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Montenegro Amends Laws on Trademarks, Designs, Semiconductor Topographies

Jul 29 2016 - 18:05

The amended laws on trademarks, industrial designs and topographies of semiconductor products have recently entered into force in Montenegro. The changes aim to bring Montenegro’s IP legislation fully in line with the European Union’s legislation and relevant international treaties. Below is the summary of the most important changes.

Trademarks

Trademark law amendments entered into force on July 8, 2016, generally bringing greater clarity to certain requirements and procedures.

In case of a provisional refusal of an international trademark registration, the four-month deadline for appointing a local representative is now calculated from the date on which WIPO issued the notification, as opposed to the date of receipt of the notification.

The amended law defines monetary fines in case of trademark infringement. The fine in the amount of EUR 2,000–10,000 may be imposed against a legal entity, EUR 500-3,000 against an entrepreneur, and EUR 250-1,500 against a physical person and the responsible person within a legal entity.

Another change concerns the market watch requirements and market inspectorate activities, which were previously regulated by the Law on Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights (Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro 45/05). These provisions have now been incorporated into the trademark and industrial design laws.

Finally, the law defines the effects of an EU trademark in Montenegro after this country accedes to the EU.

Industrial Designs

Industrial design law amendments, which entered into force on July 19, 2016, are in line with the Directive 98/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the legal protection of designs.

Provisions defining legal effects of the Community Design in Montenegro have been included and the exhaustion of rights within the EU has been further clarified (to take effect when Montenegro accedes to the EU).

The amended law also clarifies the question of the cancellation of a design on absolute or relative grounds. The cancellation lawsuit may be filed during the whole time of validity of a design, as well as after the expiration of the same or renunciation of a design right.

Semiconductor Topographies

The amendments to the Law on topographies of semiconductor products, which came into force on July 8, 2016, introduce the principle of exhaustion of rights within the territory of the EU, in terms of topographies of semiconductor products that will take effect when Montenegro joins the EU.

The amendments further regulate the supervision of law enforcement and the infringement of topography protection.

Finally, the amendments introduce the applicability of patent law provisions on the civil law topography protection.

The Law on amendments of the Law on topographies of semiconductor products is harmonized with the Council Directive 87/54/EEC of December 16, 1986 on the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products.

By: Jasna Jusic

For more information, please contact Jasna Jusic at our Montenegro office.

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