Croatia: Parliament Affirms Patent Law Treaty
By Anamarija Stančić Petrovic, SD PETOSEVIC Croatia-Zagreb, Published in World Intellectual Property Report, February 2005
The Patent Law Treaty (hereinafter “PLT”) and its Regulations were published on October 6, 2004 (Official Gazette No. 10/2004, Section on International Treaties) and came into force eight days after its publication. However, the provisions of the Treaty will be fully effective as from the date of its publication in accordance with the provision of Article 30, point 3 of the Law on Conclusion and Execution of the International Agreements (Article 4 of this Law). The implementation of the PLT shall be the responsibility of the administrative body competent for intellectual property matters.
The provisions and the Regulations of this Treaty will be applicable to national and regional applications for patents for invention as well as patents of addition, filed with or for the Office of a Contracting Party (“Contracting Party” means any State or inter-governmental organization that is party to this Treaty), and which are:
* the types of applications that are permitted to be filed as international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty;
* divisional applications of the types of applications referred
to above, for patents for invention or patents of addition, as
referred to in Article 4 (1) or (2) of the Paris Convention;
* subject to the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the provisions of this Treaty and the Regulations shall apply to international applications, for patents for invention and for patents of addition, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty;
* in respect of the time limits applicable under Articles 22 and of 39 (1) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in the Office of a Contracting Party;
* in respect of any procedure commenced on or after the date on which processing or examination of the international application may start under Article 23 or 40 of that Treaty.
The provisions of this Treaty and the Regulations shall also be applicable to national and regional patents for invention, and to national and regional patents of addition, which have been granted with effect for a Contracting Party. However, no Contracting Party shall be obliged to apply the provisions of this Treaty and the Regulations to any procedure in proceedings with respect to applications which are pending, and to patents which are in force, if such procedure commenced before the date on which this Treaty binds that Contracting Party.
The Regulations annexed to the PLT provide Rules concerning the matters which this Treaty expressly provides are to be “prescribed in the Regulations”: details useful in the implementation of the provisions of this Treaty or administrative requirements, matters, or procedures. The Regulations also provide rules concerning the formal requirements which a Contracting Party shall be permitted to apply in respect of requests for recordation of change in name or address; recordation of change in applicant or owner; recordation of a license or a security interest; and correction of a mistake.
It is now expected that the provisions of this Treaty will reflect the current provisions of the Patent Law and Regulations with regards to the granting procedure itself, and the amendments to the existing Law will be made accordingly. Some of the changes relate to opportunity for a Contracting Party to make observations, amendments, or corrections in case of intended revocation or invalidations of a patent; to have the right for reinstatement of rights i after a finding of due care or “unintentionality” by the Office; a possibility of electronic filing of a Communication where available; and finally, a maintenance fee may be paid by any person (Article 7(b)).
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