Montenegro Amends Laws on Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs
The amended laws on patents, trademarks and industrial designs entered into force in Montenegro on January 18, 2017. Most amendments relate to terminology alignment with the new Law on Administrative Proceedings, but there are two other significant changes.
All three laws introduce administrative disputes against the Montenegro IPO decisions. Under the former laws, the Montenegrin Ministry of Economy had competence to rule in the second instance and further appeals were brought before the Administrative Court. The amended laws abolish this practice after 6 years of being in force. Now, appeals are to be brought directly before the Administrative Court.
The reason behind this change is the complexity of the registration process, particularly in terms of trademarks, where reaching a decision often requires expert knowledge of examination practices and thorough analysis.
A similar practice of appealing IPO decisions directly before courts is also applied in some EU countries, like France and Ireland.
Another novelty in the amended Law on Trademarks is the possibility for parties to suspend a trademark opposition proceeding while negotiating an agreement. The parties have to reach an agreement within 6 months.
Requesting a suspension was previously possible under the provisions of the Law on Administrative Proceedings. However, the amended Law on Trademarks now clearly defines the parties’ obligations in such situations. If the parties realize they will not reach an agreement within 6 months, they can request the continuation of the proceeding. If no agreement is reached within these 6 months and the negotiations continue, the parties have to compose minutes of their negotiations and communicate them to the IPO.
By: Jasna Jusić
For more information, please contact Jasna Jusić at our Montenegro office.