Innovations introduced by The new Law of Trademark of the Republic of Serbia

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the new Law of Trademarks (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No.06/20) that will be entering into force on 1 February 2020. On the date of this Law taking effect, the validity of the The Law on Trademarks (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 104/09, 10/13 и 44/18) shall cease.

The new Law of Trademark governs the manner of acquisition and the protection of trademark as a right that protects signs used in trade of goods and/or services. A trademark holder has the exclusive right to use a sign protected by a trademark for designating the goods and/or services the trademark refers to. The main condition for granting the right of trademark is that such sign is capable of distinguishing in the course of trade the goods or services of one natural or legal person from the goods and/or services of another natural or legal person.

According to the Law of Trademark tradeamark can be any sign that is capable of being represented graphically and it may comprise of (among other things) words, letters, numbers, images, drawings, combinations of colours, and music represented trough notation.

Legal protection of trademarks used in the trade of goods or services is acquired through administrative proceedings at the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia, saeted in Belgrade, at Knjeginje Ljubice 5. The procedure for the trademark registration can be initiated by filing an application for trademark registration, wich can be filled by natural or legal person or by a representative. In proceedings before the Intelectual Property Office, a foreign natural or legal person who has no seat or residence in the Republic of Serbia must be represented by a representative listed in the Register of Representatives kept by the competent authority or by a domestic attorney.  Power of attorney need not be notarised or legalised.

The trademark application procedure contains of formal and supstancional examination, after what the application is entered into the Register of Applications.

Among the innovations introduced by the new Law of Trademark is the introduction of a system of oppositions in the procedure for examining a trademark application. In this way, domestic legislation adopts a solution that has been present in the national legislations of most European countries for many years and which applies to the so-called a European Community trade mark valid in the territory of the European union, that is, of all its Member States. With the accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European union, the said marks will also be valid on its territory. A feature of the new legal solution is that the system of examining the application for a trademark ex officio has also been retained.

Also, the new Law of Trademark abolishes the appeal institute, the decisions in the proceedings are considered final and the parties may bring an administrative dispute against them.

The new Trademark Law harmonizes our legislation in this field additionally with the European legislation. By passing the mentioned legislation, another step was made in the direction of better protection of intellectual property rights in the Republic of Serbia and towards closing the Chapter 7 of EU Integration Process of the Republic of Serbia – Intellectual property rights.