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Interesting & distinctive information in the IP regulations

After separation from the “State Union of Serbia and Montenegro”, the Institute for Intellectual Property of Montenegro was founded on May 11, 2007, as a special body in the state administration system, and since 2017, it has been functioning as an independent body within the Ministry of Economy.

In the year 2006 Montenegro, become a part of the WIPO.

Montenegro is also a member of international organizations and agreements such as PCT, the Nice agreement on the International classification of goods and services, the Hague Agreement, the Madrid Agreement of the International trade mark registration, and the TRIPS Agreement.

On October 1, 2022, Montenegro became the 39th member state of the EPO, therefore it is no longer necessary to pay the extension fees and Montenegro will automatically be included as a designated state starting from the cited date.

From early 2023, following the example of other countries, the new TM Law no longer requires a graphical representation of the mark.

At the same time another very significant change relates to the cancellation and invalidation actions, as the Commercial Court of Montenegro is no longer involved in these motions. Instead, these procedures have been transferred from the Court to the competent Administrative body.

Further, important changes have been made to the procedure relating to third-party observations. According to the recent amendments, the competent authority is now obligated to notify the applicant about any observations made by third parties (a “party” who is not subject to the proceedings), allowing the applicant a 15-day period to respond.

Trade marks can be renewed 6 months prior to the renewal deadline at the earliest, and the grace period is 6 months long.

Interestingly, the Montenegrin IPO does not perform searches for a device mark, which is usually standard IPO service in the process of TM availability searches.

In the year 2010, the Montenegrin IPO established the opposition procedure and issued the first Official Gazette in December that year, which for the first time included applications published for opposition. The period for an opposition is 90 days.

In case of an unfavorable opposition decision, it is possible to file an administrative lawsuit before the Administrative Court of Montenegro.

Patent annuities can be paid 6 months prior to the deadline and the grace period is the usual 6 months.

In Montenegro, it is not possible to protect a small patent or to obtain SPC protection.

Renewal of designs falls every 5 years, for a total of 25 years.

Designs can be renewed 6 months prior to the renewal deadline at the earliest, and the grace period is 6 months long.

In Montenegro, POAs in IP matters need to be only simply signed, notarization/legalization is not required.

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