Petty Patents

Membership in International Conventions

– See under “Patents of Invention“.

Filing

Applicant: inventor or his legal successor (individual, firm, company).

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must have a local attorney.

Patentability: a petty patent is granted for an invention which is new, industrially applicable and involves an inventive step.

Categories: protection cannot be obtained for processes and methods but only for a solution relating to the structure of a product or the layout of its components.

Novelty: absolute.

Exceptions to protection: inventions whose publication or exploitation would be contrary to the law or morals; plant and animal species.

Unity of invention: not provided for.

Priorities: same as for “Patents“.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Specification and abstract (the application can contain only one independent claim followed by four dependent claims);
2. Drawings;
3. Certified copy of the priority application(s), if any;
4. The applicant’s declaration on the legal basis for filing the application in his name (can be filed subsequently);
5. Power of attorney, no legalization (can be filed subsequently).

Electronic filing: possible (reduced filing fee). 

Electronic signatures: are accepted provided that they are certified by a Certification Service Provider listed on the eIDAS Trusted List (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tl-browser/#/).

Examination Procedure

Formal examination: as to whether the application is complete and fulfills formal requirements. Petty patents are granted without substantial examination. After having established that the application for petty patent meets the formal requirements, the IP Office renders a granting decision.

At the request of the patentee, the IP Office conducts substantial examination of granted petty patent, and depending on the examination results issues a certificate of examination or a decision to invalidate the petty patent.

Patent of addition: not provided for petty patents.

Registration: after the issuance of the granting decision, the IP Office registers the petty patent and publishes the first claim and the drawing of the invention in the IP Office’s Journal.

Amendments: the applicant may voluntarily amend specification, claims and drawings in reply to the first official action. Further amendments are permitted only with the consent of the IP Office.

Transformation: during the whole examination procedure the applicant may file a request for transformation of his application into a patent application or into a design application.

Restoration: possible by request for restoration of rights; the request has to be filed within three months from the day on which the grounds for the omission ceased to exist, but not later than twelve months from the omission, or in case of omission of the term for payment of maintenance fees, not later than twelve months from the due date of the payment.

Appeals: the decision of the IP Office can be appealed within fifteen days from the receipt of the decision. Against the decision on appeal it is possible to initiate an administrative lawsuit with the Administrative Court (within thirty days from the receipt of the decision).

Granting

Duration of protection: the term of a petty patent is ten years from the date of filing the application.

Annuities: are due for the third and each following year for applications and petty patents counting from the filing date. The annuities can be paid with 50% fine within six months from the due date.

Marking of patented goods: not compulsory.

Text of marking: not provided for.

Amendment of issued patent: not feasible.

Corrections: possible to correct typographical errors.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Disputes about ownership: a lawsuit can be filed with the court to establish the right to the petty patent/application during the whole validity of the petty patent.

Disputes about novelty: during the period of protection, it can be requested that the decision on granting the petty patent be annulled because of the lack of novelty. The decision is taken by the IP Office. The decision can be appealed and against the decision on appeal it is possible to initiate an administrative lawsuit with the Administrative Court.

Dispute about inventorship: the inventor can request, by filing a lawsuit with the competent court, to be declared an inventor and recorded as such in relevant documents and registers.

Rights of prior user: a prior user acting in good faith can continue to use the invention in production in his own enterprise or in someone else’s enterprise for his own purposes.

Opposition to granted petty patent: not provided for.

Assignment: provided for petty patents and applications; must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.

License: provided for petty patents and applications; can be exclusive or not exclusive; must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.

Compulsory license: same as for “patents“.

Expropriation: not provided for.

Cancellation of a petty patent: not provided for.

Nullification: a granting decision can be annulled if it is established that the conditions stipulated by the law were not fulfilled at the time protection was granted. The request can be filed with the IP Office during the whole duration of the petty patent.

Validation of invalidated petty patents: not provided for.

Infringement and penalties: filing of a lawsuit for infringement is possible only for granted petty patents for which the IP Office issued a certificate of examination. The court can be requested to issue a declaration of infringement or serious threat of infringement, to prohibit the activities which constitute or would constitute infringement, to grant indemnification, to order the publication of the judgment at the expense of the infringer, to order seizure and/or destruction or alteration of products made or obtained by means of patent infringement or the material or articles (equipment, tools) predominantly used in the creation of infringing products, and to order the infringer to provide information about third parties which participated in infringing activities. Instead of indemnification, where applicable, the Court may grant a lump sum compensation in the amount not lower than the one that would be received for the specific use of the subject of protection, if such use was in accordance with the law. In cases where the infringement was not committed intentionally or through serious negligence, the compensation may be awarded only in the amount of profit achieved by the violation of rights. The lawsuit has to be filed within a period of three years from the date the plaintiff learned about the infringement and the identity of the infringer, but not later than five years from the date of infringement, or, in case of continuous infringement, from the date of the last infringement. Preliminary injunctions and securing of evidence are provided for (can be requested in a lawsuit, exceptionally even earlier, but the lawsuit must be filed within thirty days from the date of the decision granting the injunctions/securing of evidence). The burden of proof is placed on the plaintiff. Fines may be imposed both on a company and company officials.