New Patent Law in Croatia

New Patent Law in Croatia

Zagreb, 10 February 2020

On January 31, 2020, the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia passed the Patent Law which comes into effect on February 20, 2020. The new legal concepts introduced in the Croatian legislation may create the prospects for Croatia to become a desirable jurisdiction for patents registration.

The relevant novelties introduced by the new piece of legislation are:

Utility Model Replaces Consensual Patent

Novelty, inventive steps and industrial applicability will not no longer be examined. It is thus replaced the previous consensual patent concept with the utility model concept. The patents based on the utility concept will not be possible to register in the field of biotechnology, for a chemical/pharmaceutical substance, for an invention which is contrary to public order or morality or for an invention protecting a procedure.

The utility model applicant will be able to file the request for conversion of the utility model application to patent application and vice versa, before the utility model grant/refusal decision has been issued i.e. six months after publication of the report on results of the prior art search, at the latest. The holder of the utility model will not be able to request civil protection on the basis of the unexamined right.

Introduction of a Preliminary Prior Art Search, etc.

The new rules introduces a preliminary prior art search and a preliminary written opinion on the patentability of an invention at an early stage of the examination procedure (i.e. before an application is published in the Official Gazette), thus making sure the utility model applicants manage their rights more efficiently. This will be conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO) which has the capacity (human and technological) to conduct searches and examinations in the most complex areas of emerging technologies.

 

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