Trademark Office launches fresh efforts to create electronic database


On January 27 2012 the Greek Trademark Office issued Decision K4-1209, which concerns the electronic filing of trademark applications. The office also published and forwarded to all the Greek Bar Associations a memorandum regarding the requirement to file all future trademark applications in electronic format (as well as hard-copy format).

The Trademark Office has been criticised in the past for not having a fully operational electronic database for Greek trademark applications and registrations. The absence of an electronic database proved to be a challenge, as it required extra cross-checking - for example, when it came to researching the (not always available) hard-copy volumes in order to conduct trademark searches. In addition, it created problems with regard to the accuracy of the information provided on each trademark, as assignments and other ownership changes, for instance, take a while to be recorded in the hard-copy register.

However, the Trademark Office recently decided to launch a fresh effort to create an electronic database for Greek trademarks - most probably due the grave financial situation of the country and the concentrated efforts to rectify mistakes of the past. Up to now, the Trademark Office’s very basic database provided only the name and number of the trademark and the classes covered (with no specification), while the ownership information and the status of the mark, among other things, still needed to be confirmed by the Trademark Office itself.

It is hoped that this fresh initiative will provide the potential for the creation of a workable and efficient database for Greek trademarks, thus strengthening the usability and availability of information; this would in turn boost transactions and contribute to the development of the Greek economy.

Eleni Lappa, IPWORK LLC, Athens

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