Latest Changes to Patent Law in Serbia

Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Patents

 

The Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia recently participated in drafting Law on Amendments to the Law on Patents.

 

The current Law on Patents (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 99/2011, 113/2017 – other law, 95/2018 and 66/2019, hereinafter the “Law“) was adopted in 2011.

 

This Law regulates the legal protection of an invention.

 

An invention is defined as a product or process that offers a new way to do something or offers a new solution to a technical problem.

 

The invention is protected by a patent or a small patent.

 

The most important changes are as follows:

 

  • The provisions relating to representation before the Intellectual Property Office are being changed so that a foreigner can be represented by its registered representatives as well as a lawyer registered with the Bar Association of the Republic of Serbia, unlike the previous solution in which representation was reserved only for local lawyers.

 

  • Due to the harmonization with the regulations of the European Union in the area related to the certificate of additional protection, the Law was amended in that part.

 

  • The supplementary protection certificate is a territorial right and represents an extension of the duration of the patent for a maximum of 5 years, with the restriction that the possibility of extension refers only to the case when the subject of patent protection is a plant medicine or plant protection product.

 

The existing solution in the Law, which legally regulates the issue of the certificate on additional protection, puts domestic producers of generic drugs in an unequal position in relation to economic entities in countries where such a certificate is not recognized.

 

The draft law eliminates this imbalance by stipulating that domestic economic entities, despite the fact that the certificate is valid in Serbia, can perform preparatory activities for the production and storage of a given medicine.

 

  • The draft law also proposes changes to the provisions related to small patents.

 

The subject matter of protection that can be protected by a small patent is extended from a purely structural solution of a product or the arrangement of its components to a product that represents a technical solution to a particular problem.

 

Inventions that can be protected by a small patent are also listed.

 

  • The article prescribing the procedure for entering a European patent in the Register of Patents is changed.

 

For European patents that are registered in the Register of Patents, the Intellectual Property Office, together with the decision on registration, issues a patent file in the Serbian language.

 

So far, the patent file was issued only in paper form and by the Law on Republic Administrative Fees prescribes the fee that the patent holder pays on the side of the file.

 

  • In order to harmonize with the practice of the European Patent Office, the possibility is avoided for patent holders to state whether they want to issue a patent file in paper or electronic form.

 

In accordance with the proposed changes, there will be changes in the Law on Republic Administrative Fees.