Romania Amends Trademark Law
On December 13, 2022, Romania adopted amendments to its trademark law enabling the Romanian Intellectual Property Office to handle revocation and invalidation applications as of January 14, 2023. Such applications are currently handled by the Bucharest Tribunal. Going forward, interested parties will be able to choose whether to bring an invalidation or revocation action before the Romanian IPO or before the court.
At the Romanian IPO, these applications will be handled by specialized boards consisting of trademark experts with at least three years of experience in the legal field. Board members will be restricted from being involved in any other IPO proceedings.
Revocation and invalidation applications will undergo a preliminary examination to establish whether formal requirements are met – namely, if they contain the parties’ identification details, data concerning the contested trademark and its holder, legal grounds on which the action is based (for invalidation actions, also the prior rights invoked), if the action is targeted against all or part of the goods and services, the substantive arguments and the supporting evidence.
The plaintiff will be given five days to correct any application deficiencies. An application meeting formal requirements will be transmitted to the defendant, who will be granted 30 days to file a statement of defence. The defendant’s response, if filed, will be transmitted to the plaintiff, who may file a counter-response within 10 days.
Once this stage is completed, the date of the first hearing will be set. Additional hearings will be possible upon justified request by the parties or if they become necessary as a result of the debates.
The IPO’s revocation and invalidation board decisions can be contested before the Bucharest Tribunal within 30 days from receipt. The Bucharest Tribunal rulings can be further appealed before the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
Further legislative changes concerning the structure and activities of the IPO boards are expected by January 14, 2023. For the time being, no official fees have been established for the submission of revocation and invalidation actions, but it is expected that they will be adopted soon.
By: Aura Campeanu, Mara Marinescu and George Irimescu
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