Welcome to the patents subject guide. This guide will give you information about patents and other IP rights, their classification and searching and citing, useful links on the patent databases, web pages, and PATLIB centers.
What is a patent?
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or a new technical solution to a problem. A patent owner has the right to decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. In other words, patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported, or sold by others without the patent owner's consent. The exclusivity rights are territorial rights, limited to the country were the patent has been validated, and limited to 20 years upon filing the patent application and upon payment of yearly maintenance fees. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.
More information about patents:
Patents. In: WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization [online]. Geneva,  [cit. 2015-10-20]. Available from: http://www.wipo.int/patents/en/faq_patents.html
How to patent and why patent? More inspiration at: www.patentuj.cz, operated by the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic.
What can be patented?
New products, processes and technologies, used for a new purpose with new unique properties, chemical substances or mixtures, pharmaceuticals, industrial micro-organisms and combinations thereof. In addition to novelty (i.e. not previously published), the products, processes and technologies have to inventive (if the invention is obvious or trivial, you cannot get a patent) and industrially applicable.
What cannot be patented?
Discoveries or scientific theories, computer programs (in CZ), board games, mathematical methodologies, new plant varieties, animal breeds, ways of treating or healing people and animals, diagnostic methods, aesthetic creations, plans, rules and methods of performing mental activities, performance of commercial activities, supplying information, and anything else in conflict with public policy and accepted ethical principles.
Who grants patents?
The Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (IPO CZ) grants patents valid in the territory of the Czech Republic. The European Patent Office grants European patents (covering a territory larger than the EC countries), but once granted this patent has to be validated in each European country of choice, resulting in a bundle of national patents. The IPO CZ will for example validate the European patent in the Czech Republic.
National application submission
- A request for grant of a patent carries out by patent application. You can use an electronic form or collect a printed form at the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic. Czech is the official language of the IPO CZ, therefore the forms are available in Czech only. Please, note that persons not having the domicile or headquarters on the territory of the Czech Republic, must be represented in the proceedings before the Office by a representative.
- Electronic forms (without on-line filling option) - Forms in pdf format, that can be filled out electronically and then printed.
You can apply for a patent with international permission in three ways:
- National submission - The applicant creator may subscribe any invention directly in state he wants to have the invention protected.
- European patent application - Applies in the states that are members of the European Patent Organization (EPO). Applications in these members can be filed in any language. However, the official languages of the EPO are English, French and German. If the application is not filed in one of these languages, a translation has to be submitted. You can submit an application at the Czech IPO as well.
- International application PCT - Gets the protection in the 146 states and includes four regional patents (within European patent). Applications can be filed at the Czech IPO in English, German or French language and application form must be in the same language.
- Patent search - Before applying for a patent, it is advisable to carry out a patent search, if our invent is patentable.
- Patent application submission
- Filing and formalities examination - Involves checking whether all the necessary information and documentation has been provided.
- Preliminary research - Patent office retrieves all the documents available that may be relevant to assessing novelty and inventive step and does the search report.
- Publication of an application - At the least 18 months after the date of filing is an application published in IPO Bulletin.
- Substantive examination - Patent office examines whether the patent application and the invention meet the requirements and a patent can be granted. Proprietor or applicant creator has 36 months after an application submission to submit a request for a survey of patentability.
- Grant of a patent - Patent granted in the Czech Republic is valid for 20 years from the filing of the application.
- Publication of a patent - A patent effectivity comes on publication of granting a patent in the Bulletin of the Industrial property office.
- Opposition - In the case of an appeal or review of the decision of the Office.
Fees depends on the territorial (Czech patent, European patent or International patent), and other factors. In the Czech Republic, the price of a patent is around 10 000 Czech crowns.
- Appellation of origin is the name of a region, a specific place or a country. Product quality or other characteristics are essentially or exclusively given by a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors and the production and preparation takes place in a delimited geographical region.
- Protected geographical indication is the name of a region used for products originating in that region and also with characteristics exclusively given by that region.
- Industrial design is understood to mean appearance of a product or its part, consisting particularly of signs of lines, contours, colors, shape, material structure of the product per se or ornamentation. Industrial design can be protected if it is new and has individual character. This protection guarantees for proprietor the exclusive right to use, protect before its usage by third parties without proprietor agreement, provide agreement to usage by other persons (licences) or proprietor has the rights to assign it (e.g. sell). Max. term of protection for an industrial design shall be 25 years.
- Provides for active substances, medicaments or preparations the extended term of protection after the expiration date of the patent, because they have longer approval process. Maximum validity of a patent is extended for about 5 years to 25 years.
- The manufacture of the integrated circuit is the basic solution in the semiconductor industry, which has the features of the creative work and must be protected against pirating. For registration of topography of a semiconductor product into the State register may occur only by applications filed in the IPO CZ. However, the protection rights for topography may be applied only by citizens of the Czech Republic or people with residence. Others only under the condition of reciprocity.
- The trademark means a signification of a graphic visualization, in particular by words, letters, numbers, shapes of the colours, drawings or forms of the product or its packages, designed to the products or services resolution. The trademark proprietor gets the exclusive rights to its use with registration. The validity of a trademark is about 10 years from the date of filing of the application. The validity can be extended by another 10 years due to the request for renewal of a trademark filed within the statutory time limit.
- Trademarks registered in the Czech Republic can also be registered through the IPO CZ as so-called international trademarks in some other states.
- Utility models are the new, industrially usable technical solutions. However, all of the methods of production or work activity and biological reproductive materials are excluded from the protection. The registration process takes usually from three to four months after the filing of the application. The Office examines only the compliance of the basic conditions for protection and writes the utility model to the index. Max. validity is about 10 years.
- The application for a utility models, applies a similar principles, as in the case of a patent application. This application is an ideal solution for inventions with a shorter life span, because the effects of the registration of a utility model are the same as the effects of a patent. The conditions for registration are the novelty of the product and its industrial utility.
Tip for You!
To get more information about patents, download the IP Teaching Kit.
- The International Patent Classification (IPC) is used for storage and retrieval of patent documents according to various subjects. IPC may also apply for various kinds of patent searches (Novelty or patentability searches, validity searches, infringement searches, state-of-the-art searches).
Classification scheme (these subjects are the highest level of the hierarchy of the classification):
|B||Performing operations; Transporting|
|F||Mechanical engineering; Lighting; Heating; Weapons; Blasting|
- For example: C08F 2/32 = Polymerisation in water-in-oil emulsions
- You can browse IPC on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website.
- The European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have a common classification, the Cooperative Patent Classification system.
- Classification for Industrial Designs
- Classification for Trademarks
Patents in the library
Patent literature can be found using the online catalog.
Electronic access to patents
- Derwent Innovations Index - Allows quick and easy search of patents in chemical, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering. Covers over 14.3 million basic inventions from 40 worldwide patent-issuing authorities. Access through the Web of Science platform (registered patrons only).
Patents in other Czech libraries
Patent information centers (PATLIB) - Located in selected Czech libraries; in Prague at the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (IPO). PATLIB centers providie information about industrial property in the region, the scope and content of their activities varies according to the availaibility of volunteers.
- Collection of Czech patents since 1919
- In-library use only; copying is permitted
- Consultations about patent searches and educational events about industrial property
- Almost all patents granted in the Czech Lands between 1918-2014 (nearly 300.000 patents)
- In-library use only (patents); related patent literature (books, bulletins, yearbooks of the Czech IPC, Průmyslové vlastnictví journal) can be checked out
- Consultation and training about industrial-legal protection
- In-library use only (patent documents since 2000)
- Related patent literature (books, bulletins, journals) can be checked out
- In-library use only; copying is permitted
- Information and reference services
The Research Library in Hradec Králové (in Czech)
- In-library use only (patents 1919-2014); related patent literature (books, bulletins, journals) can be checked out
- Espace Preces database (full-text of Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungary, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, and Latvian patents since1993)
Where you can find information about patents
Patents, databases (patents, published patent applications, utility models), bulletins (the IPO), books and journals (online library catalogs or other union catalogs), theses and dissertations, trade literature
Research services for patents
- Professional patent research services are provided by the national patent offices. IPO CZ also provides this service for their clients. Research in patent databases is also offered by many libraries for lower fees, but quality of these searches can vary.
- Commercial research providers – In the Czech Republic, several large companies provide patent searches, including Medistyl or private Patent and Trademark offices or agencies.
General structure of patent citations
PATENTEE (PROPRIETOR; APPLICANT CREATOR). Title of the item. Subsidiary titles. Inventor: First name and SURNAME. Notes (Patent classification). The country of origin (originating office) or code of the country, Official designation of the series, A patent number. Date of publication (in the form YYYY-MM-DD). Availability and access (required for on-line information resources)
Citation examples in ISO 690 format
Other guides to citing patents
Czech patents: SEDLECKÝ KAOLIN A.S., BOŽIČANY, CZ. Způsob zpracování jemných prachovitých podílů silikátových surovin, zejména kaolinů, jílů, jílovců nebo jejich směsí. Inventor: František PTICEN. IPC: B29C47/00; B28C1/04; B28C1/06; B28C1/16; B28C1/18; B28C1/22; B28C3/00; C01B33/40; C04B33/04; C04B14/10. Česká republika, Patentový spis, CZ 298891 B6. 2008-01-24. Available also from: http://spisy.upv.cz/Patents/FullDocuments/298/298891.pdf
International patent application: TYCO FIRE & SECURITY GMBH. Fixed Systems and Methods for Extinguishing Industrial Tank Fires, With and Without Fixed Roof, Including Aerated Foam Projecting Nozzles and Center Directed Nozzles. Inventors: Dwight P. WILLIAMS a Casey R. SPEARS. IPC: A62C31/12. Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Canadian Patent Application, CA 2902524 A1. 2012-04-26. Available also from: http://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/patent/2902524/summary.html
European patent application: NGK INSULATORS, LTD. Fire-Extinguisher Nozzle, and Fire-Extinguishing Method Using Same. Inventor: Motohiro FUKUHARA. IPC: A62C31/02. European Patent Office, European Patent Application, EP 2873442 A1. 2015-05-20. Available also from: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=EP&NR=2873442A1&KC=A1&FT=D&ND=3&date=20150520&DB=worldwide.espacenet.com&locale=en_EP
You can generate and manage your citations with the Citace PRO reference manager, available to all registered library patrons. Select the button NTK - Národní technická knihovna to log in using your username and password.
Please do not hesitate to contact our research team for additional help.
Patent databases and other intellectual property documents are provided by national and international patent offices. In most cases, they provide the full-text documents. Be aware that databases contain all published patent applications, granted, rejected or terminated (due to the end of the 20-year protection or non-payment of yearly maintenance fees). A granted patent may have a different patent number (for example US patents have a publication number such as US20157654321 and a patent number such as US12345678. The EPO distinguishes pending/non-granted patent by the letter “A” at the end of the patent number, and granted patents by the letter “B” at the end of the patent number.
Authors: Drahomíra Dvořáková, Marek Janik