty requirement and thus adversely affect the prosecution of your patent application.

If your invention must be disclosed to a third party before filing a patent application, we recommend entering into a non-disclosure agreement. Disclosure of the invention can only take place after the filing date of the application has been granted.

Before filing a patent application, it is advisable to spend some time searching databases of published patent documents and databases of non-patent literature to ensure that your invention is truly novel.

You can search freely accessible online databases, such as the Webregisters of UPV SR (Webregistre ÚPV SR) or international databases (medzinárodné databázy), where you can search for technical solutions in the field yourself, or you can use the Office's search services (rešeršné služby).

You have the right to file a patent application if you are:

  1. you are the inventor of the invention;
  2. you are an employer and the invention was made by your employee in the normal course of his or her employment; or
  3. a person who entered into a contract with the inventor before the invention was made so that you have a right in the invention; or
  4. a person to whom the right has been transferred or to whom the right has passed.

The preparation of a patent application and the prosecution of the proceedings for the grant of a patent by the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic is a matter requiring knowledge of patent law, practice and procedures of the Office, as well as knowledge of the scientific or technical knowledge involved in a particular invention.

Using the services of a patent attorney is not essential, but it saves your time and it is expected that the application will be drafted with the required quality, which will facilitate the proceedings. Although a patent may be granted even to applicants who are not sufficiently qualified in industrial law protection, it may be that the patent obtained will not adequately protect a particular invention.

Applicants who do not have the necessary knowledge and experience are advised to take advantage of the possibility to be represented by a patent agent (list of agents) ((zoznam zástupcov) or a lawyer in the proceedings before the Office. The Office conducts the application proceedings with the applicant or his representative. The inventor of the invention, unless he is also the applicant, is not a party to the proceedings.

List of patent attorneys/foreign patent attorneys (Zoznam patentových zástupcov / zahraničných patentových zástupcov)