New Trade Mark Law that came into force on February 15, 2019 saw harmonisation and adaption of the Croatian regulations with the Directive 2015/2436/EU, a transposition of the rules that must be carried out by all member states.
Besides general definitions in relation to the framework concerning continuous implementation of the Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, relevant changes with respect to the old Law include:
Graphical representation dismissed in trade mark definition
The formal requirement of ‘graphic representation’ is no longer a prerequisite for protection. This change aims to facilitate the registration of new trade mark forms, such as position, pattern, sound, motion, hologram or multimedia marks.
Broadened absolute grounds for refusal include GIs and DOs
In addition to existing ones, new grounds for absolute refusal refer to the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin that include traditional wine terms, traditional specialties as well as plant varieties.
Introduction of a specific provision concerning infringing goods in transit
Trade mark proprietors are enabled to prevent counterfeit goods to enter Croatia arriving from third countries, including goods in transit or other temporary transportation or storing.
Scope of the list of goods and services – more precise definitions required
Goods and services for which protection is sought have to be identified with sufficient clarity and precision. The class headings will, unless specified, include only those goods and services which are covered by the literal interpretation of the class headings.
Trade mark infringement proceedings – specific urgent deadlines introduced
Although the old Law regulated trade mark infringement proceedings as expeditious, the new one sets out that the main hearing shall be held within 30 days upon receipt of Defence Statement as well as that the procedures before the first instance Court shall be completed within one year following the filing.
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