A patent is a protection document granted by a state. It guarantees its owner an exclusive right for commercial exploitation of an invention on a certain territory during a certain time period. A maximum duration of patent protection in the Slovak Republic is 20 years from filing a patent application. Patents are granted for inventions from all fields of technology, which are new, involve an inventive activity and are applicable in the industry. New products as well as their production methods, apparatus and technologies, chemically produced compounds, medicinal products as well as biotechnological processes and the like can all be protected by a patent. On the other hand, discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods, aesthetic creations, computer programmes, schemes, rules, imparting of information and the like cannot be protected by a patent. Patents cannot be granted for inter alia plant varieties and animal breeds, medical treatment methods, or human cloning methods
A European Patent is a protection document granted by the European Patent Office providing its owner with an exclusive right for commercial exploitation of the invention on the territory of the designated countries of the European Patent Convention during a period of 20 years.