Croatia amends its IP law in order to harmonize with the European Union legislation

Nov 20 2004 - 06:07

During September and October 2004, three drafts of the IP law have been proposed to the Croatian parliament with the request for urgent enforcement.

The drafts relate to the following:

  1. The new Law on Ratification of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT);
  2. The new Law on Administrative fees and procedural charges in the field of industrial property; and
  3. The new Law on Representatives in the field of industrial property.

The new Law on Ratification of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT)

The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) was adopted at the Diplomatic Conference in Geneva on June 1, 2000, and was signed by 53 WIPO member states and one intergovernmental organization. The Republic of Croatia was one of the signatories.

The enforcement of the PLT will amend the current Croatian patent law. Primarily, the formal requirements for assigning the application date will be amended.

The Croatian patent law will also be amended with regards to the mandatory representation before the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). According to the PLT, a party will have the power to undertake specific actions before the PTO independently.

The enforcement of the new Law on Ratification of the PLT is also in the interest of the WTO members, as the patent application filing procedure will be made uniform and a simpler patent grant procedure will be established.

The new Law on Administrative fees and procedural charges in the field of industrial property

The new Law on Administrative fees and procedural charges does not amend the current schedule of fees. However, additional fees are being introduced. Specifically, a fee for the payment of the supplementary protection certificate for patents, as well as the new schedule of fees for patent annuities.

The new Law on Representatives in the field of industrial property

The new Law on Representatives in the field of industrial property addresses new requirements for passing the Qualifying exam for all IP representatives.

According to the new Law on Representatives, there will be a transition period of 2 years within which all present representatives may continue with their practice until the 2 year grace period ends. At that time, only those representatives who meet the specific requirements of the new Law on Representatives will be registered before the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Procedure for the Qualifying exam, examiners and exam content will be prescribed by a special Regulation that should be prepared within the term of 6 (six) months.

In order to become a patent representative in Croatia, one of the following requirements must be met:

  1. One must be a Croatian citizen, residing in Croatia and holding a degree in science and/or engineering. He/she must also pass the Qualifying exam for patent representative before the Croatian PTO; or

  2. One must be a lawyer registered before the Croatian Bar Association and employing a person who meets the requirements set in 1) above; or

  3. A legal entity with the legal seat in Croatia and employing at least one person who meets the requirements set in 1) above.

In order to become a trademark representative in Croatia, one of the following requirements must be met:

  1. One must be a Croatian citizen, residing in Croatia and holding university degree. He/she must pass the Qualifying exam for trademark representative before the Croatian PTO; or

  2. One must be a lawyer registered before the Croatian Bar Association and employing a person who meets the requirements set in 1) above; or

  3. A legal entity with the legal seat in Croatia and employing at least one person who meets the requirements set in 1) above.

The new Law on Representatives is expected to come into force on June 1, 2005.

For more information on the above discussed amendments to the Croatian IP law, please contact our Croatia representative.

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