Slovenian Court of Audit Reports on Patent Protection in Slovenia
The Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia, the highest body for supervising state accounts, the state budget and all public spending in Slovenia, has carried out an audit of the Slovenian patent protection system efficiency, covering the period between January 2012 and December 2017. The aim of the audit was to contribute to the improvement of patent protection, competitiveness and innovation in Slovenia. The Court has concluded that the responsible authorities – the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) – have been only partially effective.
According to the report, the procedures for national patent applications and SPC applications are transparent, relatively simple and carried out within reasonable deadlines. The major deficiency of the national patent application procedure is that SIPO does not perform substantive examinations, which is due to insufficient personnel and inadequate organizational conditions.
The average procedure starting from the patent application date to the date of the application publication decision takes 175 days. The SPC application procedure lasts an average of 132 days from the application date to the grant date. Recordations of changes are usually processed within 32 days.
Regarding the scope of patent protection, the Slovenian Industrial Property Act is comparable to the European Patent Convention. While there were no significant patent-related legislation amendments in the audited period, changes are possible in the next few years, depending on the future developments related to the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Slovenia adopted a law ratifying the UPC Agreement in September 2016, but it has still not deposited its instrument of ratification to the EU Council.
The Court of Audit’s recommendations to SIPO and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology include systematic collection of patent-related data, preparation of a national IP strategy, and organization and promotion of educational events concerning IP protection.
Prepared by: Maja Žnidarič Plevnik
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Source: Slovenian Court of Audit website, Council of the EU website
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