Amendments in the field of trade marks

The National Assembly is discussing an amendment of the Industrial Property Act. Its purpose is to harmonize the law with the provisions of the Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks. Due to the coexistence of national marks in EU member states and the EU trade mark itself balancing of these rules is crucial.

The following novelties are of particular importance to trade mark proprietors and persons seeking to register trademarks:

  • in addition to sound marks, it will be possible to register new types of marks such as movement, multimedia and holographic marks;
  • an expanded set of absolute reasons for the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office to refuse registration will now include protected traditional terms for wine, traditional specialties guaranteed and plant variety rights;
  • with respect to relative grounds for refusal of registration based on an opposition, notably the term earlier trade mark is subject to a clearer definition;
  • in the field of property rights in marks, licenses and enforcement and in relation to the transfer of marks;
  • the proprietor of the trade mark will be allowed to prohibit the use of the sign by a third party in comparative advertising, prohibit preparatory acts and prevent the introduction of goods that have not been cleared by customs.

Provided the amendment of the Industrial Property Act will be adopted, it will allow the registration of modern trademarks. At the same time, a person seeking to register his mark will have to be more diligent not to violate the new absolute (or relative) grounds for refusal. For business entities, the disposal of trade marks will be of particular importance. Proprietors of trademarks and those who wish to become so will need to invest greater care before registering a trade mark, while at the same time, will be able to benefit from the improved legal protection and disposal of registered trademarks.

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