The long expected new Trademark Law in Serbia entered into force on February 1st and has introduced the opposition system replacing the traditional full examination system. However, the IP Office still examines trademark applications both on absolute and relative grounds before publication as part of their official duties.
Apart from the opposition system major changes include:
- The appeal system has been abandoned and in case of rejection of trademark application the owner has the possibility to file an Administrative Court action.
- Serious use of trademark is required prior to filing infringement proceedings.
- Clarification of requirements for preliminary injunction are introduced.
- A more precise definition of the required list of goods in line with the EU practice aligns the legal framework with the practice of the IP Office with the IP Translator decision and practice.
- The reintroduction of the goods in transit in the scope of protection of trademarks.
- The introduction of the so called Agents mark provision, allowing the owner of the mark to request the transfer of the mark registered in the name of the sales representative or agent.
- National exhaustion has been abandoned and replaced by world-wide exhaustion.
In conclusion, the new Law puts in place a hybrid system but it is still unclear how the new system will work in practice.