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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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International Conventions

Paris Convention, WIPO, PCT, Madrid Agreement, Nice Agreement, Berne Convention (Copyright), Locarno Agreement (Industrial designs) and WTO

MINIMAL FILING REQUIREMENTS

Patent Applications

  • Applicant data
  • Name, address and occupation of the inventor
  • Priority application data
  • Patent specification and claims

Trade/Service Mark Applications

  • Applicant data
  • Priority application data
  • List of goods/services
  • At least one representation of the mark (in color if claimed)

Industrial Design Applications

  • Applicant data
  • Priority application data
  • At least one drawing or photograph of the claimed model or design

All other documents may be filed subsequently. Powers of attorney and declarations need not be legalized or notarized unless requested by the Patent and Trademark Office.

Some documents may require translation to Bosnian.