About the vpi

Welcome to the Visegrad Patent Institute


The Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI) started operation on 1st of July 2016 as an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in the field of patents established by the four Visegrad countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic.

The VPI was appointed as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

The VPI fills a territorial gap within the global system of the PCT, acting as an International Authority for Central and Eastern Europe and makes up for the missing link in the network of European PCT authorities.

The VPI is governed by the Administrative Board whose representatives are appointed by the Contracting States. The work related to the services of the VPI are carried out by the experts of the branch offices, while the Secretariat of the VPI is responsible for the management of the VPI’s work.

The structure of the VPI

Administrative Board

The Administrative Board is the governing and norm setting body of the VPI. It is composed of the Representatives and the alternate Representatives of the Contracting States. Each Contracting State is entitled to appoint one Representative and one alternate Representative to the Administrative Board.

VPI Secretariat

The head of the VPI Secretariat is the Director. The Secretariat is responsible for the organization, day-to-day management and administrative support of the VPI’s work. The Secretariat and the Director act as the VPI’s interface to all external parties, including the International Bureau of WIPO, national offices acting as Receiving Offices, and, when necessary, other international partners and users of the VPI’s patent-related services.

Czech branch office

The Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (IPO CZ) is a central body of state administration acting in the field of industrial property protection. The IPO is headed by the president, who is appointed by the government.
The history of the IPO CZ goes back to 1919 when the Patent office was founded. The IPO CZ acts namely as a patent and trademark office. The former Czechoslovakia became a contracting party to the PCT on June 20, 1991. The Czech Republic as a successor has continued to apply the PCT on its territory since January 1, 1993. IPO CZ fulfils the tasks under the PCT as a Receiving Office in the Czech Republic.

Hungarian branch office

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO), founded in 1895, is the central government office for the matters of intellectual property in Hungary and fulfils the tasks under the PCT as a Receiving Office in Hungary.
Hungary became party to the PCT on June 27, 1980. In addition to acting as a PCT Receiving Office, since 2006 the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) carried out search and preliminary examination for the Austrian Patent Office (APO) as a PCT Authority under a bilateral agreement concluded with the APO that was in effect until December 2014.
HIPO delegates have participated in the Permanent Committee on Harmonization of Search Activities (PCHSA) and its Working Groups responsible for cooperation and harmonization between PCT Authorities in Europe since 2009.

Polish branch office

The Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (PPO) is the central agency of the governmental administration for the matters of industrial property. It is headed by the President who is appointed by the Council of Ministers and structurally supervised by the Minister of Development.
Poland acceded to the PCT on December 25, 1990 and since then the PPO has served as a Receiving Office, and Poland has become a designated country in PCT applications.

Slovak branch office

The Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic (IPO SR) is the central state administration body for the field of the industrial property.
The Slovak Republic, as well as the Czech Republic, are the successor states of the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic that acceded to the PCT in 1991. The Slovak Republic has been a contracting state of the PCT since January 1, 1993, and since this date IPO SR has fulfilled its tasks within the PCT system as a Receiving Office.



The PCT is an international treaty that makes it possible to seek patent protection simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single application. Granting the patent remains under the national or regional legislation.

Fees and Refunds


Download the Search Fee Refund Form from this page and find detailed instructions on how to submit it for quick payment. Read about our quality assurance and the legal framework of the operation of the VPI in our official documents.

Knowledge hub


The Knowledge hub of the Visegrad Patent Institute was created to share research, statistics, industrial best practice and benchmark information about international patenting in the Visegrad countries through publications and events.