Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013, bringing the number of member countries to 28.
Existing Community trade marks will automatically extend to Croatia from this date. General points to note are:
- It will not be possible to claim that an existing Community trade mark (CTM) is invalid on the basis that the mark is descriptive in Croatia.
- The holder of an earlier right in Croatia will be able to prohibit use of an extended CTM in Croatia assuming that the earlier Croatian right was obtained before the date of accession and that the right was obtained in good faith.
- The holder of an earlier Croatian national mark will only be able to oppose CTM applications filed after 1 January 2013. This is known as the exceptional 'opposition right' and applies in the six month period before the country joins.
If you have any queries concerning the Community trade mark system, please contact your usual D Young & Co advisor.
The countries covered by a CTM are now:
- Benelux (Belgium, the Netherland and Luxembourg)
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Full list of EU members online: http://dycip.com/europeanmembers