New Industrial Property Institutions and Procedures Act to Enter into Force in Latvia
On January 1, 2016, the new Industrial Property Institutions and Procedures Act will enter into force in Latvia, bringing some significant changes to the IP procedures in this country.
The new law will introduce a unified set of administrative procedure rules for all types of IP rights, as opposed to a separate set of rules, which is currently in force.
Under the new law, the period of time for trademark applicant to reply to an opposition has been reduced from three to two months. The current mainly oral hearings in opposition and appeal proceedings will be replaced with the obligatory written exchange of arguments, with the possibility of oral hearings if one of the parties requests them or if the Board of Appeals decides they are necessary. Also, if the dispute is settled before the deadline to reply to an opposition expires, the new law provides for a 50 percent reimbursement of the opposition fees.
The appeal proceedings will also undergo some major changes as they will no longer be dealt with within the administrative procedure, but will be subject to the separate de novo civil court proceedings.
The law will also introduce new obligations and rights for the patent and trademark attorneys. These obligations and rights have not been explicitly regulated so far.
By: Andrej Bukovnik
For more information, please contact Andrej Bukovnik at our Slovenia office.
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