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Enforecement of IP Rights

Slovenian Intellectual Property Office is not competent to take measures related to the enforcement of intellectual property rights; however, it cooperates with other bodies authorised to carry out such measures.

Who can a holder of intellectual property rights address when its rights are being infringed?

Slovenian Intellectual Property Office is not competent to take measures related to the enforcement of intellectual property rights; however, it cooperates with other bodies authorised to carry out such measures. It depends on the circumstances of the case and on a type of the infringement which government body could help the right holder in a certain case. Information on possible measures in cases of infringement is available with the following government bodies:


Right holders can be provided legal assistance by lawyers and, in certain cases, patent agents or trade mark and design agents registered with the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office.

Which measures can a right holder apply when its rights are being infringed?

Right holders can choose between civil, penal or administrative measures.


1. Civil Measures

The District Court of Ljubljana has the exclusive jurisdiction over disputes related to the intellectual property rights. With the mentioned court the right holder may:

  • institute civil proceedings in respect to the infringement of his rights and exercise one or more claims (e.g. prohibition of infringement, recall of infringing goods from the channels of commerce, destruction of infringing goods, compensation for damage, publication of the court’s judgement, in cases of copyright and related rights infringement also a civil sanction);
  • lodge a proposal for order of a provisional measure.

Against a decision of the District Court an appeal may be lodged with the Higher Court of Ljubljana; the decision of the Higher Court may be challenged only through extraordinary judicial remedies (e.g. revision and request for the protection of legality with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia, reopening of the proceedings at the first-instance court).


2. Penal Measures

Penal measures are within the competence of the police, Office of the State Prosecutor and local courts with territorial jurisdiction.
Infringements of the intellectual property rights may also be considered criminal offences. The Penal Code of the Republic of Slovenia identifies as a criminal offence:

  • infringement of copyright;
  • unauthorized use of a copyright work;
  • infringement of rights related to copyright;
  • unauthorized use of trademark or design;
  • unauthorized use of invention or topography.

The first above mentioned criminal offence is punishable by pecuniary penalty or imprisonment of up to six months, while the remaining criminal offences are punishable by imprisonment of even up to eight years.

Natural persons and also legal entities are criminally liable when committing the mentioned criminal offences. Legal entities are punishable by pecuniary penalties, deprivation of property, termination of the status of a legal person, etc.

The proceedings in connection with the mentioned criminal offences shall be initiated ex officio, the exception being criminal offence of copyright infringement, where the prosecution of the perpetrator of such criminal offence shall be initiated on the proposal by the injured party. The right holder may file a criminal complaint for suffering a criminal offence with the police or the Office of the State Prosecutor.


3. Administrative measures

Administrative measures are carried out by customs authorities and Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia.

a) Actions by customs authorities

The proceedings for the implementation of the measures are initiated on the

request of the right holder or ex officio. Customs authorities are competent for the implementation of the measures.

A general request, which is valid for one year, shall be lodged with the General Customs Directorate. If the request is granted, the General Customs Directorate notifies all customs offices accordingly. If, during the performance of their tasks, customs authorities discover goods suspected of infringing a certain intellectual property right(*), they may temporary detain such goods, of which they notify the right holder and the owner of the goods. During the period of detention of goods (three working days for perishable goods, ten working days for the remaining goods), the right holder must decide whether to lodge a suit for infringement of the right or not, while the owner of the goods must decide whether to persist or not in its statement that the goods do not infringe the intellectual property right. Further actions of the customs authorities depend on these decisions. If the right holder lodges a suit, the goods shall be confiscated until the final decision of the court, and after the court’s decision establishing an infringement of the right becomes final, the goods, as a rule, shall be destroyed. When the right holder is not successful in court, the goods will be released.

Destruction of suspended goods shall also be possible without a court decision when the owner of the goods does not respond to the notification by the customs authority on temporary detention of goods or if so agreed upon between the owner of the goods and the right holder (a shortened procedure).
The proceedings shall be initiated ex officio by customs authority when the latter establishes that the goods are evidently counterfeit or pirated. The goods shall be detained for three working days. When, during this period, the right holder lodges a request for an action, the proceedings shall be continued as described above.


b) Actions by Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia

Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia may take measures on request mostly with respect to unfair competition, while in the area of copyright and related rights it carries out ex officio supervision of the implementation of certain provisions of the act defining certain infringements as offences.
Among other, market inspectors may enter premises, carry out inspections (of buildings, installations, devices, products, books of account, contracts, documents, etc.), hear customers and witnesses, collect samples of goods, reproduce documents, control if authorized software is installed on computers, confiscate pirated goods, etc. In cases of infringement, inspectors can take the following measures:

  • order to remove deficiencies within a certain time limit (a regulatory decision ), and
  • issue a decision on infringement stating, among other, a penalty and possible secondary sanctions (deprivation of goods).

Against the decision of the Market Inspectorate a request for judicial protection can be filed with the competent local court.


(*) Goods infringing an intellectual property right means:

(a) "counterfeit goods", namely:

(i) goods, including packaging, bearing without authorisation a trademark identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of the same type of goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the trademark-holder's rights under Community law, as provided for by Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community trademark(5) or the law of the Member State in which the application for action by the customs authorities is made;

(ii) any trademark symbol (including a logo, label, sticker, brochure, instructions for use or guarantee document bearing such a symbol), even if presented separately, on the same conditions as the goods referred to in point (i);

(iii) packaging materials bearing the trademarks of counterfeit goods, presented separately, on the same conditions as the goods referred to in point (i);

(b) "pirated goods", namely goods which are or contain copies made without the consent of the holder of a copyright or related right or design right, regardless of whether it is registered in national law, or of a person authorised by the right-holder in the country of production in cases where the making of those copies would constitute an infringement of that right under Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs(6) or the law of the Member State in which the application for customs action is made;

(c) goods which, in the Member State in which the application for customs action is made, infringe:

(i) a patent under that Member State's law;

(ii) a supplementary protection certificate of the kind provided for in Council Regulation (EEC) No 1768/92(7) or Regulation (EC) No 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council(8);

(iii) a national plant variety right under the law of that Member State or a Community plant variety right of the kind provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94(9);

(iv) designations of origin or geographical indications under the law of that Member State or Council Regulations (EEC) No 2081/92(10) and (EC) No 1493/1999(11);

(v) geographical designations of the kind provided for in Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89(12).

IPR enforcement related activities of the Slovenian IP Office

The Slovenian IP Office was endeavouring to establish an intra-governmental coordination for efficient enforcement of IP rights (National IP Forum) from 2007 to 2009.

These activities have also been included into the National Action Plan for Cooperation between SIPO and EPO, the first NAP made according to the rules of the new EPO cooperation policy.

The main planned tasks within these activities:

  • to raise the level of protection of intellectual property and decrease piracy
  • to establish coordination among the customs authorities, market inspectorate, police, courts, chambers of commerce and industry, Chamber of Crafts, Association of Patent and Trademark Agents and SIPO
  • to amend the Industrial Property Act based on analysis
  • to set-up a common database
  • to raise awareness of the public and right holders


Intragovernmental Working Group for Fight against Piracy and Counterfeiting

On 12 June 2009, the Intragovernmental Working Group for Fight against Piracy and Counterfeiting was established, which should ensure a more effective co-operation of state authorities in exercising their powers in piracy and counterfeiting.

Its members are representatives of the Office of the State Prosecutor General, General Police Directorate, General Customs Directorate, Market Inspectorate, and the Ministry of the Economy – Foreign Economic Relations Directorate and Slovenian Intellectual Property Office. It is presided by the Director of SIPO, and the Office also performs for the Group all administrative tasks.

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