Patent Protection Procedure in Croatia
The patent protection procedure starts with filing a patent application with the State Intellectual Property Office, and it is conducted in accordance with the Patent Act and the Patent Regulations.
In the Republic of Croatia, the protection of an invention by a patent can be achieved via the national route, in which case the decision on granting shall be made by the Office, or regionally, when the decision on granting shall be made by the European Patent Office, and the Office enters the patent in the Patent Register of the Republic of Croatia, which makes it equal to a patent achieved via the national route.
The procedure is carried out in two basic phases - by examining the content of the patent application until the publication of the application in the official gazette of the Office and by examining after the publication.
Until the publication, the patent application is formally examined, and the national and international databases that make up the state of the art are searched, i.e. a preliminary opinion on patentability is prepared if requested by the applicant. Following publication, the applicant must file a request for substantive examination, which may result in a decision granting the patent or rejecting the patent application.
Patent protection shall last for a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing the patent application. For the maintenance of a patent in value, it is obligatory to pay the prescribed annual maintenance charges. Otherwise, the protection shall be terminated even before the expiration of the possible 20-year duration, immediately after the expiration of the time limits prescribed for annual payment of charges. For inventions from specific fields of technology (medicines or plant protection products) it is possible to extend the patent protection by supplementary protection certificate.