13 | 02 | 2019

New Trademarks Act Passed

Hereby, we inform the interested public that the new Trademarks Act is passed in the Republic of Croatia and published in the Official Gazette No. 14/2019 on 7 February 2019; it shall enter into force on 15 February 2019.

The new Trademarks Act (hereinafter referred to as the new Act) harmonises regulations of the Republic of Croatia in the field of trademark protection with the Directive 2015/2436/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks and provides for continuity in implementing the Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (hereinafter referred to as: the Directive 2004/48) and upgrades legal frame for trademarks protection.

The new Act is precise in defining the field of its implementation, effects, use and disposal of a trademark as an object of property; it provides for conditions and proceedings of acquiring and maintaining a valid trademark and disposing of trademark rights, as well as procedures related to international trademark registration and achieving conditions for coexistence or complementarity of protection of a national trademark and a European Union trademark. Provisions of civil law protection of trademarks and misdemeanour provisions in the enforcement of civil law protection of trademarks make also an integral part of the new Act. The Trademarks Act (Official Gazette No.173/03, 76/07, 30/09, 49/11 and 46/18) (hereinafter referred to as: the former Act) shall cease to be valid as laid down in the transitional and final provisions; the proceedings initiated according to the regulations effective before its coming into force are being regulated.

In relation to the former Act, the provisions of the new Act, among other things, harmonise legal frame for the protection of trademarks with new technological possibilities of representation of a trademark and the previous obligation to provide for a graphical representation of a mark to be protected as a trademark is revoked. Furthermore, an appropriate legal frame is established for the protection of traditional terms for wines, of traditional specialities guaranteed, of geographical indications and designations of origin from unauthorised registration by a trademark by introducing corresponding absolute grounds for refusal of trademark registration, and more detailed rules in relation to registration and protection of collective and guarantee trademarks are being laid down. There are clearer regulations of rules regarding designation and classification of a trademark in terms of proper determination of the scope of protection in respect to goods and services included in the application. Appropriate legal protection is assured for rightholders in relation to counterfeit goods in transit through the EU territory, and in relation to preparatory acts related to the use or packaging of products by unauthorised use of a trademark. In compliance with the requirements of the Directive 2004/48, the urgency of proceedings is provided for in lawsuits due to trademark infringements.

Within a period of two months upon the new Act coming into effect, the Director General of the Office shall pass new Trademark Regulations (hereinafter referred to as: the new Regulations). The provisions of the Trademark Regulations (“Official Gazette”, No. 117/07, 66/11, 125/13 and 43/17) shall apply until the new Regulations coming into force.

The published text is available here.

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