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The term intellectual property refers to a type of property that arises from the human intellect or reason. Intellectual property rights include patents, supplementary protection certificates, designs, trademarks, geographical indications, copyright and related rights, registered topographies of semiconductor circuits, plant variety rights and companies.

Intellectual property protection is gaining importance in our country and in the world, as the human mind is one of the main drivers of technological and cultural development. Creative achievements need to be protected and properly rewarded to encourage people to continue creating.

Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights, but exclusivity in some cases depends on the nature of the subject matter of the protected right. They are based on the following basic principles:

  • The holders of rights may prohibit the commercial exploitation of the subject of a right for which they have not granted authorisation.
  • The protection of these rights relates exclusively to economic activity.
  • The rights are limited in territory and, as a general rule, in time, with the exception of trademarks, trade names and geographical indications, which may be protected indefinitely. After the expiry of the statutory period, the subject of such protection becomes a public good and may be freely exploited commercially by anyone.

The entrepreneurial nature of these rights also requires that they be properly managed.

Protection of intellectual property

The protection of intellectual property has a positive effect on competitiveness, long-term development, research and investment, the creation of new or the expansion of existing branches of the economy, the creation of new jobs and, lastly, increases the tax revenue of the state. The protection of intellectual property contributes to the promotion of creativity and innovation, the development of culture and the economy, the improvement of competitiveness and raises the quality of life in Slovenia.

At least as important as the protection of intellectual property are the procedures by which the holders of intellectual property rights enforce or defend their rights in the event of infringement. Without the authorisation of the holder of an intellectual property right, commercial exploitation of the subject matter of the right is not permitted.

As intellectual property rights are private in nature, it is up to the holders themselves to enforce them.