The Czech Parliament has amended Article 10 of the Constitution so that international treaties which are binding on the Czech Republic will prevail over any conflicting domestic law.

Consequently, the Czech Patent Office has issued Official Statement 32/203/2002 (May 17 2002) concerning Article 33 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, pursuant to which the term of protection available to patents should be at least 20 years from the filing date.

Article 33 now applies to patents granted under the previous Czech Patent Act 84/1972 provided that their protection period had not expired by June 1 2002. Accordingly, the protection period of such patents will be extended to 20 years.

The new Constitutional Law 395/2001 took effect on June 1 2002.

For further information on this topic please contact Karel Cermák at Cermák Horejš Myslil by telephone (+420 2 9616 7401) or by fax (+420 2 2494 6724) or by email ([email protected]).