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Identity of Marks as Absolute Ground for Refusal in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Development of Practice

Prior to 2010, examiners working for the Intellectual Property Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina examined applications for trademarks on all grounds in a lengthy process that resulted in a significant backlog. The application-to-registration timeframe at one point rose to an unacceptable period of six years, inevitably leading to the absurd situation where an application would be reaching its tenth year and have to be renewed – without ever being registered.

As a result, on January 1, 2011, a change was made to Bosnia’s Trademark Law, and the inclusion of identity of marks as an absolute ground for refusal of a trademark application entered into force on January 1, 2011.

This law was passed over the fierce objections made in 2010 by a group of local intellectual property lawyers – the author of this text included – to the draft of the law. As they predicted, the new system has failed to solve the backlog and has created new problems.

New and Unproven System

This new system is essentially a cross between the full examination system and the opposition system and almost completely cancels the advantages of both systems.

Full examination of...

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