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Celebrating 30 years of innovation in Slovakia

7 June 2023

Slovak IP Office Anniversary

Representatives from IP offices attending the 30 years celebrations in Slovakia:
(From left to right) Sune Sorensen (DK), Mr Pascal Faure (FR), Mr Thijs Spigt (NL), Ms Lina Mickiene (LT), Mr Matuš Medvec (SK), Ms Nellie Simon (EPO), Ms Irena Tušek (HR), Mr Erik Rekis (LV), Mrs Vladia Borissova (BG)

On 31 May, the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic (SK IPO) hosted an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary since its founding, as well as three decades of innovation in Slovakia. EPO Vice-President, Nellie Simon joined a host of speakers, including Mr. Medvec, President of SK IPO; Mr. Negrão, President of the Boards of Appeal at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO); and Mr. Kratochvíl, President of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic. Their collective expertise and shared commitment to innovation set the stage for a lively celebration of innovation, together with panel discussions on
“30 Years of Slovak Innovation Ecosystem”, as well as music and folklore performances

During the evening the Ján Bahýl Award ceremony took place, which recognised exceptional Slovakian minds for their remarkable contributions to innovation. The awards celebrated the brilliance and ingenuity of individuals who have made significant advancements in their respective fields.

During her keynote speech, the EPO Vice-President applauded Slovakia for its impressive achievements in innovation over the past three decades. Furthermore, Ms Simon emphasised the importance of extending the path to innovation to all segments of society, including women and SMEs: “The path to a patent should be one of accessibility and affordability to bridge the gaps and avoid the traps of leaving anyone behind.”

By ensuring that inventions reflect the entire spectrum of humanity, Ms Simon emphasised that inclusive innovation would ultimately benefit society as a whole, leading to universal progress and sustainable transformation.

With the launch of the Unitary Patent on 1 June, the event provided an opportunity to examine how this new package would play a pivotal role in widening access to patents for SMEs, research centres, and individual inventors. Although Slovakia is not a member of the Unitary Patent, it already stands as a prime beneficiary of patent-intensive industries within the EU single market. Notably, companies from other EU member states contribute a substantial 38% of jobs in Slovak patent-intensive industries, the largest share among all member states.

The EPO and the Slovak Industrial Property Office have been working together for over 20 years. This collaboration has facilitated the protection of industrial property rights and fostered an environment conducive to innovation and progress.

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