Croatia's accession to European Union to affect EU trademarks and designs

Croatia

As a result of Croatia’s accession to the European Union on July 1 2013, EU trademark and design regulations will enter into force in Croatia and all registered Community trademarks (CTMs) and designs will automatically extend to the new EU member state.

According to a notification recently issued by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), CTM applications filed between January 1 2013 and June 30 2013 (ie, during the six months preceding Croatia’s date of accession) may be opposed by a Croatian trademark owner, if:

  • the filing or priority date of the Croatian trademark is earlier than the filing or priority date of the opposed CTM application; and
  • the national mark was applied for in good faith.

In June 2010 OHIM started internal preparations for Croatia's accession, which included the translation of official documents and databases into Croatian and the recruitment of staff from the new EU state. Once Croatia has joined the European Union, it will be possible to submit trademark and design applications in Croatian.

The effects of the EU enlargement in terms of the proceedings before OHIM are covered in detail in OHIM’s manual.

Dalibor Radevic, PETOŠEVIĆ, Zagreb 

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