Saša Bavec, Peter Raspor
LEK d.d., Verovškova 57, 1526 Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
Sufficient patent protection is, because of high investments in R&D, one of the most important factors for further development of high-technological fields, like modern biotechnology. Unfortunately patent law and practice have serious difficulties in keeping up with the rapid scientific progress in these fields. European Union (EU) has attempted to adapt present patent legislation to the current state of the art in the field of biotechnology with special legal act-The European directive on legal protection of biotechnological inventions (Directive) issued in 1998.
The comparison of patent legislation in Slovenia with those in EU shows that the possibilities for protection of biotechnological inventions in Slovenia and EU are almost the same. The protection of industrial property in Slovenia is regulated by Law on Industrial Property of 1992, which form together with several international treaties (like TRIPS Agreement, Paris Conventions, The Budapest Treaty, UPOV Conventions, etc.) signed by Slovenia, a legal frames for protection of inventions. Slovenian patent law is less restrictive than European Patent Conventions (EPC) and allows inventors to get even broader protection for their inventions than they can get in EU. Patenting of some inventions whose patentability is by EPC explicitly excluded (plant and animal varieties) is possible in Slovenia. At the moment there is a new Slovenian patent law in preparation. Its main purpose is, because of the demands for harmonisation of Slovenian legislation with EU legislation, to harmonise the text of Slovenian patent law with provisions of TRIPS Agreement, EPC and Directive. This will ensure to inventors and researchers in Slovenia the same competitive environment in regard of protection of their inventions as it have their colleagues in EU.