Serbia: Law on Trademarks (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 6/2020)

February 1, 2020

Serbia: The Law on Trademarks (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 6/2020) was adopted on January 24, 2020, and entered into force on February 1, 2020.

This new Law provides the following changes to Serbia's trademark regime, inter alia:

(i) introducing a trademark opposition system, which allows trademark owners and interested third parties to object to any published trademark application within three months of the date the trademark is published in the Official Gazette. Once a notice of opposition has been filed against the trademark application, the applicant must file an answer within sixty days;

(ii) replacing the prior system of national exhaustion with the principle of international exhaustion, in which a trademark owner may not prohibit the sale of goods once the product has been sold by the trademark owner in any part of the world;

(iii) enabling the trademark owner to oppose the use of or to request transfer of a trademark registered by a sales representative or agent without the trademark owner's permission;

(iv) restricting the right of a non-exclusive licensee to file infringement actions to the extent that consent is given by the trademark owner, and entitling an exclusive licensee to file infringement actions if the trademark owner takes no action within 30 days of notification;

(v) imposing intermediary liability on service providers used by the infringer in the course of the infringement;

(vi) providing that the use of trademarks in comparative advertising in a manner that is contrary to the law constitutes trademark infringement;

(vii) extending the trademark holder's right to restrict the import and export of infringing goods to include the transit of infringing goods through Serbia; and

(viii) eliminating the right to appeal against the decisions of the Intellectual Property Office; instead, administrative proceedings can be initiated before the Administrative Court.