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25.02.2013

Consequences of the EU accession of Croatia for Community trademarks and design rights

On July 1st, 2013 Croatia will become the 28th member state of the European Union. Accordingly, from this date on, already registered Community trademarks (CTMs) as well as Community design rights will automatically apply to the new member state.

In relation to CTM applications, however, Croatian property rights have to be already kept in view now because Art. 165 (3) CTMR applies. According to this stipulation, an opposition based on earlier Croatian trademarks or other rights within the meaning of Art. 8 CTMR can be filed against CTMs already six months before the accession date – i. e. since January 1st, 2013. This requires, though, that the national property right has not been acquired in bad faith before the EU accession, and that the national application or, respectively, the priority right is dated before the CTM application. An equivalent regulation does, for the rest, not exist for community design rights as there is no possibility for an opposition during the application procedure.

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