A patent is an exclusive right of a natural person or a legal person for an invention that is new, inventive and can be industrially used. A patent enables the proprietor to prevent third parties from making, using or selling their invention without his permission. The validity period of a patent depends on the type of patent application. A regular patent may last for 20 years, while a utility model (short-term patent) may last for 10 years.
- An invention is novel if it has not been previously publicly disclosed in any form (written disclosures, oral disclosures, use). An invention is inventive if it is not obvious to a skilled person based on the previous disclosures and common knowledge. Industrially applicable inventions can be made or used in any field, including agriculture.
Patent applications can be filed in Slovenia or any other country (in this case we collaborate with our colleagues, national patent attorneys in required countries). We can also file and prosecute so-called regional patent applications (European patent application) or an international PCT application. The choice depends on the needs and requirements of the applicant. In all cases, priority according to the Paris Convention can be claimed. The time limit for claiming priority is one year for patents, which means that the later application is filed within the 12-month period from the date of filing of the first application that is usually a Slovenian patent application. The later application can be a national application, international PCT application or a regional application such as European patent application. When priority is validly claimed, the deciding date for checking novelty and inventiveness is the date of filing of the first application.