New law introduces big changes to Romanian trademark regime

On 13 July 2020 Law 112/2020 came into effect. This substantially amended Law 84/1998 with regard to trademarks and geographical indications and implemented the EU Trademark Directive (2436/2015) in Romania.

Trademark applications that were filed before the entry into force of the new law and under examination will follow the procedures regulated by whichever law was in force at the date of filing at the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM).

Owners of Romanian trademarks should also pay attention to a change brought about by the new law, which applies to all registered national trademarks and could extend their scope of protection. Until 30 September 2020, owners of national trademarks that have been registered for an entire Nice class heading, can file a declaration with OSIM stating that their  intention at the filing date was to request protection for goods or services besides those covered by the literal meaning of the respective class heading, under the condition that the goods or services indicated be included in the list of the relevant class from the Nice Classification edition in force at the filing date.

If no declaration is filed before this date, it will be assumed that the trademarks designate the goods or services covered by the literal meaning of the indication for the respective Nice class heading only. Mark owners should therefore revise their national trademark portfolios accordingly.

Further, attention should be paid to the instructions issued by OSIM, following the entrance into force of Law 112/2020. One of these instructions refers to the available online trademark procedures, which were fairly limited until the entrance into force of this law, namely to the filing of a trademark application only.

From 14July 2020 modifications related to the owner and/or to the representative of a trademark (name and/or address), transfer of rights, registration of licences, trademark renewal and filing a trademark application can be made online. The widening of possible online prosecution actions will make procedures at OSIM much easier to navigate. In order to perform such online actions, a qualified electronic signature must now be attached – this is available only from specific providers.

Following the entrance into force of the new law, OSIM has also created new specific email addresses for different services that brand owners should bear in mind.

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