Patent applications increase, but trademark and design applications decrease in 2013

The Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has published its annual report for 2013, which includes statistics related to patents, designs and trademarks.

The report shows that the total number of patent applications increased compared to the previous year; according to the SIPO, this is due to an increased interest of foreigners in the Slovenian market. The SIPO received 454 national patent applications (representing a 17% increase), 87 Patent Co-operation Treaty applications (an increase of 23%) and 2,021 European patent validation requests (an increase of 2%). The SIPO also noted a considerable increase in supplementary protection certificate applications, which increased by 38% to 42 applications in 2013.

However, the report shows a decrease of 10.7% in the number of national industrial design applications (92 applications, compared to 103 in 2012). In addition, the number of applications filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation under the Hague Agreement fell by 13% to only 76 applications. The only noticeable increase was in the number of applications for Community designs filed with OHIM, which increased from 125 in 2012 to 152 in 2013.

The report also shows a considerable decrease in the number of national and international trademark applications. National trademark applications fell from 1,718 in 2012 to only 1,502 in 2013 (a decrease of 12.6%) and international designations under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol fell from 1,821 to 1,696. However, the report shows that the number of Community trademark (CTM) applications and registrations increased both in terms of their total numbers and in terms of applications and registrations by Slovenian trademark holders. As a possible reason, the SIPO suggests an increased popularity and practicality of the CTM system.

In 2013 the SIPO received 77 oppositions against national trademark applications and 28 oppositions against international registrations designating Slovenia. The SIPO annual report also mentions that the number of administrative procedure delays was 73 in terms of trademarks. The reason for this high level of administrative delays is a reduced number of SIPO trademark examiners, which caused considerable problems when issuing opposition proceedings decisions.

The Administrative Court of Slovenia received three administrative lawsuits against decisions in patent matters and seven administrative lawsuits with respect to trademark decisions. Interestingly, the SIPO reports that it had been involved in 22 administrative court rulings in 2013 (both at first and appellate instance) and that seven rulings had revoked the SIPO’s decisions. This means that the Slovenian administrative courts confirmed 68% of the SIPO’s decisions. However, compared to 2012, when the SIPO was involved in 50 court rulings, of which 92% confirmed the SIPO’s decisions, the above percentage shows both a decreased percentage of confirmed SIPO decisions and a considerably lower number of overall rulings issued by the administrative courts, both at first instance and on appeal.

The complete report is available in Slovenian on the SIPO’s website.

Andrej Bukovnik, PETOŠEVIĆ, Ljubljana

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