Patent Law Treaty in Croatia
By Anamarija Stančić Petrovic, SD PETOSEVIC Croatia-Zagreb, Published in CLA Bulletin Volume 20, No. 1, 2005
The Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport sent a proposal addressing the law on ratification of the Patent Law Treaty to Parliament on 24 September 2004. The Patent Law Treaty was adopted at the Diplomatic Conference in Geneva on 1 June 2000. It was signed by 53 WIPO member states, including the Republic of Croatia, and one intergovernmental organization. This Treaty, not yet in force, will set out minimum requirements regarding formal aspects of filing a patent application and related actions. Treaty provisions support efforts toward harmonization of the formal part of the patent grant procedure at the level of national WIPO member states’ legislation. Such harmonization should contribute to the globalization of formal patent rights, which will benefit all interested parties, patent applicants and holders, as well as national IP offices.
Implementation of the Treaty will lead to certain modifications of the current Patent Law, primarily relating to fulfilling formal requirements for assign-ment of an application date. This will lead to the enforcement of provisions stipulating that, in order to determine the application date, the application must include one or more patent claims. The Patent Law will also be amended in relation to mandatory representations before the Office. Passing this law is in the interest of WTO members, as the application filing procedure will be made uniform and a simpler patent grant procedure will be established.
On 15 October 2003 a new Patent Law was ad¬opted by Parliament, which čame into force on 1 Jan¬uar 2004. The new Patent Law was adopted mainly in order to implement the EU legislation. Although the current legislation had to a great extent already been harmonized with the EU acguis, the new law included some major changes.
The amended Patent Law is fully harmonized with the rules and regulations of EU Directive 98/44/ EC relating to the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. Thus, every biotechnological invention that should be patentable in accordance with the Directive will also be patentable in Croatia. A second important change is the implementation of Council Regulation EC No. 1768/92 on supplementary protection certificates for medicinal products for humans and/or animals, and Council Regulation EC No. 1610/ 96 on supplementary protection certificates for plant protection products.
Finally, the law introduced a new Chapter XII, with provisions relating to the legal effect and processing of European Patent Applications and European Patents extended to the Republic of Croatia. This Chapter was introduced in accordance with the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the European Patent Organization on Cooperation in the field of patents (Cooperation and Extension Agreement) ratified on 16 June 2003 in Munich. The law on Cooperation and Extension was adopted by Parliament on 17 July 2003 and published in the Official Gazette, No. 14/2003. The new Regulation on the procedure for granting a patent came into force as of June 2004. In October 2004, a draft of the new law on Administrative fees and procedural charges in the field of industrial property was sent to Parliament, with a recommendation to pass the law on an urgent basis.
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