Amendments to Law on Industrial Property enter into force

Albania

On July 10 2014 Law 55/2014, which amends Law No 9947 of July 7 2008 on Industrial Property, entered into force. The changes covered almost all IP rights covered by the law, such as patents, industrial designs and trademarks.

With regard to trademarks, the changes pertain to, among other things, collective and certification trademarks and the substantive examination rules applicable to absolute grounds for refusal. This update will address the changes regarding certification and collective trademarks, as these changes have introduced significant novelties into Albanian law.

Pursuant to the changes stipulated by Law 55/2014, the Albanian legislature introduced for the first time the so-called 'certification trademarks' into the Albanian system. As of July 10 2014, applicants will be able to apply for and register certification trademarks. Pursuant to the law, certification trademarks serve to identify goods and services that are certified by the trademark owner with regard to, among other things, their origin, quality, material, method of preparing the goods or method of offering the services.

For registration purposes, along with the documents needed for the registration of ‘regular’ trademarks, an applicant should file the regulation setting out the rules for the use of the certification trademark with the General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks (GDPT, the authority responsible for the registration of trademarks, among other things, in the Republic of Albania). Such regulation should contain the characteristics of the goods/services that are certified, the testing procedures, the control measures and the sanctions applicable by the owner. 

The other novelty introduced by the Albanian legislature is that, from now and on, the law provides more detailed procedures for the registration of collective trademarks. Prior to these changes, the Law on Industrial Property provided only a definition of 'collective trademarks', without determining the procedures for their registration.

Following the amendments, a collective trademark is defined as a trademark which serves to distinguish the goods and services of members of an association or other entity; the rights attached to such a trademark are not transferable.

For registration purposes, an applicant must also file with the GDPT the regulation determining the terms of use of the collective trademark. The regulation should provide the terms and conditions of the membership in the association/entity and, if possible, the terms of use of the collective trademark and the relevant sanctions. The regulation determining the use of a collective trademark is considered to be a crucial element by the legislature given that, in its absence, applications for registration will be rejected by the GDPT. Applications will also be rejected if the regulation contains provisions violating public order and moral principles.

The owner of a collective trademark is obliged to file all amendments and supplements to the regulation with the GDPT; such amendments and supplements will enter into force with the publication of the collective trademark in the register of trademarks.

Renata Leka, Boga & Associates, Tirana

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