Slovakia - Country Commercial Guide
Protecting Intellectual Property
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Several general principles are important for the effective protection of intellectual property (“IP”) rights in Slovakia. First, it is important to have an overall strategy to protect IP.  Second, IP may be protected differently in Slovakia than in the United States. Third, rights must be registered and enforced in Slovakia under local laws.  U.S.  trademark registrations, or design or utility patent titles will not protect IP in Slovakia without undertaking administrative procedures at the EU or local level. 

Most copyrighted works created in the United States will be automatically protected in Slovakia from the moment of creation or publication according to international agreements. However, the extension of protection will vary according to Slovak and EU laws. Protection against unauthorized use will vary depending on the national laws of each country.

Obtaining a utility patent in EU Member States is based on a first-to-file system — i.e., the first person or entity to register the patent becomes the title holder. Most trademark and design rights, similar to a design patent, are also based on a first-to-file registration system. Accordingly, companies should consider how to obtain patent, design, or trademark protection before introducing products or services into the Slovak market. Firms should ideally consider having a global IP strategy before introducing intellectual property in any country, to ensure not losing IP rights outside the United States.

Trademark and design titles can be obtained for the entire EU at the European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO. Individual titles for Slovakia can be obtained at the corresponding Slovak IP office. A bundle of patent titles can be obtained for various countries through a simplified process at the European Patent Office; an individual patent title can be directly obtained from the patent office of Slovakia. There are also other international registration systems like the Patent Cooperation Treaty for patents or the Madrid Protocol for trademarks, that could be useful to facilitate the protection IP in many countries of the world, including Slovakia.

Intellectual property rights are primarily private rights and the United States government cannot enforce them for private individuals in the EU.  It is the responsibility of the rights holders to register, protect, and enforce their rights where relevant, retaining their own counsel and advisors.  Companies may wish to seek advice from local legal counsel or IP consultants who are experts in Slovak and EU law.  The U.S. Commercial Service can provide a list of local lawyers upon request.

While the United States government stands ready to assist, it is the obligation of rights holders to take the necessary steps to secure and enforce their IP in a timely fashion.  Moreover, in many countries rights holders who delay enforcement of their rights may find that their rights have been eroded or abrogated due to legal doctrines such as statutes of limitations, laches, estoppel, or unreasonable delay in prosecuting a lawsuit.  U.S. government advice should never be regarded as a substitute for the responsibility of a rights holder to seek appropriate legal advice and promptly pursue its case.

Conducting due diligence on potential partners is essential.  A good partner is an important ally in protecting IP rights.  Consider carefully whether to permit a partner to register IP rights on your behalf.  Doing so may create a risk that your partner will list itself as the IP owner and fail to transfer the rights should the partnership end.  Keep an eye on your cost structure and reduce the margins and the incentive of would-be bad faith actors.  Projects and sales in the EU require constant attention. Work with legal counsel familiar with EU laws to create a solid contract that includes non-compete clauses and confidentiality/non-disclosure provisions.

Small and medium-size companies should consider working with trade associations and organizations to support IP protection and stop counterfeiting.  There are a number of these organizations, in both the EU and the U.S., including Local American Chambers of Commerce.

IP Resources

See Protecting Intellectual Property for more information on how companies can protect their intellectual property in foreign markets, and for more resources.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has positioned IP attachés in key markets around the world.  Contact information for the European-based IP attachés are below:

The U.S. Mission to the European Union (based in Brussels, Belgium)

Serving the EU, EFTA, and UK

IP Attaché Contact for the EU:

Name:    Ms. Rachel Bae

Address: U.S. Mission to the EU, Boulevard du Régent 27, BE 1000, Brussels, Belgium

Telephone: (+32) 2 811 53 08


World Trade Organization (WTO) @ and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (based in Geneva, Switzerland) @

For more information, contact ITA’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights Director, Stevan Mitchell at

To access Slovakia’s Investment Climate Statement, which includes information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, visit the U.S. Department of State ”Investment Climate Statements website.

Other Key Links:

IP in Slovakia

Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic / Urad priemyselneho vlastnictva Slovenskej republiky

Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic / Ministerstvo kultury Slovenskej republiky

Detailed information can be obtained at this webpage.

IP in the EU and international organizations

Copyright in the EU

European Patent Office (EPO)

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

Database of laws of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Lex)

The State Department’s Investment Climate Statement includes information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in foreign economies.