New Trademark Law to bring significant changes

The Armenian Parliament has adopted the new Law on Trademarks, which is due to enter into force on July 1 2010. The document is a completely new piece of legislation, which abolishes the Law on Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin (2000).

The new law seeks to bring the Armenian legislation in line with recent trademark developments, and constitutes a significant step towards a comprehensive system of trademark protection in the country.

In particular, the law introduces a new definition of a 'trademark', using the notion that a trademark is a sign that is capable of being represented graphically and is used to distinguish the goods and/or services of a party from those of others. Further, the law broadens the list of signs that can be registered as trademarks by adding holograms and colours, or combinations of colours. However, the list remains exclusive.

With regard to the refusal of trademark applications or the revocation of registered trademarks on relative grounds, the new law provides for the protection of trademarks with a reputation in Armenia with respect to goods and/or services that are not identical, or similar, to those for which the mark is registered (protection against dilution). The law also provides for protection against trademarks filed in bad faith.

One of the most important developments is the introduction of an opposition procedure, set forth in Articles 44 and 46, under which all trademark applications are to be published in the Official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office. Any party can file a remark or an opposition within two months of publication.

Finally, the new law abolishes the requirement to register trademark licences and assignment agreements. Under the law, a trademark licence or assignment agreement will become effective with respect to third parties from the date of its registration with the Patent and Trademark Office.

Taras Kulbaba and Elena Zubenko, PETOŠEVIC, Brussels and Kiev

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