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Romania: Law No. 112 of July 8, 2020, on Amendments to Law No. 84/1998 on Trademarks and Geographical Indications

July 13, 2020

Romania: The Law No. 112 of July 8, 2020, on Amendments to Law No. 84/1998 on Trademarks and Geographical Indications was published in the Official Gazette on July 9, 2020, and entered into force on July 13, 2020.

This Law provides, inter alia, for the following amendments, in order to harmonize the Romanian trademark law with the Directive (EU) No. 2015/2436:

(i) Removal of the graphical representation requirement of a trademark to facilitate the registration of new trademarks, thus allowing for non-traditional signs to be filed;

(ii) Additional absolute grounds for refusal or invalidity of a trademark registration, including (a) for signs based on any characteristic resulting from the nature of the goods themselves, necessary to obtain a technical result, or giving substantial value to the goods (and not simply limited to the shape of the product); and (b) for signs that are excluded from registration pursuant to European Union legislation or agreements relating to geographical indications or designations of origin, traditional terms for wine, traditional specialty guaranteed, and plant varieties;

(iii) Modification to opposition proceedings to provide for a two-month "cooling-off" period, to allow for the possibility of a friendly settlement between the opposing party and the applicant. This period may be extended for an additional three months. Parties that do not reach an agreement are provided an additional opportunity to submit facts, evidence or arguments to the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) for its consideration; and

(iv) From January 14, 2023, invalidity and revocation actions may also be filed before OSIM, in addition to the Bucharest Court.